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The Fraud Act 2006 covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland making acts of fraud a criminal offence and creating provisions for those acting fraudulently. Under the Act there are three ways in which fraud can be committed—false representation, failure to disclose information where there is a legal duty to disclose information, and abuse of position.
Within each of these categories, there are many types of fraud that can affect an individual, with some of the most common being banking, insurance, cyber and customer fraud. If you find that you have been targeted there are some practical steps you can follow to minimise your loss and potentially reclaim any financial loss.
If you find yourself targeted by fraudulent activity, it’s vital that you are taking immediate steps to protect against further loss. Taking the following steps can prevent this.
Contact your bank: where payments are taken from your accounts, reporting this activity, can block any further transactions.
Change your password: if an online account has been compromised change your passwords and memorable words/information. If you are affected by identity fraud, it is safer to change all your passwords as it is difficult to know how much information they have gained access to.
Log out of all accounts: social media accounts and online streaming services can also be targeted, and often allow you to view how many devices are using the account. Therefore, when you change your password choose to log out all active devices. This will ensure that only those with your new password can log back in.
Contact credit reference agencies: report any suspicious activity to the reference agencies, Equifax, Trans Union and Experian. These agencies can add notices to your file requiring further identification checks for new credit requests. Checking your credit file can also reveal if there has been any other unusual activity.
Once you have protected yourself from any further financial loss, you should report the offence to the following appropriate organisations.
Action Fraud: the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They work in conjunction with the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) to investigate concerns. Action Fraud can issue a crime reference number which you may need to provide to organisations.
National Cyber Security Centre: if you have been a victim of email fraud you can forward this to firstname.lastname@example.org who will try to prevent further fraudulent activity.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA): contact the FCA when fraud involves financial service companies, such as an insurance company.
Scotland: fraud can be reported to the police on 101 where there is no immediate threat and 999 where there is an immediate risk. Additionally, fraud can be reported to Citizen’s Advice Scams Action Service on 0808 250 5050.
Republic of Ireland: fraud can be reported to the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) on +35316663776, a branch of the Garda specialising in the investigation of fraudulent activities.
You may be able to reclaim through your bank, credit card provider or an online payment system such as PayPal.
Chargeback: banks may be able to reclaim loss through organisations where fraud or disputed activity has occurred. Most banks ask for chargeback requests to be submitted within three months.
Consumer Credit Act, Section 75 claim: If your credit card was used for fraudulent goods or services valued at £100 or more, you can contact your credit card provider to assist with a Section 75 claim under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
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