What is fraud?

Fraud is when someone tricks or deceives you to gain something for themselves, usually money, goods, services or property. In the past 12 months, Voice has helped over 250 people who have experienced fraud.

Fraudsters often adopt a fake identity to commit crimes. They might:

  • pretend to work for a well-known company or charity;
  • persuade you to buy goods that are not for sale, don’t exist or are worthless.


Common examples of fraud include:

  • providing a service – often of poor quality (such as building work or resurfacing driveways) – but charging you much more than the price quoted and using threats to get payment;
  • tricking people in to giving money up front, with the promise of claiming a bigger amount back – for example, bogus lottery wins or inheritance scams; and
  • persuading someone to buy expensive investments that are worthless.

An increasingly common type of fraud is Identify Theft. This is when someone commits fraud by using your personal details to carry out a crime.

This can include deceiving others to open bank accounts, or applying for loans or purchasing goods and services using your bank details and money.

If you’ve been tricked into supplying your personal details or goods it’s unlikely that you will be able to recover anything stolen by the offender, unless a fraudulent transaction qualifies for a refund from your bank or credit card company.

If an offender is arrested, goes to court and is convicted, the court will have the power to order the offender to pay you compensation.

If you’ve been a victim of fraud:

  • Report it to Action Fraud – the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre. They may be able to help catch the fraudster or recover any missing goods.
  • Talk to Voice. Experiencing fraud can be a traumatic experience, and we’re here to help you cope, recover and thrive.