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Fraud is when someone tricks or deceives you to gain a dishonest advantage – usually money, goods, services or property. Fraud is a crime, and it can happen to anyone.

If you’ve experienced fraud, the first thing you need to know is that it’s not your fault.

We’ve learned from supporting victims of fraud, that it’s common to have feelings of shame or embarrassment. You are not to blame. Fraudsters don’t target any specific age group, faith, background, or gender. They target everyone.

Fraudsters are criminals and are finding new ways to deceive people all the time.

Reporting fraud

Reporting fraud helps to build a picture of how many crimes are being committed. It also helps to identify trends and organised crime.

Whilst we encourage you to report your experience of fraud, we’re here to support you if you decide not to. We’ll give you all the support and advice you need to move forward.

Common types of fraud

  • Bank or credit card transactions
  • Fake identity scams
  • Identity theft

Bank or credit card transactions

You could get your money back from a bank or credit card company if they accept that a fraudulent transaction has been made.

Asking your bank to give your money back

Banks now have certain standards they need to meet when they deal with cases of fraud. The bank should give you your money back, unless they can prove that you acted with gross negligence. The organisation that regulates financial services in the UK – The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – says that gross negligence is hard to prove because scams are becoming so clever.

If your bank refuses

You should write and complain. We can give you letter templates to use, all you need to do is add your personal details.

If you are still not happy with the response from your bank, you can take it further. The Financial Ombudsman Service sorts out complaints between financial businesses and customers. They have an online form you can use to tell them what’s happened.

If you are vulnerable, or someone you are helping is, tell the bank as soon as possible. They should consider your vulnerability when deciding whether to give you your money back.

Contact us if you need help dealing with your bank after a fraud.

Fake identity scams

This type of fraud is very common and can be difficult to spot. Advances in technology have made it easier for criminals to copy identification badges and company logos.

Fraudsters might:

  • pretend to work for you local council and other public services
  • pretend to work for well-known companies or charities
  • offer services (such as building or landscaping work) and keep asking for more money – the work is often poor quality or does not get finished
  • trick you into giving them money with the promise of winning, or inheriting, large sums of money
  • offer fake pensions or investments that are worthless or unsuitable for you

Identity theft

This is when someone uses your personal details to commit fraud. They could:

  • open back accounts and borrow money in your name
  • get credit in your name to buy high value goods
  • in extreme cases, they could use your name to make fake identification documents

We understand how distressing identity theft can be. Lots can happen before you realise your identity has been used.

If you think this has happened to you, report it to Action Fraud as soon as possible.

We’re here to help however you feel after experiencing fraud.

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