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£373m lost to repeat frauds in 2019/20

As well as making the right investments to help your money grow, taking care of your financial future is about protecting what you already have – and one of the most important ways you can do that is by staying vigilant about the risk of investment fraud.

Worryingly, many victims of fraud can end up suffering further losses through a second, third or even fourth fraud.

Repeat victims of fraud lost more than £373m in the 2019/20 financial year, with the average victim losing £21,121. And among those reporting at least one investment fraud, losses jumped 300% to an average of £84,604.

These figures come from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) at the City of London Police, which discovered that the average loss by a repeat victim of fraud who reported at least one investment fraud was 14 times the average loss by all victims of fraud.

Analysing the data from repeat victims who had reported at least one investment fraud, the NFIB identified links between certain at-risk age groups and fraud types. For instance, men were twice as likely to report being victim of at least one investment fraud, and lost three times as much as women.

However, women were twice as likely to report falling victim to both an investment fraud and a dating fraud.

The NFIB also discovered that individuals who first fell victim to an advance fee fraud were at an increased likelihood of falling victim to an investment fraud. Over half of these victims reported an incident of 'fraud recovery fraud', a type of investment fraud where the victim is contacted by someone claiming to be able to help them retrieve the money they have lost from their initial fraud. This is a common tactic used by organised crime groups to inflict further losses on victims of fraud.

"Investment fraud – and subsequent fraud recovery frauds – are particularly distressing," said Chief Inspector Leanne Dean, South Yorkshire Police's lead for Economic Crime, Fraud and Asset Recovery. "Not only has the victim lost what can be a substantial amount of money, but the fraudsters then stoop low enough to target the same person yet again, making empty promises that fake companies can get their money back for them. The impact, both financially and emotionally, can be significant."

"Consumers should always be wary of cold calls and promises to recover funds lost to a scam, as these are often signs of an attempted recovery fraud taking place," explained Mark Steward, executive director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

"If you're under pressure to make a quick decision or a payment, there's a very good chance you're talking to a scammer.

"Be ScamSmart and check the FCA Register to make sure that the firm you are dealing with is authorised to perform the service they are providing for you, and use the contact details on the FCA Register."

Fidelius is authorised and regulated by the FCA and our FCA reference number is 188615.

Posted on April 12th 2021

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