City fraud cases up 63% with losses exceeding £1bn

City fraud cases up 63% with losses exceeding £1bn



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According to the City of

London

police, the number of fraud cases being investigated by the force has soared by 63% during the last year.

There are now over 10,000 cases being investigated, with losses thought to reach more than £1 billion.

Boiler room fraud has risen substantially since the onset of the credit crunch. Involving investors being cold called by fraudsters and duped into buying expensive shares that turn out to be virtually worthless and impossible to sell, those behind the fraud either pocket the money or sell on the shares at hugely inflated prices, often charging high fees for their part in the deal.

The Economic Crime Department at the City of

London

police estimate that every week 100 new victims call them and report losses linked to boiler room fraud. These losses can range from £3,000 to over £1 million.

Men are thought to be more at risk of being targeted by boiler room scams than women, as manuals confiscated from boiler room operations instruct fraudsters to avoid dealing with women as they “ask more questions.”

Chief of the City of London police, Steve Head, also believes that more Ponzi schemes will come to light as the recession continues, with fraud cases increasing and growing more complex.

“We have seen a rise in the sophistication of this fraud and in the brutality of the crooks when people try to dig themselves out of a hole. We have seen people driven to suicide because they have lost everything.” Mr Head added.

 

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