A Lancashire businessman with an engineering firm was disturbed to discover from a bank statement that £25,000 had gone missing from his business account.
When police investigated the crime, they realised fraudsters had pieced together information from the man’s business website, Linkedin and social media accounts and even recovered unshredded paperwork from his company’s bin to build up a picture of him.
Det Cons Mark Aldridge, fraud and liaison officer who works in the economic crime unit at Lancashire Police, says: “As this man’s social media accounts were not secure, the fraudsters were able to identify dates of birth, his wife’s name, his children’s names and even his car registration from a photo.
When they had enough information, they went to his bank and effectively took over his identity and set up a parallel account. At their chosen moment, they moved money into this account.
“The businessman was furious and it was a real eye-opener to him how much he had inadvertently given away about himself. A few simple things such as leaving his social media accounts open for all to see and not doing regular security updates cost him.”