The City of London is known for many things – the Inns of Court, the London Stock Exchange, the Lord Mayor’s Parade.
It’s also known as a hub of finance and that’s a large area of investigation for Private Detective London. Whether we’re talking about the massive fraud conducted by financial institutions or chasing down a debtor who has skipped out on paying the rent, finance is generally one of the key reasons for us to be asked for tracing services.
Oddly enough, when finance is involved, many of our clients seem to feel a kind of shame or embarrassment when they first approach us to discuss how we can help them with trace a missing person. There’s a good reason for this. Most financial fraudsters operate by becoming very close to their victims – a Ponzi scheme depends on the scammer becoming a friend, so that formal evidence of accounting just doesn’t feature in the relationship – so they don’t just steal money, they trade on the basic decency of the people they dupe.
As a private detective London has shown me that there tend to be patterns to many of these schemes. While we work hard to track down fraudsters and bring them to justice, the truth is that the shame our clients feel does go away, when they have the satisfaction of bringing the fraudster to book, and we’re always delighted when we can help put a financial scammer out of business.
So our advice is to watch out for:
- Private company letterheads … anybody can create a good logo
- Delays in getting your money out of an investment
- Vague descriptions of where the money is being invested such as ‘stocks and shares’ or ‘currency trading’.
If you are in any doubt, protect yourself by:
- Asking to visit the offices where the company is based – a legitimate organisation will have some centre of operations you can examine, no matter how modest
- Demanding the business phone number and calling it without warning – if your ‘top notch’ financial adviser answers the phone rather than a receptionist or secretary, be worried!
- Checking people out with reputable trade bodies.
The other kind of financial fraud is much lower key and involves people who don’t pay a couple of months rent then do a moonlight flit, or those who buy something in instalments and don’t finish paying for the goods they’ve had. While this can be a much smaller sum of money, it can still be significant to the person who’s lost out – even more, they can feel a sense of injustice that their good nature has been traded on.
In such circumstances investigation services can help. Working out of a hub in the capital city, we can trace individuals and provide evidence across the UK and abroad. This helps our clients in two ways – first they often get their money back, and second their sense of justice and self esteem is restored because they didn’t allow a petty criminal to get away with it.