USING A RELATIONSHIP TO COMMIT FRAUD
Affinity Fraud is a scam that affects the emotions as well as the finances of it’s victims.
It is known as ‘affinity’ fraud as it relies upon a level of trust between the fraudster and their victim.
Typically, the fraudster will join some sort of group, such as a church or club, and will then begin to build trust between themselves and the other members.
Often, the fraudster will also take a position of influence within the group before they begin fleecing the other members.
This is because their status will lead to an increased level of trust.
The fraudster is likely to have plenty of experience of affinity fraud which means they may have spent many years perfecting their craft and learning how to build trust and put others at ease.
Obviously it goes without saying that you can’t live a life where you distrust everyone as that would be no way to live.
However, it would certainly pay to be aware that this type of fraud does occur.
RELATIONSHIPS FORMED FOR FINANCIAL GAIN
Someone behind an affinity fraud operation will, by the very nature of the group they join, automatically gain a certain level of trust amongst their fellow members.
They will quickly work to gain more and more trust by befriending the group’s leaders or becoming a leader in order to further build trust among the members.
Their patience is often rewarded with big payoffs.
Word of mouth amongst members can create a situation ripe for exploitation.
THE EMBARRASMENT OF AFFINITY FRAUD
Affinity Fraud operations are often hard to identify and stop due to the fact that victims are often either in denial, or too embarrassed to report the crime to the relevant authorities.
The victim may feel that the money or property that was taken by the fraudster was in some way freely given, so there’s nothing anyone can do.
That simply isn’t true.
At the very least, the crime should be reported in order to prevent the same thing happening to others.
Think twice before giving money to anyone, even if it is a church member for example.
People are not always who they appear to be.