Victims of fraud can no longer rely on the police to recover their stolen assets and need to take their own steps to fight scammers, says a leading law firm.
The warning comes after the Royal Bank of Scotland revealed 5,000 customers lost almost £26 million to fraudsters in the first none months of this year.
RBS confirmed that seven out of 10 customers do not recover any of their losses.
Law firm Pinsent Masons argues fraud victims need to safeguard their assets with the help of a solicitor skilled in recovering assets.
“Anyone who wants to try to get their money or assets back cannot count on help from the police,” said spokesman Alan Sheeley.
Huge surge in fraud
“Law enforcement simply does not have the resources to cope with the massive reported increase in fraud.”
Last week, the Home Office reported crime had doubled in the UK with the inclusion of cybercrime statistics for the first time.
The figures showed around 6 million out of 11 million recorded crimes were internet offences.
“Victims need to contact civil fraud lawyers as quickly as they can,” said Sheeley.
“They can apply for search and seizure orders from the courts that let them enter fraudster’s premises to protect evidence and to freeze bank accounts to stop criminals moving money.”
Victims don’t report true losses
Another recent report from financial firm Allianz Group looking at cybercrime worldwide reckoned crooks get away with around £290 billion a year and forecasts this could rise to £400 billion next year.
“Everyone works from the figures of reported fraud, but this could be just a fraction of the true losses,” said Sheeley.
“Many victims do not realise they have been conned until sometimes a year or two later and many others don’t bother or are too embarrassed to tell the police that they have fallen foul of a scammer.
“The RBS report is really just a small part of what is going on and the bank reported a 40% rise in fraudulent activity this year compared to the same period last year, which is quite frightening if this is across the board globally.”