THE REAL STORY
We all know to shield our PIN at the cashpoint and ignore poorly written e-mails purporting to be from our ‘bank’.
But most of us are naturally trusting when it comes to our own flesh and blood.
So it’s shocking to learn that more and more relatives are committing fraud against those closest to them.
The latest figures, released by accountancy firm KPMG, show ‘an explosion of cases in which individuals… have targeted their own relatives’.
Hitesh N Patel, partner in forensics at the firm, explains, ‘Fraudsters in the family are abusing their intimate knowledge and close connections to steal from partners and parents.
‘People are living longer, and we are seeing examples of people who are choosing to remove uncertainties about when or if they will get their inheritance by fraudulent means.
‘It’s also likely these cases are just the tip of the iceberg – frauds of this nature often go unreported, as embarrassed victims seek to “keep it in the family” and “forgive and forget”.’
And it’s not all drug-addicted black sheep teens nicking £20 for a fix.
KPMG’S figures found that 72 per cent of familial fraud was carried out by over-45s.
Older relatives are also more likely to be victims.
Last year, a report by Age UK estimated that 1.2 per cent of over-65s had suffered attempted or actual theft, fraud or coercion by someone known to them, most likely a family member.
So, keep a hold of your purses as Real People’s Miyo Padi investigates those who have committed the worst betrayal of all…