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As well as the financial impact, Fraud has a substantial effect on peoples physical and mental wellbeing. The techniques that are used by fraudsters mean the impact caused is widespread.
Fraud is committed by using a false representation of facts; whether this is by intentionally withholding important information or providing false statements to another party for the specific purpose of gaining something that may not have been provided without the deception. Fraud is an intentionally deceptive action, which is designed to provide the perpetrator with an unlawful gain, or to deny a right to a victim. Some types of fraud can include tax fraud, credit card fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud, and bankruptcy fraud.
What is the difference between fraud and scamming?
The terms “fraud” and “scam” are used interchangeably to refer to any kind of financial wrongdoing. Legally speaking, fraud usually refers to a broader and more serious crime, with scams representing one type of fraud.
Who can commit fraud?
Anyone can commit fraud.
Fraudulent activity can be carried out by one individual, multiple individuals or by a business firm as a whole. Unfortunately, some fraudulent activity is carried out by people or persons known to the individual (victim), as the information they require to commit the fraud may be easier to gather.
How to report fraud
When you have fallen victim to fraud it can make you feel very vulnerable and exposed as personal details and/or money have been stolen from you. Some people may feel embarrassed and/or ashamed as they have been made a victim of Fraud; however, it is very important to report the fraud, so you can be given the correct help and support, as well as to help in preventing others from falling victim to this type of fraud or fraudster in the future.
Reporting fraud will also enable the correct authorities being made aware and therefore allow for multi-agency working to hopefully catch the fraudster(s) responsible.
You can report fraud to:
Action fraud is the UKs national reporting centre for Fraud and Cyber Crime.
- Tel: 0300 123 2040 OR if calling from abroad +44 300 123 2040
- Online: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/contact-us (Opens in a New Window)
Citizens Advice Bureau
- You can visit the website www.citizensadvice.org.uk (Opens in a New Window)
- Call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 for a Welsh-speaking advisor.
Once they have gathered all information in regards to the fraud/Scam they will report this to Trading Standards, who will then investigate. The CAB do not investigate Frauds/scams themselves.
Your bank and/or Payment Provider – You will need to contact your bank or payment provider if you have lost money to a fraudster or scam as soon as possible. This enables them to investigate the report quickly and try to recover any, if not all the money lost if possible.
You can dial 159 which will transfer you directly to your bank or payment provider to report the fraud/scam.
When to call the Police
Contact the police immediately by calling 101 if:
- the scammer is in your area
- you've transferred money to the scammer in the last 24 hours
- The victim is a vulnerable person
If you feel threatened or unsafe call 999 immediately.
If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use the text phone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergency SMS service(Opens in a New Window).
Our Watch - Get a free Scams Prevent Kit (Opens in a New Window). You can become a Friend Against Scams by completing a free interactive online learning session(Opens in a New Window) in the comfort of your own home or by attending a free awareness session run in your local area. These are 45-minute interactive sessions run across England, Wales and Northern Ireland that educate people about different types of scams, how to spot and support a victim and actions you can take as a Friend to raise awareness and protect your community against scammers.
You can become a SCAM Champion (Opens in a New Window) by completing a short, 10-minute extra training session that equips you to run local Friends Against Scams awareness sessions.
SCAM Champions also have access to resources on the NTSST website to learn more about scams and how to identify them and spread that knowledge among your community.
Anybody can join Friends Against Scams and make a difference in their own way.
All banks also have a significant amount of information on their websites, from advice on how to protect yourself from fraud and scams to training available. Below is a list of links from some of the most used high street banks: