Who Can Help If You Have Been Defrauded
Fraud is a crime – regardless of the numbers involved in the loss. It is just as much of a crime if you have lost a small amount of money buying counterfeit goods on a website as it is if you are a big company which has been defrauded out of millions of pounds. The problem is that people do not want to talk about having been the victim of crime. People see it as an embarrassment, something to be ashamed of, whereas, in actual fact fraud happens to all sorts of people, from all walks of life, all of the time. If the worst has happened and you have been the victim of fraud, then you must report it and let someone know that a crime has taken place.
The PoliceFirst things first. Fraud is a crime and therefore, you are perfectly within your rights to go to the police. Of course, it is not something which usually happens and creates an emergency so calling 999 is not going to be the most sensible course of action. But all police forces across the country will have a department which deals with instances of fraud and similar crimes. Therefore, reporting it to the police will ensure that your case gets recorded and is investigated. And, of course, there is a more pressing reason for reporting it – if you have been the victim of crime and report it, then you will get a crime reference number and this will help if you need to claim on your insurance.
Insurance PoliciesYour insurers will not be able to help catch the fraudsters or safeguard against the fraud taking place again, but one thing they can do is help you to get some of your money back. Of course, the type of fraud you have been the victim of will mean that which insurer you go to differs from case to case, but think about it carefully and see if any of them can help you.
For example, if you have been defrauded out of money online, if you have used a credit card, your credit card insurance may well cover money lost through scams. If you have been defrauded while on holiday, it may be covered under your travel insurance. Just do not make the mistake of thinking that one gone, your money has gone forever – there may be someone who can help you to reclaim at least a portion of it.
Office of Fair TradingThe Office of Fair Trading, and your local Trading Standards team, should be able to help in the event of you noticing a scam. If you send them details of any suspect scams then they can investigate them and maybe even close down the operation – meaning that you and other people have less chance of becoming a victim of fraud in the first place.
National Fraud AuthorityThe National Fraud Authority deals with all kinds of fraud from small to very big. But they also have a helpline for consumers which can help people who have suffered at the hands of fraudsters. Their helpline and website allow you to report fraud crime instances and seek advice on where to go next if you have been defrauded. They work closely with the police in a joined up bid to eradicate fraud but need people to report their fraud experiences.
So, if the worst has happened and you have been the victim of fraud, all is not lost. There are plenty of people to help you and offer advice. You may even be able to recoup some of your losses, so make sure you go to the right people for help.