A quick search online for “latest scams” will confirm what the ladies on RipOff Britain have been showing us for some time:
“Where there’s money, there are scammers”
Let us look at some examples from a long list
- Council tax refund scam; Energy scams; waterboard scam
- Phone scam; Mobile messaging scams
- Fake Ukraine (or other charity) fundraisers
- Medical alert system scam; Fake NHS Covid-19 PCR text; Covid pass scam; Track and trace scam
- Loft insulation scam; roofing scams
- Pension pot scams
- Fake insurance letters
- Green Homes Grant scam
- Forex trading and brokerage scams
- Legal scams – letters claiming to be from X & Y Solicitors
- etc. etc….
What makes a scammer?
What characterises and links many of these scams is that they often target vulnerable people, often elderly, and con them into believing the scammer is someone they’re not.
Some of the varied methods they use to extract money are to:
- scare them into paying – e.g. by pretending to be someone ‘official’ like a lawyer or the local Council and say that if they don’t pay £xxx, they will be punished in some way.
- con their victim into thinking they need something (e.g. their roof needs mending, or there’s a time-limited Government initiative on some modern heating system) and that they, the scammer, can fix it for them at a very good price.
- con their victim into thinking they are doing a good deed by helping a charity.
Scammers rely on the fact they what they say COULD be genuine. Someone genuinely raising funds for a worthwhile charity may knock at your door. In that case, the victims are not just you but also the real charity.
Such people are happy exploiting the fears and weaknesses of vulnerable people to scam them out of money they may not be able to afford. They have no morals, no sense of right or wrong, no empathy for their victims. They are cold-blooded predators who think only of what they can get out of a situation.
If such a person thought that there was an almost surefire way of obtaining lots of money with very little risk, what do you think they would do?
Sadly, there are many people who have been the victims of rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse as a child. And anyone with a conscience can only have sympathy with genuine victims of such crimes.
Unfortunately, however, it serves as extremely attractive bait to this type of unscrupulous people that victims (and those who claim to be victims) are able to claim what can be very substantial financial compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and /or via a civil case against the alleged perpetrator.
The CICA will generally pay compensation to anyone who claims to have been a victim of sexual assault/abuse and have reported it to the police. It is not necessary for the accused to be convicted for this to happen.
The complainant/scammer will get lifetime anonymity and the support of the police who have been told to “believe the victim” (complainant).
If, by some good fortune (for the false accuser), their victim is found guilty, the scammer has a great chance of getting an even bigger payoff by going to a no-win, no-fee law firm and starting a civil case against his victim.
However, even if the case is dropped and, even if the police suspect that the allegations were fabricated, the chances of the false accuser being prosecuted are very small, unless the police find hard proof that they lied.
As we have seen, scammers are prepared to research, act a role, and go to a great deal of trouble, often for much smaller amounts of money. Why would such people NOT be attracted by making false allegations if the possibility was there?
The Numbers Game
Whether it concerns rape, other forms of indecent assault or historical abuse, many people will blindly declare that the numbers of genuine victims far outweigh the number of false allegations. Some may even put a figure on it – such as “only 1% or 2% are false.”
There is no justification for these claims and they are wrong.
When so-called ‘evidence’ is quoted, they often cherry-pick the figures to suit their argument.
For example, they will point to the low number of successful prosecutions of false accusers – and yet the same people complain of the low rate of successful prosecutions of sexual assault as a failing of the justice system.
Add to this, the reluctance to prosecute former complainants, no matter how dubious their claims and it is easy to see why successful prosecutions are so low.
What little research has been done points to much higher figures of false allegations.
Even from a purely avaricious standpoint (without considering other motives), it would be remarkable if there were not a large number of them.
And yet, it should not even be about numbers. Even if the statistics were as low as those claimed, it should make no difference to the fundamental principle of justice that the protection of the innocent is more important than the prosecution of the guilty. It is exactly why the burden of proof should always be on the prosecution.
This principle should be engraved into the minds of all those working in the justice system. And that applies equally to the Court of Appeal.
Society, the criminal justice system and genuine victims of sex crimes have to accept that making false allegations of sexual assault or abuse is a genuine problem. There are many possible motives for doing so but financial motivation is a big one.
Making false allegations of sexual assault or abuse, whether recent or long ago, against innocent people is considered fair game to unscrupulous people who will go to great lengths to lie and deceive their way to money, while riding on the back of the suffering of genuine victims.
It is not rare; it is common. Considering what is at stake, it would be extraordinary if it were not.
That is also why it is actually in the interests of genuine victims that the police investigate their claims fully and even-handedly.
If it was much harder and less profitable to make false allegations and get away with it, there would be fewer of them and make it easier for genuine victims to get the justice they deserve.