New initiative offers hope to scam victims who think they have nowhere to go
March 04, 2015, London, UK. Press Dispensary. In 2013/14, the top ten online scams cost UK victims £670million(1). Some blame the rise in Internet shopping, others the increase in so-called 'phishing' fraud as crooks, who impersonate banks, police or government officials, con people into revealing their personal or financial information.
But this figure is for reported crime only and masks a larger loss and a far larger group of victims who keep their losses to themselves. These people may have no idea who to tell or how to report such crimes while many more don't like to admit they've been duped. In response, private investigation agency 'Private Investigators UK' (www.private-investigators-uk.com) is this week launching a drive to offer individuals and small businesses a safe, confidential and non-judgemental alternative to traditional crime reporting.
"Going to the authorities with a cybercrime can be frustratingly non-productive," says Christie Moore of 'Private Investigators UK'. "Saying someone stole your money but you don't know who they were or where they were from may not achieve much more than a lot of head nodding and sympathetic grunts. And that's provided you are believed in the first place."
She continues: "This is why many people, as well as businesses, prefer to go to a private investigator such as Private Investigators UK. Our tracers are professionals who can help a victim find out where the leak is and plug it before it gets any further. Some have a background in the police or army so, even when the offenders are overseas, we are experienced in finding them."
According to Get Safe Online, the government supported advisory service, more than half of Britons have already fallen victim to online crimes such as ID theft, economic losses, hacking and viruses and say they feel "very or extremely violated" by the ordeal.
Ms. Moore says: "Deep down, victims often think it's their own fault that they've been cheated by a fraudster and the shame makes them want to avoid addressing the whole thing, so that others don't find out. But this is exactly how the crooks win. They are quite literally banking on emotional pain and humiliation."
One of the worst embarrassments victims can suffer today is when a criminal has hacked into their Facebook or email account and asked their friends for money.
"This is a scam that can take a real toll on friendships and family relationships," says Christie Moore. "Your friends want to think they can trust you and can find it difficult to believe it isn't your poor attention to security that has led this to happen. They might also think that one of your other friends is guilty, and wonder what kind of people you hang out with. One victim's account was hacked on his birthday, just as his in-laws and extended family were sending him their congratulations. Some lost money and never forgave him."
To tackle this embarrassment, Private Investigators UK offers a confidential and sympathetic ear. "As experienced professionals," says Christie Moore, "we've seen it all - the phony websites, the phishing tricks and the domestic or international con artists. We know such cons are not the victim's fault and we are there to help the victim. We know whose responsibility it really is and our job is to support the victim every inch of the way."
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Notes for editors
For further information, please contact:
Christie Moore, Private Detectives London
Tel: 020 3633 2458