It can be upsetting to find that you are a victim of fraud. For example, your identity may have been stolen and used to borrow money in your name; or your credit card statement might show a number of unfamiliar transactions; or you've been turned down for a loan despite knowing you have a good credit rating.
If this has happened to you, help is available.
What do I do now?
Contact the police
If the fraud is happening right now and the people committing it are with you, call 999 and tell us straight away.
If the people have gone but are coming back, call the police on the non-emergency number 101 and give us as much information as possible
Contacting Action Fraud
If the fraud has already occurred and you are physically safe, please report it directly to Action Fraud, either by telephone 0300 123 2040 or on their website here
Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime.
What happens next?
If you report the fraud to us as it is happening, we will attend to help you and provide you with an incident number and your allegation of fraud will be investigated by local officers.
If you report it to Action Fraud, the details are passed to the national Fraud Intelligence Bureau, which works with police forces and a number of other key agencies in gathering and sharing intelligence and linking information on crime patterns. Any fraud that requires police investigation is passed to your local force to deal with. Action Fraud also provides reassurance, advice and support to callers.
Victim Support: Emotional support and practical information is available to help you deal with what has happened to you. For help and support the local victim care team is on 0845 6121 900
If an arrest is made, the offender is likely to be prosecuted and you may be required to be a witness at court. Information on attending court as a witness can be found here
What else can I do?
Reviewing your internet security levels would help you to reduce the chance of you becoming a victim of fraud again
Pass it on - share information about fraud scams with your relatives and friends (older generations are more vulnerable and are targeted possibly due to the belief they have more available funds)
The Metropolitan Police Service has produced a useful booklet on scams, which arms readers with information on how to avoid being fooled by the con-men The Little Book of Big Scams
More tips on avoiding becoming a victim of 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
- 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 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