LifeSearch and Financial Crime
LifeSearch take our responsibilities as a broker seriously and understand that we have a part to play in the prevention and detection of financial crime and have Anti-Money Laundering responsibilities.
The Life Assurance products that LifeSearch arrange have features which reduce their attractiveness, such as no cash surrender value, to a money launderer or terrorist financier. These protection policies provide proceeds that are only payable on death, disability or serious illness, so do not offer any real benefits to a money launderer or a terrorist financier, and consequently have a very low money laundering risk.
What does financial crime look like?
The term ‘Financial crime’ covers a wide range of criminal offences including insider dealing, money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud, bribery and corruption, tax evasion and market abuse. The motivation for this type of crime is to make money.
An estimate of the cost of serious and organised financial crime to the UK is £190 billion as a result of Fraud, according to The Annual Fraud Indicator; the effect of which is felt by individuals, companies and organisations.
How LifeSearch work towards preventing financial crime
All LifeSearchers try hard to stay vigilant, protect your information and work towards preventing financial crimes in a variety of ways. We do this by ensuring that our customers have a genuine need for their policies, have insurable interests for joint applicants or when insuring another life and through source of funds identification processes. Our teams also take care to protect the data they work with so that it can’t be accessed or used fraudulently outside of the business by following our Data Protection policy, having the necessary systems and software in place to protect us from hackers or intruders and by feeling able to say what we see at any point if something doesn’t look or sound right.
Could financial crime impact me?
Anyone could be a victim of financial crime, with the changes to how we interact with business and handle our finances, and the ever changing technology that criminals use to commit fraud it’s easy to get caught out and become a victim. This can be particularly damaging to the confidence of our customers in their ability to manage their financial affairs. There are some common scams that you can look out for to help keep you safe:
- Investment Fraud - This is when fraudsters pose as salespeople and contact you offering investment opportunities like shares, plots of land, gold, carbon credits or wine. When offering investment opportunities, fraudsters sometimes use publicly available information to impersonate genuine companies and employees.
- Pension Scams - Pension scams typically involve promises of pension investment opportunities or unsolicited offers to help you release cash from your pension early and placing it into unregulated or bogus schemes.
- Remote Access - Remote access is where fraudsters gain the ability to control your computer by persuading you to give them access. They do so from a distance, so they could be anywhere in the world.
- Money mules - ‘Money mules’ or ‘money transfer agents’ have stolen money transferred into their accounts, and then they move it on – typically sending it overseas.
- Online shopping scams - Fraudsters may create a fake website that looks real or fake sellers could convince you to send a payments directly to their bank account, but not send the goods you paid for.
- Vishing - Vishing is another way for fraudsters to commit financial crime - by using the phone to get private, personal and financial information from unsuspecting people.
For advice on how to protect yourself, more information on the different types of fraud or for help if you think you might have been a victim, please visit https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/.