Offshore fraud is any fraud that takes place outside the jurisdiction in which you live. It is also generally used for frauds committed outside the mainstream anti-fraud jurisdictions such as the UK and USA. It often centres on locations that target financial investors because of loose or beneficial tax laws.
Fraud Advisory Services has been involved in a number of fraud investigations that involve such jurisdictions – from the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands to Jersey, the Isle of Mann and the Middles eastern countries. Often fraud investigations involve a treck around countries at the forefront of the financial markets such as Sweden, Switzerland and Canada – only to find funds disappearing into a tax haven at some point of the money laundering process.
Could You Be at Risk of Offshore Fraud?
Offshore fraud is a devastating type of fraud that affects many people each year. Whilst it can happen to anybody, there are certain individuals that are more likely to be targeted by fraudsters.
Sometimes, offshore accounts can be beneficial. Having an offshore account can allow you to save money on taxes as well as earn a larger return on the money you save. The circumstances must be right and it is not a matter of simply transferring all you funds held in the UK for example out to a bank in the Caribbean – there is nothing more likely to start a HMRC enquiry into your affairs (perhaps it is the perceived opportunity of a possible foreign trip to a sunny clime paid by the taxpayer?). However, many people will open credit or charge card accounts offshore that will allow them increased flexibility in their dealings but also facilitate a means for money laundering by the crooks.
There are many genuine banks based offshore that offer legal opportunitiesand many are branches of major chains such as Barclays and HSBC. The trouble is that hundreds of other banks, respectable and not so straight, compete for offshore investment funds. The offshore scams will all look genuine among the legitimate business services, and in some cases you can even go and meet the staff in a local seminar held in your home country.
Who is Most at Risk?
When a fraudster does their homework on this type of fraud, they notice that middle aged people are the best targets. It is also usually men that respond to this type of fraud too. When you get older you start to worry about your retirement. Have you got enough saved up and will it enable you to live comfortably? Unfortunately in this day and age most people do not have enough money to last them through retirement. That is when they look at ways to earn more. Offshore opportunities can seem ideal in this situation.
Everyone who needs money can fall for this type of fraud. Although you need to actually have a little money saved in order to invest in the first place. That is why older people do tend to be the main targets.
There are a few fraudsters who don’t do their homework and emails are sent to random addresses. This is the easiest way for the fraudulent company to receive many different responses.
Overall there are certain groups of people who are more at risk of this type of fraud. It isn’t always easy figuring out whether an offshore opportunity is worthwhile. It is always a good idea to get advice before you make any investment; especially an offshore one! If you do you could avoid being the victim of offshore fraud.