The threat from fraud
Fraud is largely underreported and the CSEW (Crime Survey of England and Wales) estimates only 13% of cases being reported to Action Fraud or the police by victims.
Four fifths of reported fraud are cyber-enabled according to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau. The most common types of fraud in the UK are payment diversion fraud, investment fraud, romance fraud, courier fraud as well as cheque, plastic card and online bank account fraud. Further information on the different fraud types can be found at https://stopthinkfraud.campaign.gov.uk.
Criminals involved in fraud leverage social, political and economic events to target victims and exploit online services, social media and crypto assets to conduct a wide range of frauds. They conceal their identities and destinations of the proceeds of fraud. Financial losses to fraud could lead to more serious financial difficulties and even psychological harm for victims.
Our response to fraud
The government has published a national fraud strategy (www.gov.uk/government/publications/fraud-strategy) setting out how it will pursue fraudsters and empower people to avoid fraud and respond appropriately. The NCA works with partners from across the public, private and third sectors to pursue serious and organised fraudsters, block fraud from happening, help people avoid and recover from fraud and wherever possible, return funds to victims.
What you can do to help
Protect yourself by securing your accounts, data and devices
- Use a strong and different password for your email using 3 random words. Your email password should be strong and different from all your other passwords.
- Always use 2-step verification (2SV), where available, to protect your email account.
- Use your browser’s password manager to safely store your passwords.
Recognise and break suspicious contacts
- If you have any doubts about a message or phone call, contact the organisation directly to check. Use contact details from their official website – don’t use the numbers or address in the message.
Report the incident
- Report suspicious text messages and scam call numbers to 7726 (it’s free of charge). Your provider can find out where the text or call came from and block or ban the sender.
- If you see a suspicious ad in a paid-for space, you can report it to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) asa.org.uk.
- Report fraud to Action Fraud (or Police Scotland) and your bank if you are a victim. Report fraud or cyber-crime any time at actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040. In Scotland, report to Police Scotland by calling 101.
Impersonation of NCA officers
Criminals may pretend to be from a legitimate organisation in order to deceive and put pressure on victims to make very quick decisions. This includes the impersonation of NCA officers. If you’re unsure about the identity of one of our officers, please call our control centre on 0370 496 7622 (available 24/7).