Becoming a victim of fraud can be a very distressing experience, leaving you angry, upset and vulnerable.
You can help to protect yourself, your home or business from crime by following some basic crime prevention advice.
- Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a charity, utility company, or even the police. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request e.g. a text message, call or an email.
- Don’t agree to any offers or deals immediately. Insist on some time to get some independent / legal advice before making a decision
- Never send any money to anybody you don’t know or trust, or use methods of payment you are uncomfortable with
- Destroy and preferably shred any receipts with your card details on and your name and address. Fraudsters don’t need much information to be able to clone your identity
- Ensure your computer has the most up to date anti-virus software and a firewall installed
- Lots of frauds start with a phishing email. Banks and financial institutions would never email you to ask you to confirm your details – so don’t trust these types of emails even if they look genuine.
If you spot a scam, or have been scammed, click here to report it online to Action Fraud. Alternatively you can call them on 0300 123 2040 or call 101 to contact your local police force if the suspect is known or still in the area.
Advice for Victims
If you have been a victim of fraud, there is a network of support and information available to you. Sometimes people choose not to report fraud or seek advice because they are embarrassed that they fell for a scam, con, swindle, or any other word used to describe the crime. Remember that fraud is a crime and that fraudsters will constantly reinvent themselves to find new ways of tricking people. Anyone could be a victim.
What to do:
If there is a crime being committed or if you are in danger you should call the police on 999.
The first thing you should do if you’ve been a victim of fraud is to contact Action Fraud. You can report fraud via the online Action Fraud reporting tool, or by calling Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
If debit or credit cards, online banking or cheques are involved, your first step should be to contact your bank or credit card company.
Get support and practical advice from the charity Victim Support whether you have reported the crime or not. Victim Support is an independent charity for people affected by crime and traumatic events. They have specialist teams to provide individual, independent, emotional and practical help to enable people to cope and recover from the effects of crime.
Visit www.getsafeonline.org, a Government and leading business sponsored site that provides advice on how to protect your computer and use the internet with safety.