There are many distinct types of fraud designed to target people and businesses.
If you're a victim of fraud that is a crime in progress and you need an immediate police response dial 999 or if it is a non-emergency situation you can report it by contacting Action Fraud.
What is fraud?
Fraud is defined as: the crime of acting dishonestly with a view to gain or with intent to cause loss or risk of loss by either:
- Making a false representation
- Failing to disclose information that there is a legal duty to disclose
- By abusing your position
Report fraud to Action Fraud
Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud reporting centre and the place for you to report fraud and scams, or to get advice if you’re not sure what to do.
If you’ve been a victim of fraud, you can report it to Action Fraud online using the secure online fraud reporting tool. You'll be given a crime reference number and your case will be referred on to the police force that investigates fraud. You can also call 0300 123 2040.
Why contact Action Fraud?
Sometimes people chose not to report fraud because they are embarrassed that they fell for a scam.
Remember that fraud is a crime and that fraudsters will constantly reinvent themselves to find new ways of tricking people. Anyone could be a victim.
Some people also think that fraud is a victimless crime, or that it’s not as serious as other crimes. This is not true. Fraudsters are often part of serious organised criminal gangs, who use the money to fund other crimes such as human trafficking, illegal firearms trade and terrorism.
Fraudsters rely on silence. We can beat fraud if we talk.
Top 5 tips to prevent fraud
- Do not give any personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number) to organisations or people before verifying their credentials.
- Many frauds start with an email. Remember that banks and financial institutions will not send you an email asking you to click on a link and confirm your bank details. Always question whether an email could be bogus.
- Destroy and preferably shred receipts with your card details on and post with your name and address on. Identity fraudsters don’t need much information in order to be able to clone your identity.
- If you have been a victim of fraud, be aware of fraud recovery fraud. This is when fraudsters pretend to be a lawyer or a law enforcement officer and tell you they can help you recover the money you’ve already lost.
- To report fraud or if you need advice, visit Action Fraud's website.
Visit Action Fraud's website for more information, including advice and information about fraud.
Find out more about Property Fraud.
The Little Book of Big Scams
The Little Book of Big Scams, reproduced with kind permission of the Metropolitan Police gives information on a variety of scams including investment, identity and banking, and helps to make members of the public, aware of the types of fraud that can occur.