Have you ever used a dating website? If you have or are still doing so then a word of warning as some are reportedly affected by fraud. A poll by Which? says that about a quarter of adults in the UK have tried online dating at some time with 40% of them having discovered fake [...]
The government is seemingly determined to get tough on benefit fraud, warning that it could result in tougher jail sentences for offenders. One such example of a tougher line is the case of Cheryl Henwood, who claimed to be a single parent and said two of her children were profoundly deaf and received the highest [...]
Is your WiFi safe? Leeds has ambitions to become one of the best connected cities in the country with free broadband access already available to people in certain parts of the city centre. However, with more areas offering WiFi access, it is becoming difficult for some to sort out who is genuine and who is [...]
Have you ever been caught out by a scam? If you have it appears you are not alone as a Which? study says that, since 2010, two out of three people have fallen victim at some stage. The cost on average is around £1,488 and the Office of Fair Trading says holiday scams, as well [...]
Have you ever used a dating website? If you have or are still doing so then a word of warning as some are reportedly affected by fraud.
A poll by Which? says that about a quarter of adults in the UK have tried online dating at some time with 40% of them having discovered fake profiles, while about 20% have been asked for money by someone they have got in contact with.
The poll also found that many admitted making changes to their age, their name and not being truthful about their job and Which? says that though some sites have procedures in place to report abusive and fake profiles, getting in touch with people online is usually taken at a person’s own risk and websites will not usually be found responsible unless it can be proved they were not using reasonable care and skill when providing the service.
This problem is not confined to dating sites but is also relevant is other situations where users are able to set up their own profiles online. The website 192.com which commissioned a wider survey into online security, has set up a “backgrounds report” service which can allow people to do their own checks on people they come into contact with online.
The government is seemingly determined to get tough on benefit fraud, warning that it could result in tougher jail sentences for offenders.
One such example of a tougher line is the case of Cheryl Henwood, who claimed to be a single parent and said two of her children were profoundly deaf and received the highest rate of disability living care allowance (DLA).
However, in reality, she was living with her police officer husband, in relative comfort with only one of her children receiving the top rate of DLA. In total she defrauded the authorities of £92,000 which she used to book expensive holidays to Disney World and Dubai and to fund a comfortable lifestyle.
She was jailed for a year after being found guilty of 12 charges of fraud. Hopefully the prison sentence, handed down even though she has repaid the money, will send a message to those thinking of committing benefit fraud, that crime doesn’t pay and they will get caught eventually.
Is your WiFi safe? Leeds has ambitions to become one of the best connected cities in the country with free broadband access already available to people in certain parts of the city centre. However, with more areas offering WiFi access, it is becoming difficult for some to sort out who is genuine and who is trying it on?
A recent survey showed that half who access public WiFi do not know whether it is secure, opening themselves up to the risk of identity theft. Only a third of those questioned thought about how secure a WiFi network is before connecting with it.
It is worrying that such a high number are apparently oblivious to the risk of giving their confidential information to identity fraudsters.
Some good advice in this field is to treat WiFi as you would a phone call. So keep all personal, private information away from prying eyes or ears. Online banking should always be done at home and also don’t used any apps if you do not know whether they encrypt data. What other advice would you give to those using Wifi away from home? Hope to hear some good suggestions from you.
Have you ever been caught out by a scam? If you have it appears you are not alone as a Which? study says that, since 2010, two out of three people have fallen victim at some stage.
The cost on average is around £1,488 and the Office of Fair Trading says holiday scams, as well as premium texts and document processing sites, may well be the main targets in the coming months. Holidays are the most costly, with victims losing £3,677 on average.
The Which? survey of 5,000 people found 80% concerned about the chances of family members being taken in by conmen. Which? said that all unexpected correspondence should be treated with suspicion and everyone should be cautious of anything which sounds too good to be true. Have you ever been caught out and if so what advice would you give others to steer clear of scams?
A coalition scheme called the “Midata” initiative, which gives consumers the right to request information from companies on a range of matters, could be vulnerable to fraud.
The scheme was devised to encourage people, armed with better information, to save money and make better shopping choices but the government is said to be concerned that the initiative, by making spending details more widely available, increases the risk of them being “misappropriated”.
There are fears that, with much of this information held on home computers or with third party intermediaries, the threats of identity fraud or theft are greater but the government still thinks the benefits of the scheme outweigh the risks and will see consumers making changes to their lives after analysing their data.
Can it ever be “worth” the risk of encouraging greater identity theft and fraud? What’s your view?
With Emma Harrison, the former chairwoman of A4e facing fraud allegations within the company in the last year or so, is David Cameron’s judgement in question after he named her his “families champion”?
It has emerged that the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) was contacted by A4e, the welfare to work programme, about suspected fraud within the company in November 2010, at least 10 days before the Prime Minister gave her an unpaid role as an advisor for troubled families.
Ms Harrison stepped down from her position with A4e on Friday and has also resigned from her role with the government, but she has always denied allegations that she received almost £2m for leasing properties which she owned or controlled back to her business. She added that her own finances and those of the company were “legal, above board, open and transparent”.
The DWP says it has made clear that if there is any evidence of systemic fraud at A4e, any existing contracts will be terminated.
The issue of postal and proxy voting fraud has been a persistent rumour in the last few council elections and, with a vastly increased amount of postal votes, in the general election of two years ago.
Pendle Council is looking into allegations following a sharp rise in postal votes in part of the borough although the local council’s Labour leader called it “sour grapes”. It has led to something of a war of words between Conservative MP Andrew Stephenson and the council leader Mohammed Iqbal who insists his party won seats at the most recent council elections fairly.
The MP disagrees, saying that electoral fraud is widespread and should be tackled immediately. He claimed that some houses in his constituency saw eight or more voters registered without any checks taking place. However, Mr Iqbal challenged the MP to produce the evidence and let the police deal with the matter.
Whatever the outcome in Pendle, electoral fraud is a growing concern which will resurface at regular intervals unless strong action is taken. That’s my view, what’s yours?
New figures released by the Fraud Prevention Service for the first half of 2012 have shown a 52% increase in fraud committed by employees. What are the reasons for this rise?
Uncertain job prospects have been cited as one possible explanation along with staff increasingly feeling a sense of entitlement, however misplaced, which leads them to consider theft as in some way justified.
The Business Crime Reduction Centre is one way in which business may be fighting back in that it looks at business crime in particular and checks out firms for their physical security as well as their cyber security. Perhaps the rise in employee fraud is partly down to the fact that some businesses are able to monitor and record such thefts so, in reality, it is the detection rate which is increasing rather than the actual numbers of frauds taking place.
What’s your view, we’d like to hear from you.
Recent figures, which come from Experian, are showing that mortgage application fraud was up by nearly 23% in the second quarter of this year.
Now around 39 of every 10,000 mortgage applications are seen as fraudulent and the rise coincides with a number of lenders tightening up their borrowing criteria to make it harder for many to obtain a mortgage. Perhaps the two are linked?
It obviously stems from the fact that households are more strapped for cash and this, combined with lenders changing their criteria, is responsible for the rise but there is surely no excuse for it. Most were found to be trying to hide a bad credit history while many also give misleading employment information.
Are you surprised at the big rise? Let me know your views.
The crime of car clocking, namely changing the milometer on a car to persuade a potential purchaser that it has fewer miles on the clock, is in the news again after two men in Gloucestershire were given suspended prison sentences for selling cars with incorrect mileage and falsified service records.
The men were sentenced for fraud after complaints from customers which were reported to Gloucestershire County Council’s Trading Standards Service. The judge in the case said that car clocking was prevalent and those who commit it should expect severe punishments. The two in this case were told to expect an immediate custodial sentence if they are in any more trouble but car clocking generally is a problem throughout the country.
Always try and buy from a reputable dealer and conduct as many checks as possible on any car you are looking to buy.