Stealing the show

James was back in Edinburgh this week, picking a pocket or two at the Royal Lyceum Theatre. “It’s a beautiful theatre with so much history and the audiences have been really lovely.” he said. “The showman in me feels completely at home here. It’s great to be back”

 Onstage at the Royal Lyceum

Onstage at the Royal Lyceum

Keynote in Cannes

James presented his one-man show ‘James Freedman: Man of Steal’ at Le Palais des Festivals in Cannes last week as closing keynote for the Information Security Forum Congress.

Following its West End run, the hit show is now being snapped up by businesses looking for a unique and memorable way to improve fraud awareness in their teams.

“We all have a shared responsibility for keeping ourselves safe” said James, “You don't need to know how every fraud works but if you understand how the bad guys think, you'll never be a victim.”

The interactive show is based on a life-time spent studying fraudsters, criminals and con-men. James demonstrates just how easily he can steal your phone, skim your credit cards and even sell your house, while revealing real secrets which make any business more resilient to social engineering and fraud

Hacked on camera

Catch James on 'Police Interceptors' tomorrow on Channel 5. James shows Ortis Deley and Rick Edwards how to secure their mobile devices and explains what fraudsters can do with your personal details.

 Rick Edwards, James Freedman and Ortis Deley

Rick Edwards, James Freedman and Ortis Deley

Police Interceptors: Smash & Grab starts 6th Feb at 8pm on Channel 5

Passport Hustle... again

James has been pinching passports for the Foreign Office again to show just how easily you could get scammed. Last year the Passport Hustle campaign reached over 100,000 people, helping to raise awareness of the tricks thieves use to steal over 20,000 UK passports each year. This year, James is back with some new tricks which show just how easily he can swipe yours.

James said, “With identity theft on the rise, the actual cost of losing your passport could be thousands of pounds. Criminals and con-men are always evolving the tricks they use to target tourists, but these simple tips will really help you to stay safe. Always trust your instincts and be aware of anyone invading your personal space.”

Quick! Transfer all your money.

Think about it. Why would your bank, or any bank for that matter, ask a customer to move money to a “safe” account to avoid fraud? Can;t think of a good reason? That’s because their isn’t one.

Yet this is the kernel of a lie being told by fraudsters to hundreds if not thousands of people every single day.

Telegraph Money journalist Richard Evans asked James to help explain how fraudsters persuaded this victim to transfer her savings out of her bank. More importantly, the article includes James' tips and advice to avoid cyber crime.

Read the full article here

Do you make it easy?

How private is your personal information? This latest video from Action Fraud and CIFAS shows just what's possible.

James says, "One great way we can all fight the fraudsters is raising awareness by sharing their tactics. Don't just hope it won't happen... find out how to reduce the risks to you and your family. Please share this video with them and if someone's privacy settings aren't sorted, let them know."

Beat the Scammers

Video: James has been helping TalkTalk and Get Safe Online to Beat the Scammers, by revealing common tactics of phone fraudsters. Telephone and internet scams across the UK have reached an unprecedented high, with Britons now more likely to receive a landline call from a scammer, than from our best friends or family members.

With these crimes getting more frequent and more sophisticated, it's no surprise that nearly half of those surveyed by TalkTalk confessed they would be unable to spot a scam if it happened to them.

To address this problem and help people better protect themselves, James worked with TalkTalk to reveal five of the most common techniques scammers use.

Not in my name

James was asked by City of London Police to share some simple ways you can stay safe from identity fraud. James said, "I hope people will share this video with their family and friends. In just two and a half minutes, anyone can learn how to keep their personal information safe from fraudsters.

Reach for the SKY

Ahead of his new show, see what happened when James dropped in to the Sky News studio.

Oversharing

With his hit show Man of Steal, about to go on UK tour, James was interviewed by Celebrity Radio today. Hear what he had to say here

Do it like a (Fake) Boss

The latest figures from Action Fraud reveal that a modern version of the 'Fake Boss' scam led to 964 reports and losses of over £32 million in the last six months.

The scam typically targets employees in finance departments, but don't think that the fraudsters are only attacking big companies, small businesses are actually more likely targets.

How does the 'Fake Boss' scam work

An employee in a company's accounts department receives an email from the boss or senior colleague asking them to make a payment or transfer company funds. The email address and signature both look genuine but the email is fake, sent from a fraudster who hopes to con the unwitting employee to pay out.

Last week, a company I know was defrauded out of £35,000. The email account of one of the Directors was spoofed and an email sent to the Finance Manager requesting a transfer. The Finance Manager tried to check with the Director who was in a meeting, so she asked for confirmation by email and the scammers confirmed!

If you're thinking, "this doesn't apply to me" then think again. How would you react if your boss sent you an email asking you to transfer money to another account in the company's name? Or if an employee or supplier emailed you to say they had moved banks and provide you with their new bank account details?

The weak link with this scam, as with so many others, is the very human desire to believe people we know. But it is a fact today that emails, texts or other messages can easily be faked. So even those that appear to come from trusted sources, simply cannot be trusted.

What can you do to avoid this scam?

This is the same advice I give to avoid all scams. Be cautious.

Any unexpected instruction or message relating to a payment or transfer, including any request that does not fall within your standard processes, should be checked face to face or by phone.

A simple idea...

A friend of mine is a PA to the Managing Director of a small business. She told me recently that the Finance Director had sent all staff an email warning about the rise in this type of 'Fake Boss' scam. "The problem is" she told me, "my boss frequently emails me to arrange payments when he's out of the office... and he's not the sort of person who likes his instructions to be questioned."

Her solution? "We've agreed that if he has to email a payment instruction and I can't call him for any reason, that I should email him back a random word. He will then TEXT me that word plus a secret word we both know, as confirmation that I'm really dealing with him.

This is a simple but clever idea. Whilst it won't suit everyone, it does prove yet again that a little thought and understanding about how fraudsters think and operate, is often the best to stay safe.

For the latest fraud prevention news and tips follow @jamesfreedman

 

Pickpocket At The Palace

James was delighted to entertain HRH The Prince of Wales, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and their guests again this week.

 

Police enlist a pickpocket!

James was asked to launch Operation Blizzard for the Metropolitan Police with a private performance of his fraud themed show to a specially invited audience of police officers, police partners and business people.

Following the launch James appeared on ITV News showing just how to stay safe from pickpockets.

Following its West End run, the acclaimed ‘Man of Steal’ is now being snapped up by businesses, banks (and now police!) looking for a unique and memorable way to improve fraud awareness among stakeholders and internal teams.

 James Freedman with Chief Superintendent Peter Ayling

James Freedman with Chief Superintendent Peter Ayling

Hi-de-ID

James was picking pockets for a City of London Police video last week to highlight the risks of ID fraud. After the shoot, he pointed out how many people were their full names, employers and other personal information! If you wear a badge or pass at work, remember to remove it when you step outside.

Passport Hustle

 Can you spot James at ‘work’ in this image?

Can you spot James at ‘work’ in this image?

James has been working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, revealing the secrets of pickpockets in a video campaign aimed at reducing the number of British Passports being stolen each year. To read the full Government Press Release click HERE

The FCO have teamed up with stealth crime expert and 'honest pickpocket' James Freedman, to highlight some of the ways in which you could get hustled for your passport. Be aware of your surroundings and take care of your passport. Be #PassportAware.

Passport pickpockets' brazen tricks laid bare… HERE

Travel advice from the FCO… HERE

Stealing the (breakfast) show

James was on BBC Breakfast today discussing personal security, stealth crime and his West End show with Bill Turnbull & Louise Minchin

James’s West End show MAN OF STEAL exposes how the bad guys really work as he shares a life-time spent studying hustlers, street criminals and con-men. 

For tickets visit Trafalgar Studios website here

New Police Role

 James yesterday at Trafalgar Studios

James yesterday at Trafalgar Studios

LATEST NEWS: The current run of 'James Freedman: Man of Steal' will be ending on 20 June. James has been appointed by City of London Police as the UK's first Fraud Prevention Ambassador and in this role will be working with the police to raise awareness of modern stealth and cyber crime across the UK. James plans to stage his one-man show again in the foreseeable future and said, “I am delighted that the show has been so well received and excited by this opportunity to use my skills again for important crime prevention work.

Who knows your PIN?

James popped in to 'This Day Live' yesterday to chat with James Wright about his West End show 'Man of Steal'. You can hear what he said (and see what he stole!) in this video.

The Arts Show - BBC Radio 2

James was a guest on the Arts Show on BBC Radio 2 this week. chatting with Claudia Winkleman about all kinds of cons, cutpurses and how to stay safe. Listen here.