The number of scams reported to Action Fraud jumped by 6.4% between 2017-18 and 2018-19.
Of the 535,390 fraud reports made to Action Fraud over this two-year period, the most common scams are:-
- Online shopping fraud – (86,127 reports). This type of scam can involve an online seller duping customers into making a purchase and disappearing without delivering the goods.
- Advance fee fraud – (78,868 cases). These usually involve victims being asked to pay an upfront fee in return for future benefits, like a bogus estate agent requiring a deposit on a non-existent property.
- Computer fixing fraud – (38,891 reports). Typically this con involves a cold call with a scammer posing as an IT specialist working for a brand such as Microsoft, and convincing victims their computer is at risk and that they have to hand over a fee to fix it – and in some cases pass on details that allow fraudsters access.
- Cheque, card and online bank fraud – (35,502 reported incidents). This type of fraud occurs when your card or chequebook is stolen or cloned or a scammer manages to gain access to your online account to steal money.
Other common scams include bogus tradespeople, computer virus attacks, dating scams, fake loan frauds, hacking of social media, or email, investment fraud, direct debit fraud, retail/consumer fraud and ticket fraud.
Despite an increase in public awareness of scammers, the figures for those caught out in scams continues to rise.
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