A Fraud Endemic

Rather than blither on about how Norman stole my gear, today I thought I would talk about fraud / scams and how serious the problem is in the UK.

From my experience alone I’ve come across many other victims of fraud; both in the media industry and also other victims of Norman Fowler. To give you an idea of the scale of the problem, when I was first visited by the Norfolk Constabulary, the Police Officer told me that I was the fourth victim of fraud he was visiting that day.

This ponders a question, why is fraud so endemic within the UK?

At first I was surprised with the amount of people who’ve found themselves being a victim of fraud, but overtime I think I have come to understand a little bit about the problem.

As previously mentioned, my experience is not an isolated case. I’ve met a number of different people who’ve been had using various scams and although the “modus operandi” of the fraudster can be very similar, each individual can easily be weighed up by a potential scammer and a new elaborate scheme can be formulated on the fly!

However, it’s not only individuals that are preyed on by fraudsters. Huge professional companies fall victim to scams despite best practices, security checks, ID documents, signed contracts and every kind of safe guard imaginable.

So why is this happening? I thought I took enough precautions to be safe in what I was doing, after all I had signed documents, ID, an address etc! I just asked for all the information which I had been asked for when I had previously hired equipment myself.

There are various answers for this, but I think the main two are as follows.

The Police
Never before have I been met with so much incompetence, unhelpfulness, rudeness etc. etc. I’ve deleted quite a lot about my particular encounter with the Police – however, I think they definitely added the the unpleasant experience and if anything has left me feeling that if ever I encounter a problem like this again that I can’t actually rely on the Police to resolve the situation and it’s best to deal with these sorts of things without their “help”. However, this leads me to part two of my answer:

The Law
Unfortunately, without the law on the side of the Police, they are rendered impotent. So really the answer to my initial question is the fact that there is something very backward in the law which allows fraudsters to get away with a number of different scams.

So without some changes within the law, these scams / frauds will continue to happen across the UK. Leaving victims who are unable to seek any kind of help from the police because a fraud is not a crime.

Is there a moral to this story? I hope it’s not that should you find yourself in a position like this that you should try and find the biggest meanest person you know to “deal with it” for you. However, without there being a change in the law, I think that’s probably the way in which you are most likely to get something done if you find yourself a victim of a fraud.

Here’s a documentary you might find interesting: