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Individuals

Fraud is a crime that can happen to anyone. There are many types of fraud from complex scams that are carried out over long periods of time, for example, dating scams, mortgage fraud and investment scams.

Other frauds may be committed quickly and often: bank fraud, online shopping fraud, utility scams. The victim may not realise that money has been taken from their account until a significant amount of time has elapsed between the crime and the discovery of the financial loss. 

Often when someone is a victim of a fraud they are not certain if a crime has been committed or how to report what has happened to them. Many frauds go unreported by victims because of personal embarrassment. It is likely that if a fraud has been committed against you someone else may have suffered a similar crime. The more individuals report, the more likely it is that fraudsters will be arrested, charged and convicted.

People who report fraud crime to Action Fraud represent a wide cross-section of the UK. They vary in age from young adults to the elderly. As frauds can be committed online, face to face, over the telephone or via the post, most people will have experienced fraud or know someone who has been a victim.

Action Fraud offers consumers the ability to report crime but also signposts individuals to organisations for further help and support. A fraud may not be considered a police matter under current legislation, for instance benefit fraud is something that should be reported to the Department for Work and Pensions or the appropriate local authority.

We have made the process of reporting easier for individuals who can simply log on to the website or telephone the contact centre. The capability to report fraud online means that Action Fraud’s services are accessible seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. We advise that if someone is in immediate physical danger they should phone 999.