Fraud or a scam 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. It can also involve someone gathering or using private information about yourself. Criminals of this kind are often referred to as ‘fraudsters’. They might adopt a fake identity to help commit their crimes.

Common examples of fraud

There are many different types of fraud, some of most common types can be:

Identity fraud is when a criminal uses your personal details fraudulently; this can be to open a new bank account, take out a loan or defraud other victims.

Romance fraud is when a victim believes they have met someone online, through a dating site or social media, and are building a relationship with that person. However, fraudsters use fake profiles and false identities to usually gain personal details, money or for you to complete transactions for them.

Sextortion is a form of extortion and or blackmail; threats are used to expose sexually explicit images of the victim unless they fulfil a demand, often cash or other forms of payment such as Bitcoin. This can also include blackmail to engage in further sexual activity.

Money transfer fraud (APP) involves a criminal convincing someone to transfer money to another bank account, an authorised push payment, for what they believe to be a legitimate or safety reason. An example can be a fraudster posing as someone working for their bank.

Social media fraud is when fraudsters or scammers use social media sites to target and deceive individuals; fake advertisements, investments, websites or opportunities.

Investment and pension fraud involves being contacted by a fraudster who is offering a chance to invest in an opportunity, scheme or product. Alternatively it can be to offer and persuade you to cash in on your pension.

Phishing and Smishing are methods used by fraudsters and scammers to get victims to reveal personal information about themselves or to make a payment via receiving a text or email; usually clicking a link and taking you to what looks like a legitimate website.

It can be very difficult to recover anything that is stolen due to fraud. In some instances fraudulent activity qualifies for a refund under the agreement you have with your credit card provider or bank.

Support after fraud

Anyone can experience fraud. Fraudsters can be very believable, convincing and try to get victims to make snap decisions. Although embarrassment or shame can be common reactions after experiencing fraud, you have no need to feel this way.

  • 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.
  • Contact us, here at the Victim Care Service; we can provide free, confidential and impartial advice for your situation.
  • Speak to your bank as they may be able to provide some support for you as well.