What is Fraud?
Fraud us when trickery is used to gain a dishonest advantage over another person.
There are many words used to describe Fraud:
Scam, con, swindle, extortion, sham, double cross, hoax, cheat, ploy, ruse, hoodwink, confidence trick.
These are just a few words that you may hear in relation to fraud.
Fraud can be committed against individuals or businesses and every year, billions of pounds are lost to scammers who bombard us with online, mail, door-to-door and telephone scams.
There are a vast array of scams that are being used, with new scams appearing all the time. Some of the favoured scams include investment fraud and fake lotteries.
One of the best ways to fight scammers is to take steps to prevent yourself from being caught out in the first instance.
The Metropolitan Police has produced valuable information on the different types of scams and frauds and how to protect yourself, for example protecting your personal information such as your bank accounts, your phones and your computer.
Their Little Book of Big Scams provides a general guide to many of the scams currently operating in the UK and information on how to protect yourself against:
- Identity Fraud
- Courier Fraud
- Insurance Scams
- Mass Market Fraud - Scam Mail
- Investment Scams
- Door-to-Door Scams
- Dating and Romance Scams
- Banking and Payment Card Scams
- Mobile Phone Scams
- Health and Medical Scams
- Internet Scams
If you want to stay on top of current scams, visit the Metropolitan Police's Fraud Alert Website.
What to do if you get scammed
If you think that you have been targeted by a scam or fallen victim, you can contact the below for advice or to make a report.
Action fraud is the UK's national fraud reporting centre where you should report fraud if you have been scammed or defrauded.
You can report online at www.actionfraud.police.uk or via telephone on 0300 123 2040
- A crime is in progress or about to be.
- The suspect is known or can be easily identified.
- The crime involves a vulnerable victim.
If this is the case, you should contact the police directly either by dialling 999 in an emergency or dial 101.
If you have any information on any crime and you would prefer not to speak to the police, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org