It can be very distressing to find out you have been a victim of fraud. Some scams can be very 'clever' and it's easy to see how people can be tricked into being parted from their money or belongings.
There are many types of fraud from personal identity theft and forgery to romance fraud and online fraud. To help you understand which fraud you may have been affected by please take a look Action Fraud's A-Z of fraud.
Cyber crime refers to a variety of crimes that occur online whilst using the internet. It can range from bullying and spam, to online fraud and paedophilia.
How can I protect myself?
There is a lot of advice and support available to help people who have been affected by various types of fraud including fraud alerts to tell you about scams and fraud in your local area. Here are some simple steps to protect you from 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. Find out more about Cyber Crime.
- 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 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.
Identity fraud is where a thief steals a person’s identity, allowing them to open bank accounts, gain credit cards, loans, state benefits, or simply take over the victim’s existing accounts. The details may also be used to obtain passports and driving licences. The thief then uses that information to commit fraud. Find out how to protect yourself from Identity Theft.
Where can I get help and further information?
If you have become a victim of fraud, Action Fraud should be your first contact point. They will provide you with a crime number and pass on your case to the police to investigate.
Contact Action Fraud on: 0300 123 2040
If you are in immediate danger call 999.
Action Fraud 0300 123 2040 - the UK’s national fraud reporting centre where you should report fraud if you have been scammed or defrauded. They provide a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime.
The little book of big scams – for information about various scams, handy hints to protect yourself and what to do if you get scammed.
For information about the organisations who are working together to combat fraud visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/support-and-prevention/useful-organisations