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.


Thieves love Christmas

It's that time of year when many of us start thinking about doing our Christmas shopping - but police say it's also a time when more us are targeted by thieves.

Following the launch of Operation Blizzard for the Metropolitan Police this week, James appeared on ITV News showing just how to stay safe from pickpockets.

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


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.