A fraud is committed when someone deceives or tricks you into doing something that benefits them, usually financially, but sometimes in the form of property, services or other goods.

Criminals of this kind are often referred to as ‘fraudsters’. They might adopt a fake identity to help commit their crimes, such as:

  • persuading you to buy something that isn’t actually for sale or doesn’t exist; or
  • pretending to work for a well-known company or charity.

Common examples of fraud

Fraud comes in many different forms. Four of the most common are:

  1. The provision of a poor quality service for which you pay over the quoted price.
  2. Tricking you into paying for something in advance for which you are told you’ll profit later on. For example, a bogus lottery win.
  3. Persuading you to get involved in an investment that is completely worthless.
  4. The illusion of a long distance romantic relationship with someone who may use persuasion and manipulation to obtain money (known as romance fraud).

An increasingly common form of fraud is identity theft. This is when someone uses another person’s personal details to commit fraud. Examples including purchasing services and goods using your credit card details or opening banks accounts under your name.

If you’re tricked into handing over personal details to a fraudster, it can be very difficult to recover anything that is stolen. That’s unless the fraudulent activity qualifies for a refund under the agreement you have with your credit card provider or bank. If the case goes to court and the offender is convicted the court has the power to order compensation for you.

Female looking at laptop

Victim of fraud? We can help

Although embarrassment or shame can be common reactions you have no need to feel this way. Even the most careful people can be caught out.

If you’ve been a victim of fraud, there are two things you can do:

  • Contact us – we can provide free, confidential and impartial advice for your situation.
  • Report to Action Fraud – they are the central point for coordinating reports of fraud. They build a national picture so that effective action can be taken against fraudsters.

Further information can be found at: