What is fraud?

Fraud happens when somebody lies, or deceives you in order to cause harm, usually by costing you money. Even if you have not lost money, you may still have experienced fraud.

You may know fraud better as a:

  • Scam
  • Con
  • Cheat
  • Swindle
  • Hoax

Internet Crime and Fraud

What is internet crime?

There are many forms of internet crime and new cases are being uncovered all the time. For example,

  • Phishing emails with links to fake websites to trick people into entering personal details or account information.
  • Criminals that attack your computer with a virus or spyware and try to steal personal information such as usernames and passwords.
  • Online auction scams where the seller asks you to pay by money transfer or direct to their bank account.

The best way to disrupt criminals using the internet to commit crimes is for you to report it.

Reporting Fraud

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, call 101. You can also report fraud by contacting Action Fraud


Why it is important to report fraud and internet crime

Fraud and internet crime costs our economy an estimated £73 billion every year. This money is often used to fund crimes like drug smuggling, terrorism and people trafficking.

By reporting incidents or fraud or internet crime to Action Fraud you are enabling the police and fraud authorities to build a profile of those committing fraud and catch those involved.

Top 5 tips to prevent fraud

  1. Do not give any personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number) to organisations or people before verifying their credentials.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. To report fraud or if you need advice, visit Action Fraud's website.