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Fraud is when someone deceives or tricks you into doing something that benefits them. This is usually in the form of money, services, property or other goods.

Such criminals are typically referred to as ‘fraudsters’, and usually adopt a fake identity to commit their crimes. For instance, they might:

  • persuade you to buy goods that aren’t for sale or that don’t actually exist; or

  • pretend to work for a well-known charity or company.

Common examples of fraud

Female and male looking at a computer screen smiling

There are many types of fraud, but three of the most common are:

  • providing a poor quality service and charging you over the quoted price;
  • tricking you into paying money upfront in order for you to profit later on (for instance, a bogus lottery win); and
  • persuading you to get involved in expensive investments that are worthless.

Identity theft is becoming increasingly common, too. This is when someone commits fraud by using another person’s personal details to carry out a crime. Common examples include opening bank accounts and purchasing services and goods using your money or bank details.

Once tricked into supplying personal details to a fraudster, it can be very difficult to recover anything that was stolen, unless the fraudulent activity qualifies for a refund from your credit card provider. However, if the case goes to court and the offender is convicted, the court has the power to order compensation be paid to you.

Victim of fraud? We can help

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 you situation.
  • Speak to Action Fraud – they may be able to help catch the fraudster and recover missing goods.