While boiler room frauds are not the most common style of fraud in the UK, it is a fraud that can cause great damage to its victims. If you recognise a boiler room fraud, you should take the following steps.
Make sure that you report it
If you suspect that you have been a victim of a boiler room fraud, or any fraud, it is vital that you report it. Even if you haven’t lost any money or consider yourself to be a victim, your information may be helpful in ensuring that other people are not the victim of this style of crime.
This is why you should report it to the relevant authorities. There is never any harm in contacting the Police but they may refer you to specialists like Action Fraud. As long as the matter is reported quickly and in full, you can be confident that you have played your part in combatting this style of crime.
As soon as you believe a fraud is taking place, break contact with the fraudster
This should be common sense but there is a need for you to stop conversing or communicating with the fraudster as soon you suspect that something suspicious is going on. If the conversation is taking place over the phone, make your excuses and hang up as quickly as possible. You’ll find that the fraudster will try and keep you talking for as long as possible, but if this does happen, don’t feel guilty about hanging up on them.
You may feel that this is rude but in the grand scheme of things, being rude is a much less harmful thing than trying to defraud someone, so it is not as if you are in the wrong. The most important thing is to safeguard yourself and if you have to be a bit rude to achieve this, take the necessary steps to do so.
Contact your bank
Even if you haven’t paid any money or handed over your banking details, it can be sensible to inform your bank of the fact that someone is looking to defraud people in this manner. This information may tie in with other information obtained or held by the bank, and it may be that this information allows banks to warn other people.
If you have paid money or you have provided bank account information to the fraudsters, it is vital that you contact your bank as quickly as possible. This may help the bank stop the transaction from going through or it will allow the bank to put into place any hope of retrieving the money. It isn’t always possible to retrieve money that has been handed over to fraudsters but the quicker that you provide as much information to relevant authorities as possible, the better your chances will be.
If you have any written communication from the fraudsters, keep it and share with the authorities
As you are “buying shares”, you should receive some form of confirmation or official document from the fraudster. If you do, it is important that you keep a hold of this and provide the original or a copy to the relevant authorities. It makes sense to make a copy of the documents for your own records.
Be aware you may not get your money back
Even if you report the fraud quickly, you may find that you don’t get your money back or the fraudsters aren’t brought to justice. The vast majority of fraudsters carrying out boiler room frauds are based outside of the United Kingdom and this makes it difficult to recover your lost investment.
This is because these fraudsters are not covered by the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom and any compensation schemes in place in the United Kingdom. This is something that annoys and rankles with some people but there is no doubt that these factors are big reasons in why so many people carrying out this style of fraud base themselves outside of the United Kingdom.
A worrying side effect of being a victim of fraud is that you are more likely to be a victim of other frauds, or at least targeted by fraudsters. This is because fraudsters share information and details about people, and the people who have fallen victim of fraud are deemed to be a suitable target in the future. This means if you have been a victim of fraud, you need to remain on your guard and protect yourself from other potential frauds.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.