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20 Feb 2014
Anti-fraud helpline attracts one million visitors

Apeldoorn, 20 February 2014 – The Fraud Help Desk website registered its one millionth visitor on Wednesday on Wednesday. The FHD will mark its third anniversary next week. Public awareness about fraud appears to be rising: the number of people reporting cases of attempted fraud is on the increase.

70,000 reports
Some 930,000 people have now surfed to the FHD website for information about fraud; 70,000 have used the site to report cases of fraud, mostly online scams As many as 3,000 people lost money: a total of 30 million euros or 10,000 euros on average for each case.

Advance-fee fraud
Advance-fee fraud is the biggest money-earner for scammers: a total of 16 million euros last year. Advance-fee fraud is related to dating, inheritance and lottery scams. Taking second place in the list of lucrative scams is investment fraud. Those reporting this type of scam to FHD lost a total of 6.2 million euros in fake investments.

Extreme cases
One case involves a man from the southern province of Noord-Brabant who lost 1,5 million euros in a combined dating and inheritance scam. Another man from the same province took his own life when he found out that his dating sweetheart didn’t exist, though she had managed to con him out of 145,000 euros.

Psychological study
The FHD will soon start a psychological study into victims of dating scams. The findings may help FHD staff to provide better counseling to dating fraud victims, partly to prevent them from social isolation and from ending up on welfare.

Expected increase in fraud reports
Fraud Help Desk GM Fleur van Eck says she expects a further rise in the number of fraud reports now that the Fraud Help Desk has become better-known to the general public. The FHD was founded in 2011 to raise awareness about fraud among individuals and businesses and to lend a helping hand to fraud victims.

For more information about this press release, please contact our communication desk.