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Note – there is a special Black Friday code available now! For 30% off all credits purchases, enter the promotional code BFBL4121 in the appropriate box when selecting your credit package. Offer closes on 30 November 2014 and can’t be combined with any other offer.

200 cybercrime gangs in London alone

An interesting piece in the Evening Standard reports the Metropolitan Police as saying that there are more than 200 organised gangs in London conducting some kind of online or ‘cyber’ fraud.

Police warn that these sophisticated operators often use social engineering – a combination of manipulative tricks and psychological techniques – over lengthy periods to gain the trust of victims.

There are new centres being set up to combat such crimes but individual vigilance is also needed. If you meet someone online, especially if you are going to engage in any kind of transaction with them, please take the time and care to verify their identity independently.

Check out our Background Reports and our identity check service for more. And be careful…


Open Electoral Roll data update

The latest updates to the 2014 open Electoral Roll are now live on There have been around 300,000 new and updated name and address records published to the site now since the last quarter.

If you’ve been looking for someone before and not found them, it might be worth another go now. Give our people search a try!

The updates include people that register with local councils through the year, which they might do if they move home, arrive in the area, change their names or otherwise need to update their electoral roll details. 


Dating scams back in the news

Online dating has opened up a world of possibilities for meeting new people, but it comes with its own new dangers; in particular that you have to be very careful about the identity and intentions of the people that you meet.

It could be a systematic scam taking hundreds of thousands, as with this story from the Mirror, with 19 British victims reported, or it could be a few hundred pounds as in this cautionary tale from the Banbury Guardian – again the victim was found via a dating site.

There are lots of ordinary nice people out there too, but if you are putting your trust in someone that you’ve only met online then you could be asking for trouble. Take the time to protect yourself and check them out first – it’s easy to do on

Cost of UK online fraud ‘£670m’

UK losses from online fraud have hit £670m a year, according to this piece in the Guardian today.

Fewer than one-third of victims have reported their losses, according to the survey on which the piece is based, but more than half of those surveyed said that they had suffered from some form of cybercrime in the past.

Don’t be a victim – if you are dealing with someone new that you have only encountered online, you need to check their identity carefully before proceeding – use an online identity check from or for the full picture, get a full Background Report.

Crime is down – if you exclude online crime!

Official crime stats apparently exclude a range of online offences – and if they were included, the crime rate would actually be going up! That’s according to a piece in the FT, which says that crime rates would be 40% higher if these were included.

That just gives you an idea of the scale of online crime and the extent to which crime has migrated online.

When you’re dealing online, make sure that you know who you’re dealing with!

Advice on avoiding fraud online

“Put the person’s name into the internet” is one of the useful pieces of advice that you’ll find in this handy piece on avoiding online fraud on ThisIsMoney.

It’s well worth a read – and if you’re dealing with someone who’s in the UK, save yourself a bit of time by searching for them directly on people search.

Alternatively if you already have an address for someone, you could either get a full Background Report on them or, if you just want to verify their identity, you could try VouchID.

However you’re checking on people, make sure that you don’t get caught out by the fraudsters.


Phishing threats

Protecting ourselves from fraud is the subject of this interesting piece in the Huffington Post.

Online banking fraud is up, and phishing is a big part of dragging people in. Always be very wary of any email asking you for your financial details – the fraudsters can be very sophisticated in putting together official-looking emails and fake websites.

Keep yourself protected – don’t deal with anyone online unless you’re confident you really know who you’re dealing with.

The rising tide of fraud

According to a story on the BBC website, there are not enough qualified police officers to deal with the huge rise in fraud in the UK.

Police records of fraud were up 17% annually, and it’s estimated by academics that there are almost 30 million frauds every year (including the many that go unreported).

Stoking the rise in fraud is cyber-crime – technology is used to fleece the unsuspecting in a variety of ways.

When you’re dealing online, especially with someone you’ve only met online, make sure that you take precautions to protect yourself. And if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

The cost of dating fraud

If you’re scammed on a dating site, expect to part with around £10k!

According to a piece in today’s Telegraph, the AVERAGE amount scammed in more than 600 dating fraud cases in just three months this year was £9,589!

By contrast, the cost of a Background Report on is just £14.99 (plus VAT).

Whatever you do, make sure that you protect yourself.