Fraud is when trickery is used to gain a dishonest advantage, which is often financial, over another person.  Fraud can be committed against individuals or businesses and via a number of different media, such as the internet, in person or over the phone.  There are many words used to describe fraud: Scam, con, swindle, extortion, sham, double-cross, hoax, cheat, ploy, ruse, hoodwink, confidence trick.

Identity theft is a type of fraud which happens when fraudsters access enough information about someone’s identity (such as their name, date of birth, current or previous addresses) to commit identity fraud. Identity theft can take place whether the fraud victim is alive or deceased.

ActionFraud is the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre, providing a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime.

Action Fraud provides an opportunity to report fraud or internet crime by using their online reporting tool.

Case study

Peggy, 65, had been living alone in her home since her husband Trevor died five years ago. They have lived in the same home for more than 40 years.

Case study

Jenny and Geoff, 45 and 46, have always been careful with money. They have two children and live reasonably comfortably. So they were extremely worried and surprised to receive a phone call from a man purporting to be an Essex Police officer.

Related questions

Can I protect myself from fraud?

Action Fraud have put together a simple list of actions that may help prevent you becoming a victim of fraud;1. Do not give any personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number)... Read more

Why report to Action Fraud?

As the UK’s national fraud reporting centre, Action Fraud should be your first point of contact if you have been a victim of fraud.Reporting fraud to Action Fraud ensures that the correct crime reporting... Read more

How do I know if I’m a victim of crime?

The national Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (October 2013, Ministry of Justice) defines a victims as:a person who has suffered harm, including physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss... Read more