The Sunday Times - This woman made millions by convincing rich, even famous, people that they would become ill or die if they didn’t give her money. Why did they believe her?
CUT..........The money was to be delivered in cash, in a padded envelope sealed like a piece of airport luggage, bearing the names and birth dates of the people concerned.
The package was sent to Surinam to be tied to a tree in the rainforest, where it was left untouched while Pa started work on the case. Eventually there would be £3m, and maybe as much as £7m, flapping in waterproof envelopes from the tree.
Before you laugh, consider this. Research shows that high-achieving professionals are the most likely to be defrauded, while the poor are harder to trick as they do not trust their own judgment. Frank Engelsman, a fraud specialist, says doctors are especially vulnerable to scams that encourage them to do good. “They often fall for a scam that starts with a request to help the less fortunate,” he says. “You need the victims to trust their own capabilities and experience.”
The research, carried out by Ultrascan, an IT fraud agency based in the Netherlands, also shows a strong correlation between being conned and a family trauma. Among people who lose more than £150,000 to e-mail fraudsters, there is an 85% chance of a recent, parent-related event such as death or acrimonious separation impairing their judgment.
And this is exactly what Campbell constructed: the perfect crime to trap intelligent people at a vulnerable time. Getting the victims to co-operate with this investigation has taken gentle persuasion and patience, because they now feel embarrassment, guilt and disbelief at their own actions. “I feel a chump,” says Richard, a solicitor with cancer who lost thousands.
It would be wrong to give even the first name of another casualty, the director of a company that identifies financial fraud. He gave £700,000 in a desperate attempt to save his wife.
“You end up doing things you would never have done in a normal state of mind,” says Chantelle, a poised woman in her thirties who surrendered £170,000 she did not have.
This is how it works.............CUT
read on in The Sunday Times Online
Ultrascan FIU Financial Intelligence Unit - A mixture of intelligence gathering, investigations, reputational risk mitigation and Innovative Technology in line of objectives. Focused on external information and stakeholder engagement, to detect exposure to financial crime risk.