What happens when you make a report to Action Fraud?
Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, is where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cybercrime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
You can report fraud or cybercrime to Action Fraud any time of the day or night using the online reporting tool. Reporting online is quick and easy. The tool will guide you through simple questions to identify what has happened and advisors are available on web chat 24 hours a day to give you help and advice if you need it.
What happens after you make a report to Action Fraud?
Reports to Action Fraud are sent to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) which assesses the reports in order to identity those cases presenting the best opportunity for police forces and other law enforcement agencies to investigate. The NFIB is also hosted by the City of London Police.
The NFIB’s systems assess reports of fraud and cyber crime which allows reports from across the country to be linked and piece together all of the information available to us, and helps to build a national picture of where these crimes are taking place.
When reporting online you will be given the option to register, login to an existing account or continue as a guest.
By registering you will be able to:
- Save and resume a partially completed report
- Track progress of your report
- Add information to your report
- Call Action Fraud to discuss your report
- Receive an update by email
If you continue as a guest you will only be able to receive updates by email or post.
You can also report to Action Fraud and cyber crime by calling 0300 123 2040, Monday to Friday between 8am - 8pm. If you are calling from abroad please call +44 300 123 2040
If you are a business, charity or other organisation that is suffering a live cyber attack, please call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 immediately, where specialist advisors are waiting to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Action Fraud and the NFIB do not have investigative powers and therefore cannot guarantee or prompt a police investigation, or advise you on the contents of your report. Whilst we aim to provide an update to reports within 28 days, this is not always possible if the report is still under review by the NFIB.
If you are deaf or hard of hearing you can contact Action Fraud via textphone on 0300 123 2050.
Reporting a cybersecurity incident
When you suffer a cyber-attack, or a related cybersecurity incident and you are a business, you might need to report it to the Information Commissioner's office (ICO). Under the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules, from the 25th May 2018, it is mandatory that you also report data breaches to the ICO within 72 hours.
For information on how and when to report a cyber-security incident to the ICO
How your crime report is assessed
Reports to Action Fraud are considered for assessment or referral to the police (or other law enforcement agency) by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), operated by the City of London Police.
Once reports have been recorded by Action Fraud they are assessed against Home Office Counting Rules, which are the standards against which police record crime. Data matching allows reports from different parts of the country to be linked through analysis. Reports are then triaged to determine those that are highest risk, threat or harm.
These triaged reports are assessed by experienced crime reviewers who consider the viability of each report, or series of reports where these appear to be linked. This viability test is to ensure there are definitive lines of enquiry for a force, or other law enforcement agency to progress. Crimes that meet the viability test are referred to the appropriate police force or law enforcement agency for action. The recipient may not always be your local police force.
Information you provide on the bank accounts, websites and phone numbers used by fraudsters is regularly provided to industry partners so they can stop them from being used against future victims.
Not every report results in an investigation, but every report helps to build a picture of offending and is retained for future intelligence.
How you obtain an update on the progress of your report
If you have registered on the Action Fraud system as a victim or proxy reporter, then you will receive automatic updates through your individual account. You will also receive postal updates.
If you wish to seek an update outside of the above, or if you have not registered with Action Fraud, then an update can be requested through the ‘Contact Us’ facility on the Action Fraud website.
If your report is disseminated to a police force you will be provided with the name of the recipient force. Once your report has been disseminated, the recipient force takes responsibility for providing you with updates on the progress of your case.
What happens once your report has been referred to a police force
Each police force (or other law enforcement agency) will review and assess referrals from the NFIB. They will triage these reports based upon threat, risk and harm and local priorities set by their Police and Crime Commissioner. You will be provided with regular updates on the progress of your report.
If a force decides no further action will be taken, they will communicate this to you with a rationale for their decision.
Options to seek civil redress
In cases where criminal investigations are not carried out or do not lead to a conviction, you may wish to consider other options to recover your losses. There are Civil Asset Recovery Agents who may be able to act on your behalf to recover criminal assets that represent some or all of your losses.
Before choosing a Civil Asset Recovery Agent, you should undertake adequate checks to ensure they are legitimate. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has details of known fraudulent Civil Asset Recovery Agents.
Should you choose to engage a Civil Asset Recovery Agent, you should update your Action Fraud report with their details. This update can be made through your individual account or through the ‘Contact Us’ facility on the Action Fraud website if you have not registered with Action Fraud.