Fraud is when someone tricks or deceives you to gain a dishonest advantage – usually money, goods, services or property. There are many words used to describe fraud, such as scam, con, swindle, extortion, sham, double-cross, hoax, cheat and hoodwink.
To avoid falling victim to fraud and for information on how to stay safe, take a look at our top five fraud prevention tips.
Who is susceptible to fraud?
The simple answer is that anyone is susceptible to fraud, and every day criminals invent new ways of taking money from innocent people. These criminals are clever and well organised, and they will try to trick and mislead you. When fraud is committed online, the people responsible may be thousands of miles away, which makes bringing offenders to justice very difficult, and sometimes impossible.
Although embarrassment or shame can be common reactions, you have no need to feel this way. Even the most careful people can be caught out, and sometimes fraudsters only need the smallest piece of information, such as your address, email or phone number, to commit a crime. Some people blame themselves after falling victim to fraud, but you're not to blame – only the offender is responsible for this crime taking place.