“There were an estimated 3.6 million cases of fraud and two million computer misuse offences in the past year according to The Crime Survey for England and Wales, making fraud now the most commonly experienced offence. Sir Tom Winsor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England and Wales, recently commented that “The amount of fraud that is taking place now is probably in epidemic proportions."
The films portray the stories of actual victims of crime, told by actors. They range from advice from a retail manager on how to avoid crime, cyber enabled fraud and romance fraud through to elderly victims who have been preyed on.
3557 romance frauds were reported to Action Fraud, averaging 10 reports a day. This amount equates to £11,500 per victim. Those who fall victim to these frauds are almost twice as likely to be women (63% compared with 37% of men) so if only one romance fraud can be avoided, the costs of making the videos will be worth it.
Each of the films give an “if only” message that the victim has learnt the hard way. It may be “if only I had checked” or “if only I hadn’t been so greedy”. Victims portrayed in the films range from an 88 year old ripped off by her carer through to three students who describe how they were scammed via the internet and social media.
A synopsis of all the films and their “if only" messages is shown below.
|No||Subject||Victim / Type||Synopsis||"if only" message|
Gives advice on customer not present, customer account fraud and dishonest colleagues
Retail fraud can be avoided #ifonly people check
|2||Courier Fraud||Elderly victims||Fake Police officer rings elderly couple and collects credit/debit cards from them||
Your bank and the police will never collect your bank card
Your bank and the police will never ask for your PIN
#ifonly they had rung 101 and spoken to the real police rather than trust the phone number given them
|3||Romance Fraud||Individual||Victim of dating website loses £20k||
#ifonly I had skyped her, checked her identity or just been more careful
|4||Hotmail Hacking||60 year old||
Elderly couple engage builder then hotmail account hacked
#ifonly I had realised an account could be hacked.
#ifonly I had spoken to the builder before making any payment over the internet.
I will think twice before doing business with a Hotmail account again.
|5||Carer Fraud||Elderly - 88 years||Elderly lady trusts her carer who then empties her bank account||
#ifonly I hadn’t let her use my card for shopping on Amazon.
#ifonly I didn’t give her my pin number
|6||Ghost Broker||Student||Student buys fake insurance off Gumtree, prosecuted by Police||
Don’t buy your insurance from social media, in a pub, or from classified ads
#ifonly I had thought that the deal I was getting was too good to be true.
|7||Online Fraud||Student||Student who receives e mail that he has had tax refund of £250, adds bank details and loses everything.||
#ifonly I had checked what was real and hadn’t claimed the refund
Housemates steal students identity, steal her student loan, money launder through her account
#ifonly I had monitored my bank account more closely
|9||Bankrupt Offender||Offender's stroy||Bankrupt who acts in the management of a company and is imprisoned||
#ifonly I had sought some legal advice or some help and understood what it meant to be a bankrupt
|10||Healthcare Fraud||Told by son of 90 year old||Sold raspberry keytones and aloe vera for £12k and persuaded 90 yr old to stop taking wharfarin||
#ifonly she had checked where the caller was ringing from, spoke to family or not given out bank details
|11||Investor Boiler Room Fraud||Over 50||Ponzi/boiler room fraud of investor who loses money||
#ifonly I had thought about it.
If it sounds too good to be true it probably is
|12||Business Cheque Fraud||Victim over 50||Owner of business over relies on employee who takes £300k from business by writing cheques for cash.||
#ifonly I had not left her the cheques and trusted her so much
|13||Spoofing App Fraud||Over 50's||
Accounts administrator subject to spoofing app – false phone call from bank with number disguised.
#ifonly I had phoned the bank back on the customer service number and verified the called was genuine
There are no restrictions on the use and distribution of the videos and the MFF hope to spread their anti-fraud messages as wide as possible. Although the films are copyrighted, the MFF believe they are ideal for training purposes, education and generally warning everyone to just “TAKE FIVE” before getting involved in something being offered. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is!
Please share the messages with your contacts, friends and family to help stop fraud. For social media please use our hashtag
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, or someone has tried to defraud you, report it to Action Fraud.
If you need advice, contact the
Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06
If you are in immediate risk or in an emergency ring 999