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Are you fit enough to fight the fraudsters? Take the Action Fraud health check

21st September 2010

Too many of us have an unhealthy approach to fraud - we simply believe it won’t happen to us.  The truth is that thousands of us are targeted by fraudsters every week. Every year, the UK loses £30.5billion to fraud and £3.5billion of that is lost by individuals.

Dr Bernard Herdan, CEO of National Fraud Authority, explains more: “One victim of fraud is one too many and we want to make sure people know how to protect themselves from this serious, and often devastating, crime.  We’re very pleased that so many victims are bravely coming forward and reporting to www.actionfraud.org.uk but it would be even better if less people were becoming victims.  Our fraud health check will give you an idea of whether you could take any more steps to help protect yourself.”

Action Fraud provides the single place for victims of fraud to report the crime and for individuals and small businesses to get advice on protecting themselves.   Crime reported to Action Fraud is fed to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, run by the City of London Police, to gain a more complete national picture of fraud.

In August, Action Fraud had over 19,000 calls & web visitors – more than the service received in the whole of the first half of 2010.   The most common types of fraud reported to the service by victims were:
1. Online shopping & auction fraud
2. Advance fee frauds such as loan and psychic scams
3. Non-investment frauds such as miracle health and internet dialler scams
4. Accommodation rental frauds
5. Share sale frauds

Check your fraud fitness!

Answer yes or no to the following questions…

• Would you ever send money to claim a prize?
• If your bank called you, would you give your full security code?
• Do you use a computer without up to date anti-virus software on?
• Would you buy from a website without checking if the site is genuine?
• Would you send money to help someone you’ve been talking to for months online but have never met?
• Do you get excited by offers even though they seem too good to be true?
• Would you throw away bills and statements with your name and address on without shredding them?
• Would you rent a property without checking out the landlord or letting agent?

How many did you answer yes to?
4-8: You’re the fraud equivalent of a couch potato!
You’re leaving yourself open to fraud and should take immediate steps to stop yourself becoming a victim. Have a read through the protection advice on our website now or call 0300 123 2040 today.

1-3: You need to get more active!
Read the advice on this website and see what else you could be doing to protect yourself from fraudsters.

0: You’re in pretty good fraud shape at the moment, but keep on the look out.  Why not follow us on Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with new types of fraud.

There are some simple rules everyone can all follow to help protect against fraud:
• If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
• If you didn’t enter a lottery…you haven’t won it
• Ask questions - If someone is legitimate they won’t pressurise you or be elusive
• Be very wary about giving your personal information to strangers or providing money up front
• Always check the real company’s details against the ones you have been given, and ring them direct if you are in doubt
• Don’t stay silent. If you’ve been targeted by a fraudster and lost money, contact Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.org.uk or call 0300 123 2040

Victims of fraud often feel embarrassed and stay silent.  However, there are many types of fraud and anyone can become a victim - staying silent only helps the fraudsters.  Reporting to Action Fraud helps fight the fraudsters and make the UK a more hostile environment for fraudsters.