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Fraud

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I want to report to Action Fraud

Fraud is when trickery is used to gain a dishonest advantage, which is often financial, over another person. It can refer to a business or individual. It is also increasingly linked to Cyber Crime. See our dedicated Cyber Crime advice and prevention pages.

Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, is where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cybercrime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

You can report fraud or cybercrime to Action Fraud any time of the day or night using the online reporting tool. Reporting online is quick and easy. The tool will guide you through simple questions to identify what has happened and advisors are available on web chat 24 hours a day to give you help and advice if you need it.

When reporting online you will be given the option to register, login to an existing account or continue as a guest.

By registering you will be able to:

  • Save and resume a partially completed report
  • Track progress of your report
  • Add information to your report
  • Call Action Fraud to discuss your report
  • Receive an update by email

If you continue as a guest you will only be able to receive updates by email or post.

You can also report to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 Monday to Friday 8am - 8pm. If you are calling from abroad please call +44 300 123 2040

If you are a business, charity or other organisation that is suffering a live cyber attack, please call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 immediately, where specialist advisors are waiting to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

After a report has been made to Action Fraud, it will be sent for assessment by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB). The NFIB’s systems assess reports of fraud and cyber crime from across the UK, helping to build a national picture of where fraud and cyber crime is taking place. Experts review the data from these reports to decide whether there is enough information to send to a police force for investigation.

Action Fraud is not an investigative body and therefore cannot guarantee or prompt a police investigation or advise you on the contents of your report. Whilst we aim to provide an update to reports within 28 days, this is not always possible if the report is still under review by NFIB.

Some examples of fraud are:

  • Identity theft/fraud: Identity theft happens when fraudsters access enough information about someone’s identity (such as their name, date of birth, current or previous addresses) to commit identity fraud. Identity theft can take place whether the fraud victim is alive or deceased.
  • Individual fraud: Individual frauds can differ from frauds affecting businesses and other organisations. This can range from bogus tradesmen, pension scheme scams, timeshare fraud, dating fraud, miracle health scams and more.
  • Corporate fraud: Fraud impacting businesses can be both general frauds that target any business, to sector specific frauds. This can range from betting scams, cheque fraud, fake invoice scams and bankruptcy scams.
  • Online fraud: Some fraudsters rely on the internet to commit their crimes such as lottery scams, online shopping fraud, clairvoyant/psychic scams and inheritance fraud. Our Cyber Crime page holds prevention advice for this type of crime.
  • Advance fee fraud: This is when fraudsters target victims to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that do not materialise.

Please note this list is not exhaustive. The Metropolitan Police Service's Operation Sterling Team have created the Little Book of Big Scams booklet to increase awareness of scams and teach you some easy steps to protect yourself. 

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.
  6. Visit the TakeFive website and take the test to see if you are vulnerable to fraudulent text or emails

    Useful links

    • Action Fraud: Contains a wealth of information about cyber fraud, with a means to report a crime directly to them. Their news feed is particularly good for keeping up to date with current threats and trends.
    • Get Safe Online is a useful resource for unbiased safety advice for protecting yourself online against fraud, identity theft, viruses and other dangers.
    • Cyber Street is a Government-led initiative to help individuals and small busiensses to make the necessary steps to makes their homes and workplaces safe from cyber criminals. It contains examples of tactics that fraudsters use, as well as quick tips on how to protect yourself. There are also useful video guides illustrating the steps that you can take. 
    • The Citizens Advice Bureau are a charity that offers free advice to those with legal, money or other problems.
    • Financial Fraud Watch
    • Cifas is the UK's fraud prevention service
    • StepChange is the new name for the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, who offer free advice for managing debt issues.
    • Property owners who are concerned their property might be subject to a fraudulent sale or mortgage can quickly alert Land Registry and speak to specially trained staff for practical guidance about what to do next by calling their Property Fraud Line on 0300 006 7030. The line is open from 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Investment fraud victim account
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Please report all cybercrime incidents directly through the Action Fraud website, or by calling 0300 123 2040. This includes Phishing regardless of financial loss or not, we respond to intelligence collected from these reports to educate the public.

Tel: 0300 123 2040