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Cyber Crime and Fraud

This section contains further advice if you are a victim of cyber crime and fraud. Cyber crime is a wide term covering all crimes with a cyber element, for example where a device has been used to commit or facilitate a crime. Fraud is when trickery is used to gain a dishonest advantage, which is often financial, over another person.

Cyber Crime and Fraud

What to do now?


  • Make a note of the website address where you identified any suspicious activity.
  • Take a 'screenshot' of the website, email, link or attachment that raised your concerns.
  • Save any emails but do not forward them on to anyone, including the police.
  • Keep a copy of any financial transactions that may assist an investigation.
  • Make a note of any phone numbers that suspects have contacted you on.
  • Keep any correspondence from the suspect.


This should be reported directly to Action Fraud via their online reporting tool or via the telephone: 0300 123 2040. Action Fraud are the National Fraud and Cyber Recording Centre.

If you are suffering a live cyber threat that is in progress, call Action Fraud, do not use the online reporting tool.

You should only report direct to the police if the crime is in progress and the suspect is known to you locally. In an emergency (click here to see examples) please call 999 or the alternative emergency number 112; for the deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired call 18000 to use Next Generation Text Service (replaces TextRelay); or use emergencySMS. Otherwise please call 101 (the national police non-emergency number), or .

Contact your bank where appropriate, to make them aware of the incident so that they can take appropriate steps to protect your accounts.

What happens next?

Action Fraud will record the details of the crime and pass to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) to conduct initial checks. Based on their findings they will allocate the investigation onto the most appropriate police force to deal with the crime. This may be based on where the suspect has been located or where the NFIB feel the crime best sits. Action Fraud will send you a letter notifying you of your crime reference number and which police force has been allocated your crime. You can also track your crime on the Action Fraud website.

The police will undertake a proportionate investigation where appropriate. Due to the volume and nature of fraud and cybercrime, contact from our staff may happen some time after the event, so please include as much detail as possible in your initial report to assist any investigation, keeping a copy for your records as reference for any follow up contact. The police may also make a referral to Victim Support for you, here is more Victim and witness information.

What else can I do?

  • No bank or card issuer will contact you by email and ask you to enter all your personal and financial details online. If you receive a message like this, report it to your bank, then delete it.
  • Verify the identity of anyone that you are unsure of, call them back or check their details online.
  • If you receive an email from an unknown source, do not open it and do not click on any attachments or links.
  • If you receive any text messages from an unknown source, do not open or click on any attachments or links.
  • Ensure that your software , including anti virus is up to date.
  • Never follow the messages from unknown anti-virus software you encounter whilst on the internet.
  • Install an anti-spyware package. 
  • Use strong passwords and keep them secure. Always use a firewall.
  • Ensure you dispose of sensitive mail securely e.g. shred documents with personal details and/or banking information.
  • Consider the Telephone Preference Service to reduce sales and marketing calls.
  • Consider call blockers to stop unwanted calls.
  • Remove yourself from the open voters register.