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What is fraud and cyber crime?

Fraud is when trickery is used to gain a dishonest advantage, which is often financial, 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 you might hear in relation to fraud. Fraud can be committed against individuals or businesses. Have a look in our A-Z of fraud for information about different types of fraud.

Cyber crime is any criminal act dealing with computers and networks (called hacking). Additionally, cyber crime also includes traditional crimes conducted through the Internet.

Facts about fraud and cyber crime ​

The Annual Fraud Indicator 2017 estimates the cost of fraud to the UK is £190bn a year. 

Between October 2017 and March 2018 there were:

  • 332,570 total crimes were reported to Action Fraud. 

  • £706 million lost by victims.

  • 62% of reports were from bussinesses and 39% from individuals.