Fraud happens when somebody lies, or deceives you in order to cause harm, usually by costing you money.
Fraud and internet crime costs the UK economy an estimated £73 billion every year. This money is often used to fund crimes like drug smuggling, terrorism and people trafficking.
Anyone can become a victim of fraud it affects people of all ages and from all parts of the country, both individuals and businesses. It can come from a knock on the door, a telephone call a text message through the post or over the internet.
Most case's of fraud now needs to be reported to "Action Fraud" rather than your neighbourhood Police, with the following exceptions.
Making, supplying or possession of articles for use in a fraud.
Possession of false documents.
Making off without payment (Fuel Only).
Forgery or use of drug prescriptions.
Fraud, forgery associated with vehicle or drivers records.
However, you should always contact the police by dialling 999 if a person you suspect of committing a fraud is still with you or has visited you recently.
Action Fraud is the UK's national fraud reporting centre and is run by the National Fraud Authority working with the the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.
If you have lost money by being scammed or defrauded you can use the online reporting service or telephone 0300 123 2040 to speak to one of their fraud specialists. A police crime reference number will be allocated and reports passed onto the Police to investigate.
You can also report Phishing and Malware approaches that you have received but have not responded to.
The report will help to build an intelligence picture which can be used by police and other anti-fraud organisations to combat the fraudsters.
Any email or message which has been sent claiming to be an official body and asking for personal details, has promised rewards, prizes or shares of fortunes for small fees, or in any way has sought information which shouldn't be given away. Also, messages which have infected your computer, phone or online device via fraudulent links or other means.
This is unwanted software which has adversely affected your computer, phone or computer device. It may have been downloaded when you were visiting a website or via an email link. Sometimes, fraudsters might approach you by phone aiming to gain remote access to your computer via deceptive methods to download this type of software.
Common Types of Fraud
Individual fraud could be any fraud that targets a person directly.