People who unwittingly give out their personal information to telephone or online financial fraudsters are actually participating in the fraud and may not get any money they lose refunded.

That’s the warning from leading Liverpool lawyer Paul Bibby of MSB Solicitors, who was speaking as a national campaign to combat financial fraud was launched.
Fraud committed every 15 seconds

According to figures released by Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) more than 1m incidents of financial fraud occurred in the first six months of 2016 - a 53% rise and it means an incident occurs in the UK every 15 seconds.

Listen to Paul Bibby on BBC Radio Merseyside.

FFA UK and all major banks and key financial services providers across the UK come together for the first time to launch a national campaign to combat financial fraud.
The campaign – Take Five – aims to put consumers and businesses back in control with straightforward advice to help prevent financial fraud.

Worryingly, its research found that 26% of people admit they still provide personal details to people claiming to be from their bank even if they do not think they should.

Never give out details

Mr Bibby, managing partner at MSB which is now recognised by the Legal 500 as the leading firm for crime in Liverpool, said anyone who gives out their details is actually complicit in the fraud. He said:

“Fraud is endemic and I think it’s fairly clear that anyone who has been the victim of a debit or credit card-style fraud will find that the police have very little interest in it.

“The banks themselves have been given the responsibility of investigating and dealing with the compensatory issues.

“So you may feel you’ve been the victim of a fraud but you’ll find the banks are prepared to refund your money.
“In fact, the bank is the victim of the fraud - you are merely the conduit for it.

“They will be prepared to refund you where you are the innocent victim. That should be peoples’ first port of call.”

However, he added: “Never share your information. We hear apocryphal stories of people being called up on the phone being told ‘this is a security check can you give us your pin code?’.

“Never, ever divulge any information. If you do then you have actually participated in the fraud on the bank.

“You may have done so unknowingly but you have provided information and you are not going to see the refund any more than if you were walking down the street displaying your money and you were the victim of a robbery.”

Extremely convincing

According to FFA UK 24% of victims admitted the main reason they were conned was because the fraudster was extremely convincing.
Mr Bibby added:

“It is all about credibility. If someone sounds professional on the telephone then they are going to be believable. That is part of the scam - the expression is that you ‘suspend your disbelief’.”