Reporting fraud

In an emergency you should phone 999. You should use the 999 service to contact police when you need an immediate response - if a crime is happening now or if anyone is in immediate danger. The national local police number is now 101.

If you have been a victim of fraud please follow the guidelines below. If you wish to report other types of crime, please see the MPS Reporting Crime page.

The police are not the only agency with power to investigate fraud related offences; it is often difficult to determine what has happened and who to make reports to. In priority cases, as shown below, a report should be made to Police. In other cases, the reports should be made to Action Fraud.

Action Fraud is the UK's national fraud and financially motivated internet crime reporting centre. It was set up by the National Fraud Authority to take reports of fraud from victims as well as provide support and advice. They issue a ‘crime reference number’ which should be quoted in the same way as one issued by police.

Reports received by Action Fraud are fed into the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), the central facility overseen by City of London Police to coordinate fraud investigation.

The NFIB analyses information from Action Fraud and other sources to create intelligence packages of trends and linked cases to be sent to the appropriate police or other law enforcement organisations for investigations which may involve enquiries throughout the UK and overseas.

The Metropolitan Police became fully live with Action Fraud from 4th February 2013.

Reporting Fraud Related offences

The advice sections within the Fraud Alert web pages above may help to understand what has happened to you and be of use before making a report. Further advice is available from Action Fraud.

Special arrangements apply to the fraudulent use of credit cards, bank debit cards, cheques and bank accounts. See below, see below also for information about trading standards, consumer issues, on-line and vehicle related fraud.

Fraud and Scams

If you are a victim of fraud, often also referred to as ‘scams’, you should make a report.

Action Fraud is available to report fraud and attempted fraud offences on line or by phone.

Local police should take a formal report of fraud in the following circumstances, known as ‘Calls to Service’:

  •  Where the crime is in progress, or about to happen, including where a delivery is about to be made or money is at risk (a payment may be stopped if action is taken immediately).
  •  Where the person suspected of committing the crime is locally known or can be easily identified. (Police may refer the complainant to action fraud if the suspect does not reside in their force area.)
  • Where the person reporting or the victim is vulnerable. The person may be unable to make a report by telephone or the internet, lack understanding of their situation or require additional support from Police or partner organisations.

Victims of fraud often believe that they know the person who has defrauded them because of what they have been told by mail, phone or over the internet.

  •  Fraudsters use technology to hide their true whereabouts and identity.
  • All information that they have provided about themselves may be false. 
  • Action Fraud will accept reports from overseas where money has been lost and there is a clear link to the UK. A report to your local police in your country should also be made.

 101 is the new National Phone Number for NON Emergency calls to local Police. In emergency call 999.
See the right side of this page for Metropolitan Police Stations or for the contact points for all UK Police organisations.

Vulnerable Victims and Third Party Reports.

A vulnerable victim may not be able to make a report by telephone or the internet, or may lack the capacity to understand their situation as a victim of crime. They may require additional support from Police or partner organisations. A third party may make a report for or on behalf of a vulnerable person who is unable to make a report or lacks capacity, where this is in their best interest.

Credit Cards, Bank Debit Cards, Cheques and Bank Accounts

If your credit card, bank debit card, cheques or bank details have been used by fraudsters, your bank or other financial Institution must be informed, they make a report to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).

A report should be made to Action Fraud in addition to a report that your bank or other financial institution may make, in the following circumstances:

  • The card/account involved is not a UK bank or financial institution.
  • Your bank or financial institution will not reimburse you or they have asked you to make a report.
  • You have information which may identify the perpetrator of the fraud, (including merchant chargebacks).

If a fraudulent account has been set up in your name and you don’t have a relationship with that bank or card company, a report must be made by you.

Money at risk includes situations where a bank or money transfer may be stopped or a payment is pending.If you have lost or had stolen any of the above items, a separate report must be made to Police.

Trading Standards and Consumer issues

If you have a dispute or complaint about something that you have bought in a shop, by mail order or via the internet, or want some consumer advice, contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 040506 (textphone users should dial 18001 then the full number) or email using the web form.

For additional information and online advice, please see the Citizens Advice consumer service web site.

The Citizens Advice consumer service handles initial complaints on behalf of Trading Standards.

eMails, on-Line and Web Sites

If you have been the victim of a fraud by answering an advert on line, this should be reported as above. It must also be reported to the web site concerned, unless you believe that the whole site may be fraudulent. If you believe that an advert that you have seen is suspicious, report your suspicions to the web site. Many sites allow you to do this as part of the advert.

If you have received a ‘phishing’ email, text, letter or scam communication by any other method and have not lost money, or clicked on any website links contained in the message, you can report this online to Action Fraud on their “report fraud and attempted scams or viruses’ web page. This tool will identify the most appropriate email address to forward phishing emails to for disruption, investigation and/or prevention activity

Do not reply to the email or contact the senders in any way, do not click any links in the emails.

Reports by companies.

Organisations of all sizes may make a report to Action Fraud. This covers most fraud related offences and circumstances, however some specialised reports, for example mortgage fraud, which have special arrangements are not reportable direct to Action Fraud at present.

Operation Sterling works with Industry to advise on the best way to report multiple frauds and data share amongst Industry Partners.