What is fraud?
Fraud occurs when someone gains something or attempts to gain something of value, usually money or property, from a victim by knowingly making a misrepresentation.
Someone’s conduct must be dishonest, their intentions must be to make a gain, cause a loss or risk of loss to another, but no gain or loss needs to actually take place for the offence to be complete.
Common types of Fraud
The Fraud Act 2006 includes the following offences:
Section 2 Fraud by False Representation
Section 3 Fraud by failing to disclose information
Section 4 Fraud by abuse of position
Common types of Fraud in Cumbria include:
Cold calls, which are normally made by telephone, victims are persuaded to invest money by callers who use high pressure sales techniques. Investments do not exist or are worthless. Callers may have details of previous investments made or shares held by the victim and often know personal details. Victims can lose their life savings within a few hours.
Purporting to be someone else
Cold calls normally by telephone from people who claim to be working for an agency such as the Police, HMIC, a bank, or similar. Victims are led to believe that their money is at risk or that they owe money. They are persuaded into withdrawing money, transferring money into “safe accounts” or purchasing ITunes vouchers in order to pass the serial numbers of them over to the offender.
Door to door scams
Scammers claim to be a legitimate business or tradespeople; they falsely inform victims that work needs to be carried out at their home address and may gain entry in order to steal. Victims often are billed for work that they didn’t want, didn’t agree to, or which has never been completed.
Dating and romance scams
Offenders lower a victim’s defences by building an online relationship in order to obtain personal information and to obtain money. Offenders normally steer a victim away from communicating on a legitimate website, they will use a variety of scenarios to target a person’s emotions and ask that the relationship is kept secret. Money is often sent abroad.
Action Fraud have provided a useful “A-Z of fraud” which helps to clarify which fraud you may have been affected by. The types of fraud have been categorised into an alphabetical list which can be opened individually and which provide a brief definition of each offence.
Get Safe Online
Get Safe Online raises awareness about helping to protect people, finances, devices and businesses from fraud, abuse and other issues which are encountered online. The site provides practical advice and guidance and will assist in keeping you safe when online.
How to report:
If you are a victim of fraud that is a crime in progress and you need an immediate police response dial 999.
If you think that you have been the victim of a fraud and it is a non-emergency situation report this to the Cumbria Constabulary on 101 and to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or by visiting their website http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre.