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Fraud

When a person dishonestly makes a false representation and in doing so intends to make a gain for themselves or a loss for another then they are committing fraud. There are many different types of fraud, but all are based on the same principles.

What is fraud?

Fraud is a criminal activity committed by those acting in a deceitful way. There are a number of offences within fraud which fall under three category types:

  1. False Representation – This is using dishonesty or false representation to make a gain for them or a loss for another.
  2. Failure to Disclose – Failing to disclose information when you have a requirement to do so in order to make a gain for them or a loss for another.
  3. Abuse of a Position of Trust – Acting against, or failing to act in the interest of another person they are expected to safeguard.

Fraud can take the form of an abuse of position, or false representation, or prejudicing someone's rights for personal gain. Visit the Action Fraud website for the A-Z list of different kinds of fraud.

Important: If you think you have been a victim of fraud, even if it was unsuccessful you should report it. If you do not report it, remember that the fraudster will learn by this experience and may be successful next time.

Report it

The national agency Action Fraud deals specifically with fraud issues. To report fraud visit the Action Fraud website or call them on 0300 123 2040 (Mon to Fri – 08:00 to 18:00, Sat - 09:00 to 17:00)

Although most cases will now be dealt with by Action Fraud, certain cases are still handled by us. To report fraud to us fill in the Report a crime or incident form, call 101 or visit a police station in person.

 when:

  • Crime is in progress
  • Offender is at the scene or nearby
  • Offender is known to you and resides in Avon and Somerset Area
  • Fraud involves a vehicle, plant, boat, animal or trailer
  • Vulnerable Victim

Property fraud

If you have been a victim of a fraud which involves a property or mortgage, you may wish to contact the Land Registry for further advice.

Owners who are concerned their property might be subject to a fraudulent sale or mortgage can quickly alert Land Registry and speak to specially trained staff for practical guidance about what to do next.

Report it

For property fraud advice visit the Land Registry website or call 0300 006 7030 (8.30am – 5pm Mon-Fri) 

Please note: You will still need to contact Action Fraud if you wish to report an incident.


Business fraud

A business being a victim of fraud can have serious repercussions. There is a risk of serious financial loss which could ultimately cause the company to become bankrupt. For this reason, measures should be taken to limit the risk posed by these types of fraud.

Long firm fraud

This type of fraud occurs when a business is started up, seems legitimate, but aims to defraud over a period of time.

Confidence can be built between the firm and a supplier by placing smaller orders using falsified details, before going on to place large orders which they then fail to pay for after receiving the goods or services.

Short firm fraud

This type of fraud is similar to the above, however it takes place over a much shorter time scale.

These fraudulent businesses use credit to obtain easily disposable goods with a high turn over (for example, electrical goods, toys, computers, alcohol), have them delivered to a third party address and sell the goods on before disappearing without paying the credit due.

Being caught out by these crimes can be very damaging to your organisation and staff. To avoid becoming a victim, it is important that you perform rigorous checks on potential employees and any organisations with which you do business.

If you suspect there is fraudulent activity taking place, you should report it as soon as possible so that it can be investigated.

Report it

If you suspect there is fraudulent activity taking place within your business or a business that you are dealing with, you can report business related fraud to Action Fraud.

See Also