The National Fraud Authority has announced Consumers are losing more than £3.5 billion to fraudsters each year.
In the last six months, the authority’s reporting centre, has recorded 15,000 incidences of scam, with individual losses ranging from £1 to £1 million.
Sarah Garrett, spokesperson for Action Fraud, says: “People feel very humiliated if they become a victim of fraud. But that is why fraudsters are so clever. People feel they can't tell friends or family, or report it, but that presently makes matters worse.”
The most commonly reported fraud in June was online shopping and auction fraud, with romance and dating fraud also featuring high on the record. London has a slightly higher percentage, but many of the fraudsters are based abroad and mass market through emails.
Advance fee fraud is another type of scam that made it into the top five most commonly reported. This is when somebody promises you a large financial gain in return for an upfront sum of money.
Typical formats include claiming you've won an obscure lottery, that an unknown relative has died leaving their estate to you, or that there is a trapped fortune you could get a share of if you help the fraudster to retrieve it.
Due to their ever-changing nature, fraud threats can be hard to keep on top of. The ways to stay ahead of scammers:
- If it sounds too good to be true it is
- If you didn't enter, you can't have won
- Do your research
- Guard your personal details
- Report any fraud or attempted fraud to authorities