Home page
Home Page
About this site
Articles
Alerts
Cases
Cases Pending
Contact
Site Updates
Site Map (test)
Warning
Similar Sites
Information for Victims
Research

Latest News

News Roundup

Search

Utilities

Restricted Area
 
 
Hosted by:
Web design
Notition
Helping hands for business
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Some sources of support, counselling and advice for victims of fraud in the United Kingdom.

 

For additional information resources visit the Research section.

For more information on prominent scams and bogus schemes visit the Alerts section.

 

Introduction.

 

Many individual victims of fraud and white collar crime suffer in silence. The emotional and financial costs can be truly vast, but all victims should know that they are not alone. UnjustIS cannot offer solutions to their burdens, but it can offer comfort and reassurance that their plight is being recognised and addressed, all be it too slowly for some. The modern world is very confusing: for a generation or more we have been exhorted to take more control over our financial security, and to make provision for later years. We have been encouraged to embrace the market ethic and to take business risks. We respond by entrusting our savings and investments to professional advisors and institutions, or by actively involving ourselves in business or investment ventures. Others prefer to take a shorter route to securing their own futures; they prefer to lie, cheat and steal by betraying our trust. They are the fraudsters, and they are increasing in number and cunning. The present emergence of financial scandals such as Equitable Life, Split Capital Investment Trusts, and other high profile cases is symptomatic of a system that is seriously flawed, a rich feeding ground for the greedy and the fraudsters. For some useful and informative articles and editorial, go to the Articles section.

 

This paragraph is very important: Individual victims often experience extreme self-doubt; they wonder over and over again what they should have done or not done to avoid their predicament, and they often re-live every stage of the fraud until it becomes an obsession. They face the interminably recurring question: "What did I do to deserve this?", as if they are somehow being punished for something without knowing what it is. Their emotional and physical health suffers, and friends and families frequently cannot understand or empathise, too often blaming the victim for having been naive or foolish, which actually makes their suffering worse. Their despairing condition makes them extremely receptive to offers of help and remedies. Shamefully often this exposes them to re-victimisation, the darkest side of fraud and deception. Fraudsters network with each other. They often share information about victims and their resources, and like many criminals they cannot resist going back for another bite at the cherry, either directly or through associates. In other cases the victims' vulnerabilities are spotted by another opportunist who will promise the Earth yet deliver nothing. When realising that they have been betrayed again, some victims rid themselves of the misery by taking their own lives, handing the ultimate victory to the fraudsters. These charlatans will also be exposed by UnjustIS.

 

Fraudsters don't care. They do not live by the rules of civilised society.  Instead they enjoy the game and often take cruel pleasure in the tortures they inflict, congratulating themselves on their cleverness and duplicity. Many believe that they have a right to do what they do, and they often believe their own lies. The greatest weapon in their arsenal of deceit is ensuring that they possess undisclosed information that would be crucial to the decisions of their victims. Their weakness is that they fail to juggle all their lies effectively, dropping a trail that can lead to their being exposed.

 

"Criminals may seek out individuals who have a trusting nature, respect authority, or are overly compassionate. They may tailor their scam to fit these characteristics and, in effect, use a person's best qualities against them. This is another reason why crimes of fraud are especially insidious and may have such long-lasting psychological effects." (source)

 

Visitors are welcome to submit a general synopsis of their understanding of fraud and injustice in the Articles section.

 

Knowledge base and support - in order from top of table: legal, financial and mental/emotional welfare.

Looking for a solicitor to help with business or investment matters? See Lawyers for your Business

Location

Description

Ultrascan Advanced Global Investigations "The global investigations group for your business and private investigative needs." A very large information resource about a variety of scams.

Office of the Legal Services Complaints Commissioner

 

Bar Pro Bono Unit

289–293 High Holborn
London
WC1V 7HZ
DX 188 London Chancery Lane
Bar Pro Bono Unit Tel: 020 7611 9500

In the Unit’s first 8 years more than 1,600 barristers have volunteered their services, over 4,000 applications have been received and more than 1,500 individuals have been assisted.

The Bar Council

289-293 High Holborn, London WC1V 7HZ
DX: 240 LDE
Tel: 020 7242 0082
Fax: 020 7831 9217

"Professionals" may now instruct barristers direct, you know?

More here soon.

Legal Services Complaints Commissioner

Telephone:
0845 456 51 50

If you make a submission online: "...we may get in touch with you in the future."
 

The Law Society's Consumer Complaints Service

As at Jan 2007: The Legal Complaints Service
Victoria Court
8 Dormer Place
Leamington Spa
Warwickshire
CV32 5AE
Tel: 0845 608 6565

See: Consumer Complaints Service article

 

The Law Society has spent millions on rebranding itself and its complaints handling functions. I suspect that it will continue to fail consumers, preferring instead to protect its members above all else.

 

Department for Constitutional Affairs - Pre-Action protocols

Complainants might familiarise themselves with the respective protocols, which may be downloaded in Adobe pdf format

Civil Procedures Rules

Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal

3rd Floor, Gate House
1 Farringdon Street
London EC4M 7NSTel: (020) 7329 4808
Fax: (020) 7329 4833
e-mail: enquiries@solicitorsdt.com
LDE Box No. 395

The Tribunal adjudicates upon alleged breaches of rules of professional conduct which are designed to maintain the reputation of the solicitors' profession for honesty, probity, trustworthiness independence and integrity. The Tribunal has power to strike off a solicitor from the Roll, suspend from practice, fine or reprimand.

Community Legal Service now The Community Legal Advice Service

 

Tel: 0845 345 4 345

If you live in England or Wales and want free high-quality legal information to help you deal with your legal problems, Community Legal Service Direct (CLS Direct) can help.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is the UK's statutory fund of last resort for customers of authorised financial services firms. This means that FSCS can pay compensation if a firm is unable, or likely to be unable, to pay claims against it. FSCS is an independent body, set up under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA). Our service is free to consumers..."We will cover client account arrangements, which are usually set up by solicitors and list individual depositors, provided the deposit-taker (e.g. bank or building society) is authorised to accept deposits, which would normally be the case."

The Liberty Guide to Human Rights.

"A complaint against a solicitor may be about overcharging, a complaint about negligence by your solicitor or a general complaint about how you were dealt with by him or her. You may also wish to complain about someone else’s solicitor. In all cases you should first of all complain to the firm itself so that, if possible, your problem can be settled without taking the matter further. If your problem is not resolved, you should refer the matter to the senior partner in the firm, or the partner who has specific responsibility for dealing with complaints. If the problem is still not resolved, the action you take next will depend on the nature of your complaint."

Citizens' Advice Bureaux The Citizens Advice service helps people resolve their legal, money and other problems by providing free, independent and confidential advice, and by influencing policymakers. Every Citizens Advice Bureau is a registered charity reliant on trained volunteers and funds to provide these vital services for local communities.
Citizens' Advice Bureau at the Royal Courts of Justice "The CAB is located in the main hall of the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in London. It is open on Monday to Friday from 10.00am to 1.00pm and from 2.00pm to 5.00pm. It runs a telephone help line on 0845 120 3715, which is available on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11.00am to 12.00 noon."
Law4Today "Law4today.com is a partnership of journalists, lawyers and publishers whose aim is to fill the increasing gap between understanding and applying your legal rights and the ability to access and pay for legal services." Useful site, pleasingly designed.
Baehrs solicitors (see caution below) Baehrs is one of the very few solicitors' firms prepared to publicise its willingness to tackle negligence within its own profession. "Many solicitors feel uncomfortable about suing other professionals, especially fellow solicitors. We have no such reluctance. We firmly believe that the profession must not close ranks when things go wrong."

Caution:

The solicitors' firm above makes it very clear that they are prepared to act against other solicitors in negligence claims. Be aware, however, that many solicitors who advertise that they specialise in solicitors' or professional negligence does not necessarily mean that they will act for claimants. Many such firms specialise in acting for firms against whom complaints are made, and for their insurers.* Avoid approaching such firms if you have a complaint against other solicitors. For more information about choosing a solicitor, go to Lawyers for your Business.

 

* For a list of some firms that might fall into this category, see Dark List

D.I.Y.Law services

Lawpack

"Lawpack is the self-help legal publisher for home and business. We offer an unparalleled range of books, kits, form packs and software, plus a growing list of popular business and consumer titles." There is also a very good glossary of legal terms on the site.
Citizens' Advice Bureau at the Royal Courts of Justice WHEN people go to law, the assumption is that they will brief lawyers to represent them. The reality is that more and more people cannot afford to do so, and find themselves having to comply with rules and procedures that are hard to cope with. But for the past 25 years such “litigants in person” at the Royal Courts of Justice have been able to find the help they need from the RCJ Citizens Advice Bureau, a member of the Citizens Advice movement.

Law Centres Federation

Encourages the development of publicly funded legal services for those most disadvantaged in society and promotes the Law Centre model as the best means of achieving this. To improve access to justice we promote good Law Centre practice and innovation in the delivery of high quality legal services to the community.

Cardiff Centre for Ethics Law & Society "Led by Cardiff Law School and based at Cardiff University, this virtual centre connects researchers and practitioners in medicine, science, the social sciences and humanities." It is searchable and features many useful articles and research resources.
160 letters that get results A new Which? book, shows how to complain effectively and obtain redress for most consumer problems.
They Work For You Can: 1.Find out more about your MP 2. Search everything said in Parliament since 2001 3. Comment on the most recent Debates, Written Answers, Westminster Hall debates, and Written Ministerial Statements

Yard Launches Huge Crackdown on Fraud Gangs.

Download the Sterling news bulletin from the Metropolitan Police (pdf)

Scotland Yard today launched its biggest-ever drive to crackdown on professional fraudsters who are estimated to cost the capital’s economy £28 billion a year. Codename: Sterling

LAWYERS HELPING LAWYERS

 

"21st century communications and technology are meant to aid you, but are they actually adding to the pressures in your professional life?
Are you coping with the expectations of those around you that you should always be totally in control?
Are you creating even more pressure with the high standards and expectations that you have of your own performance?"

LawCare

Also includes sound, general advice about stress, addiction, bullying and other workplace issues. UJ

LawCare is an advisory and support service to help lawyers, their staff and their immediate families to deal with health problems such as depression and addiction, and related emotional difficulties.
We offer the opportunity to discuss health issues and problems which are interfering with, or have the potential to interfere with, work performance and/or family life – and to seek help in resolving the problem in its early stages. The service is free and entirely confidential.

Financial Services Consumer Panel

"We work to ensure that the FSA (Financial Services Authority) regulates the financial services industry in the UK in the interests of consumers.
This means that we advise and monitor the FSA on all its policies and activities from an independent consumer point of view.
We also review and comment on wider developments in financial services if we feel that consumers are losing out.
This website aims to show how we are working for a better deal for all consumers of financial services."

This site has been produced as a resource for everyone concerned with the provision of housing for people with learning disabilities.

Housing Options

Housing Options is an independent advice and information service for people with learning disabilities. The aim is to assist people with learning disabilities achieve greater control over aspects of their life and to provide more housing and support choices – more options for individuals, parents, social services, care agencies. Housing Options exists to help people obtain the best option for their circumstances and this includes independent supported living and home ownership for people with learning disabilities. It does this by providing practical help, advice and information. It can be a gateway to accessing different types of social housing.

 

Dr Ju Gosling explores the difficulties faced by 'disabled' people in the workplace.

"Disability discrimination has supposedly never been higher up the agenda." "Disabled people have the lowest incomes and highest daily living costs of any group, as well as being the most vulnerable to the effects of stress."

DTI launches new anti-fraud Web site The Department for Trade and Industry has launched an online service to help people protect themselves from scams. ZDNET article
Equifax launches Credit rating service online An internet service has been launched to let people check their credit rating. For a £11.75 fee the encrypted service from Equifax, one of the UK's two major credit reference agencies, will outline an individual's credit history.
The government has announced a new online "one-stop shop" to help prevent ID fraud.

Home Office anti-fraud web site

Identity theft occurs when your personal information is used by someone else without your knowledge. It may support criminal activity, which could involve fraud, deception, or obtaining benefits and services in your name.
FSA's Firm and Person Check Service If you do not use an authorised firm or authorised person (for investment advice. UJ) you will not have access to available complaints procedures and compensation schemes if things go wrong. You will not have this option if you use an unauthorised firm or unapproved person. The FSA have publised a list of unauthorised firms that are currently targetting (sic) UK investors.
Petition Online PetitionOnline.com provides free online hosting of
public petitions for responsible public advocacy. Start your own petition
MP's surgery This is one of the most concise guides for people with complaints against legal professionals in the UK.

Crimes of Persuasion

This once very valuable site has been taken down on 27 November 2002 for alarming reasons that are featured in the Articles section.

As at 13 March 2003 UnjustIS is pleased to report that Crimes-of persuasion is back online. Update: Crimes of Persuasion launches a new forum for fraud victims and fraud fighters.

Successunlimited

Obituary: Guardian 21 January 2006

Tim Field, who has died aged 53 from cancer, was a world authority on bullying and psychiatric injury, and author of the best-selling Bully in Sight (1997). His vision was for a bully-free world, and he campaigned in schools, further and higher education, and the workplace to achieve this. In 1994, after nearly 20 years working in computing, he had himself been a victim of workplace bullying and suffered a breakdown. After recovering, he became passionate about understanding and dealing with the problem.

Tim Field, anti-bullying campaigner, born April 24 1952; died January 15 2006
 

Tim Field ran this anti-bullying and anti-victimisation site. It profiles bullies, their mentality and tactics on a huge scale, diligently raising awareness of hundreds of issues. It is a huge resource that defies adequate definition here. Tim is a champion of the underdog, the meek and the weak, and he does not pull his punches in their support. His site also addresses fraud and the mentality of fraudsters.

 

It is said that the good die young. Tim Field's courage, tenacity and unwavering support for the victims of bullying and other forms of personal abuse was a salutary example to us all. The most fitting tribute would be to ensure that his legacy is not squandered and that the foundations he laid will continue to be built upon. We all have a duty in that respect. (UJ)

FraudAid

Another anti-fraud site run by Annie McGuire who takes a keen interest in victims and their plight. Annie is very active in the U.S.A., but also welcomes contact from victims abroad. This site provides sound advice on how to report a fraud, and how to prepare a case summary. A concise but comprehensive summary is essential when reporting fraud to the police, insurers, professional regulators and healthcare specialists. If you need assistance preparing a summary, contact Fraudaid or UnjustIS.

Benefits and Work

A useful web resource for those in need and genuinely claiming benefits of any sort. Regular newsletters keep subscribers informed about important developments in the benefits arena.

Victim Support - United Kingdom only Victim Support is the independent charity which helps people cope with the effects of crime. They provide free and confidential support and information to help you deal with your experience. They also aim to promote and advance the rights of victims and witnesses in all aspects of criminal justice and social policy.
Depression Alliance - United Kingdom A web site with information about depression symptoms, treatments for depression and self help groups. As well as being of use to distressed fraud victims, consider this deeply alarming statistic: 20% of all deaths by young people are by suicide.  Another excellent, probably overriding reason to stamp out fraud lest the suicide rate increases in later life.
Mind - England and Wales only One in four people may have mental health problems during their life, that's why Mind works for a better life for everyone with experience of mental distress in England and Wales. Mind does not cover Scotland and they focus on mental health problems rather than learning difficulties.
Your Rights: The Liberty Guide to Human Rights Liberty's online guide to human rights law for England and Wales. This site provides comprehensive information on 18 different rights and freedoms, with particular attention to the effect on these rights of the incorporation of the European Convention of Human Rights under the Human Rights Act 1998. It also features a useful section on complaining about solicitors.
US Department of Justice "Resource Kit" There is no UK parallel with this American resource for victims of fraud, which is readily available through the Office for the Victims of Crime. The guide can be downloaded in its entirety, or by section. Sadly, the UK Serious Fraud office will not stir unless a fraud involves at least a million Pounds, and it offers little support for smaller victims for whom the losses can be profound, irrespective of the sums involved.
UK Metropolitan Police Fraudalert This site has been developing well. It is informative and easy to navigate, offering visitors information about a variety of frauds and techniques used to sell fraudulent investments. The Metropolitan Police web site trumpets a clear message: "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
How To Complain Howtocomplain.com is a free service that brings together loads of
information people need to complain and provides a facility to make complaints online using a simple form that they make sure gets sent to the right people. It's a very useful site which also offers comprehensive links to agencies of the legal professions.
Samaritans Needs little introduction. It's good to know that people still care.
NCPTSD This website is provided as an educational resource concerning PTSD and other enduring consequences of traumatic stress.
CASIA Complaints against solicitors - action for independent adjudication. Irritating background music, but some useful information pages.
Take a break Tim Field's site offers almost all the lawyer jokes.
Just Ask The Community Legal Service
DTI The Department of Trade and Industry launches its Consumer's Guide to Scams and Rip-offs.
Victims of Crime Trust Helping those affected by homicide.
The Big Issue Street newspaper published on behalf of and sold by homeless people. At present it's £1.20 per copy. Give £1.50 instead - or more, if you feel like it.
Find your MP Listing, short biography and contact details for all 659 members of the House of Commons.
For additional information resources visit the Research section.