Why report to Action Fraud?
As the UK's national fraud reporting centre, Action Fraud should be your first point of contact if you have been a victim of fraud unless you are considered vulnerable, where you can contact your local Police Force.
Reporting fraud to Action Fraud ensures that the correct crime reporting procedures are followed. They pass on all fraud cases to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), which is overseen by the police force that leads on fraud for the UK - the City of London Police. Making a crime report to Action Fraud also means that you will receive a police crime reference number. You can use your police crime reference number to update the information in your crime report, if you need to, at a later date through Action Fraud.
It is the NFIB who decides whether to pass your report to your local Police Force for investigation.
Can I protect myself from fraud?
Action Fraud have put together a simple list of actions that may help prevent you becoming a victim of fraud;
- Do not give any personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number) to any individual or organisation without verifying their credentials first.
- Many frauds start with a phishing email. Remember that banks and financial institutions will not ask you to confirm your full bank details over email or telephone. You can always call your bank using the phone number on a genuine piece of correspondence, website (typed directly into the address bar) or the phone book to check if you're not sure. Most banks will also have the number on the back of your bank card.
- 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.
- Make sure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus software and a firewall installed. Ensure your browser is set to the highest level of security notification and monitoring to prevent malware issues and computer crimes.
- Sign-up to Verified by Visa or MasterCard Secure Code whenever you are given the option while shopping online. This involves you registering a password with your card company and adds an additional layer of security to online transactions with signed-up retailers.
- If you receive bills, invoices or receipts for things you haven't bought, or financial institutions you don't normally deal with contact you about outstanding debts, take action. Your identity may have been stolen.
What is romance fraud?
Romance fraud is a type of crime where a person uses a fake profile to build a friendship or relationship with you for fraudulent, financial gain. They will spend significant amounts of time talking and engaging with you to gain your trust and create a relationship with you before they ask for money.
How can I keep myself safe from romance fraud?
To help keep yourself safe, you can do the following:
- If using an online dating service, stay on their messenger service to talk until you are confident the person is who they say they are.
- Never send money to someone who you haven't met in person
- Avoid giving away personal details
You can find more details on romance fraud and how to keep yourself safe on our Fraud page.
What support is available to victims of fraud?
If you have been a victim of fraud, there is support and information available to you. Sometimes people choose not to report fraud or seek advice because they are embarrassed that they fell for it.
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.
Support available can be emotional and practical. Practical support can be actions such as help setting up technology to make you more safe, to looking for other services available to you to help decrease feelings of isolation.
Use the search bar above to find support.