Pilot program where victims of fraud recover money themselves proves success

A pilot program in which victims of online fraud hold the perpetrators liable and reclaim the money with the help of collection agencies, without waiting for an investigation from the police, has proved successful in more than half of the cases. The program deals with situations in which someone had ordered something online, but subsequently received nothing, the police reported on Saturday.

Over 200 victims of fraud took part in the pilot. With their permission, the police shared the details of fraudsters with the National Association of Bailiffs (LAVG) and the Service Organization for Direct Liability (SODA). More than a quarter got their money back in full and in another quarter of the cases victims received partial compensation.

The pilot was created because more and more people are being scammed online. “In addition, the police were often accused of doing too little for victims of online fraud,” the police said. “That’s how the idea arose to forward such cases to two private organizations, so that they could start procedures to ensure that at least as many victims as possible get their money back.”

The police also report that a number of perpetrators say they are happy that by paying the victim money, they do not initially have to deal with criminal law. “There is also a chance that perpetrators can still be prosecuted,” they said.

Of fraud victims who took part in the pilot, 72 percent report that it “met expectations” and 90 percent plan to again use LAVG or SODA in a new case of scams. The police are still investigating how to follow up on the insights from this trial program.

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