Victim Support following cyber fraud

Victim Support is the leading independent victim’s charity in England and Wales for people affected by crime and traumatic incidents. Last year it offered support to nearly a million victims of crime across the UK.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we are working with Victim Support to help those affected by cybercrime and data breaches. Ultimately, we want to ensure that victims have access to the support they need when they need it, as well as raising awareness of the threat to keep people safe online.

Find out more about our partnership with Victim Support.

Last year, Victim Support published a policy statement on fraud. While this document relates to all kinds of scams, it has some crucial information for victims of cyber fraud.

Here is a quick summary of some of the critical points, as well as more information about how we can help you claim compensation.

An introduction to fraud

There are different types of fraud including identity fraud, bank and credit account fraud, and dating fraud. A person who is guilty of fraud could face a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and/or a fine.

Victims of fraud experience a wide range of emotional and psychological responses. Some of the most common reactions include anger, distress, stress, feelings of shame, sadness, fear, embarrassment, and upset. There is also evidence to show that victims of fraud can suffer from mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. In some instances, falling victim to fraud can even lead to people feeling suicidal or even attempting suicide.

So being the victim of fraud can have a significant impact on you mentally and physically. Of course, everyone reacts differently, but for some people, the effects can also affect their friends, their family and their job.

However, all too often victims of online fraud are expected to “get over it”. And this approach clearly isn’t helpful.

What can you do if you are the victim of cyber fraud?

When it comes to cybercrime, the majority of those affected by fraud have suffered financial loss. And, depending on a range of factors the results can range from annoyance to bankruptcy, homelessness, and postponing or giving up retirement.

If you want to report that you have been the victim of online fraud or identity theft, contact Action Fraud. You can do this online or via telephone.

Action Fraud is the national fraud reporting service, and is the starting point for any police investigation into your loss. For any other form of cybercrime such as online stalking, harassment, or fears about sexual grooming, you should contact the police directly. If someone is convicted of a cybercrime against you, the court may order them to pay you compensation.

However, very often it is not possible to recoup your losses as the criminal is never caught. But if you have become the victim of cyber fraud because of the negligence of others (e.g. a business not taking proper care of your personal or financial information), you may be able to claim compensation.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we’ve been helping people to achieve the redress they deserve for over 50 years, so we know what it takes to make a successful cybercrime claim.

Victims of fraud should also seek help from Victim Support.

Protecting people from cyber fraud

Despite the risk, people are more likely to take steps to improve their home security than reduce their risk of falling victim to cyber-crime. But, with data breaches and hacks becoming increasingly common, more must be done to help individuals protect themselves.

Victim Support is doing what it can to help reduce fraud and in its policy paper discusses the need to:

  • Increase public awareness and understanding of fraud protection measures
  • Reduce susceptibility to fraud amongst vulnerable people
  • Enhance the police response to victims of fraud
  • Improve the service provided by banks to customers in cases of APP scams and relaxing SAR (serious activity report) rules on disclosure
  • Improve the reporting rate of fraud offences.

Victim Support’s position

To provide vulnerable banking customers with greater protection from fraud, Victim Support believes that:

“An optional mechanism should be introduced, whereby large transactions from their accounts are delayed and a nominated person is notified. This would offer them time to review and cancel suspected fraud payments. In addition, to determine whether additional measures, such as tailored warning messages and caps on the amount payable to new payees, should be offered by financial institutions nationally to customers, Victim Support would welcome further research into, and evaluation of, their effectiveness.”

Victim Support also supports “the development and introduction of a Public Available Specification that sets out best practice in the provision of financial services, including to vulnerable customers, which institutions are encouraged to adopt.”

The police and cyber crime

If you want the court to consider awarding you compensation, you need to tell the police. You also need to give them details about any damage or distress you have suffered. The police will pass this information to the Crown Prosecution Service, and it will make the request for compensation in court. However, in criminal proceedings, it can be difficult to persuade the prosecutor to seek a compensation order (following a conviction).

Unfortunately, according to Victim Support’s policy statement, the police are not consistently providing victims of fraud with an appropriate response to cyber-fraud. Officers can be unsympathetic in their initial reaction to fraud victims, and have a poor understanding of the impact of the crime. More must be done to demonstrate that the police take digital offences seriously.

Where the authorities are not interested, or where you do not want to make a criminal case, we can assist with a private prosecution. With this approach, your case goes before a judge in a civil trial. Often these cases are settled out of court. Proceedings can be started quickly, without the uncertainty associated with whether the prosecutor will investigate the case.

Cyber fraud claim solicitors

If you have been the victim of online fraud, our professional, friendly team will be pleased to answer any questions you might have, and advise you on whether you have a valid compensation claim.

If you have a straightforward claim, our quick claims form will help you to start this quickly and easily. This means you receive your compensation in the shortest possible time. However, if we believe you have a large, complex case, we’ll go through your options and may be able to act for you on a NO WIN, NO FEE basis.

In addition to fraud and financial crimes, we can help you to claim compensation for a range of cybercrime violations including:

  • Data protection breaches and other data leaks
  • Hacking
  • Identity Theft
  • Phishing
  • Copyright Infringements
  • Cyber extortion
  • Online harassment.

At Hayes Connor Solicitors, we understand that making a compensation claim can be stressful; especially where you have already been the victim of a crime. That’s why we make sure you always know what’s happening with your case and remove the jargon from the process.

Our process is fully compliant with data protection guidance, and we never put your details at risk.


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