Fraud, which is defined as:
“wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain”

Fraud is actually one of the most common types of crime in the UK, and it can actually cost the UK billions of pounds per year – the average cost of fraud in the UK is at £190 billion per year, and the impact it can have on both vulnerable victims and businesses can be devastating. In fact, according to the Telephone-operated Crime Survey for England and Wales (TCSEW) there has been a 4% increase in the total number of fraud offenses referred to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau over the last year. (

Fraud can cover many different platforms, but this month we will be focusing on online fraud, as with the holidays coming up you need to be aware of what exactly online fraud is and how to stop it.

More videos and little guides can be found on the Metropolitan website on the more common types of cyber fraud and how to help yourself from falling victim to them: 

When looking for guidance on how to help yourself to stop fraud this holiday season, most guidance says you need to follow these 5 tips:

  • Choose wisely where to shop
    If shopping somewhere new or unknown check reviews/seller feedback to make sure they can be trusted
  • Choose a more secure payment method
    Credit cards can offer more buyer protection, or an online payment platform like PayPal, Apple Pay or Google Pay will have their own dispute claims line
  • Stay as secure as possible online
    Always use strong separate passwords for accounts, and try and set up 2-factor authentication so they will double check it is really you that is signing in
  • Keep an eye out for scam emails and texts
    Some emails or text may include links, if you are unsure about the link don’t use it and go directly to the website instead to check
  • When things go wrong report it immediately
    If you ever think you have been a victim of fraud you should report it immediately to your bank or online at the links mentioned below

Action Fraud are even starting a campaign this year called #FraudFreeXmas to help raise awareness of cyber fraud over the holidays as reports of online fraud have increased by 30% over the pandemic as so many of us are shopping online. So, check out the hashtag if you want to see what they are doing to raise awareness.

If you or someone you know suspect you are a victim of fraud this holiday season, there are multiple ways to report and get support, including the links below:

Fraud can be a difficult thing to spot sometimes, so make sure that you stay aware and if you ever spot it, stop it by reporting.