THE REAL STORY

Real People - - MISS THE BRIDE -

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…

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