Fraud detection WAD

Virgin boss issues warning after scam alerts

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson says he believes he was duped by an impersonator claiming to be the British Defence Secretary asking for help with a ransom demand.

He describes on his blog how his assistant received a written note on what seemed to be government notepaper from Sir Michael Fallon. He called the number given and spoke to someone sounding like the Defence Secretary and was asked to help free a British diplomat who had been kidnapped and held by terrorists. Only after checking with Downing Street later he realised that it was a scam and passed the matter to police.

The incident has only now resurfaced after a friend of Branson got in touch who had fallen victim to a similar scam. This time Sir Richard himself appears to have been impersonated, with a conman carrying off an accurate impression and convincing the man to part with $2 million towards aid for the British Virgin Islands.

The Virgin boss has shared the story to warn others not to fall for similar scam attempts and also to appeal for information which may lead to the arrest of the conman.

Mike LaCorte, CEO of Conflict International, said there is plenty of professional help available that may lead to discovering the identity of the scammer. Mike, who has recently been elected President of the World Association of Detectives said: “Our group of almost 1000 global investigators can provide valuable collective knowledge and help in a bid to track this person down.” He added: “Some people can be very clever and persuasive but often they can leave clues without realising it, that’s where professional investigators can make the difference.”

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