Press release

Scam emails: disrupt fraudsters by reporting them

Action Fraud has set up a dedicated email address where you can forward any scam emails that you receive.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Action Fraud has set up a dedicated email address where you can forward any scam emails that you receive. [25 February 2011]

People receiving scam emails are urged to visit the Action Fraud website where there is information on where to forward their scam mail. The emails received by Action Fraud will be forwarded to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau run by the City of London Police for collation and analysis. This will enable crucial intelligence to be gathered and preventative action to be taken. The activity will seek to disrupt the fraudsters and close down the links between them and the victim.

Dr Bernard Herdan, CEO of the National Fraud Authority who runs Action Fraud, said: ‘This is the first time we have been able to collect and analyse scam mail and emails in this way. Collecting intelligence is the key to us being able to disrupt the activities of fraudsters and target their networks for closure.’

What should you do if you’ve received a scam email?

  • Do not click on any links in the scam email.
  • Do not reply to the email or contact the senders in any way.
  • If you have clicked on a link in the email, do not supply any information on the website that may open.
  • Do not open any attachments that arrive with the email.
  • Visit the Action Fraud website where there is information on how to forward on your scam mail. When you send an email you are doing so over the open internet, which we cannot guarantee the security of. Therefore please do not send personal information, such as your address or bank account details, when emailing Action Fraud.

If you think you may have compromised the safety of your bank details and/or have lost money due to fraudulent misuse of your cards, you should immediately contact your bank.

To report a fraud or get more advice on staying safe from fraud visit the Action Fraud website or call 0300 123 2040.


Notes to editors

Fake emails often (but not always) display some of the following characteristics:

  • the sender’s email address doesn’t tally with the trusted organisation’s website address
  • the email is sent from a completely different address or a free web mail address
  • the email does not use your proper name, but uses a non-specific greeting like “dear customer”
  • a sense of urgency; for example the threat that unless you act immediately your account may be closed
  • a prominent website link. These can be forged or seem very similar to the proper address, but even a single character’s difference means a different website
  • a request for personal information such as user name, password or bank details
  • the email contains spelling and grammatical errors
  • you weren’t expecting to get an email from the company that appears to have sent it
  • the entire text of the email is contained within an image rather than the usual text format
  • the image contains an embedded hyperlink to a bogus site

The National Fraud Authority released its Annual Fraud Indicator last month (January) which put fraud against the individual at £4 billion. This figure consists mainly of mass marketing fraud, which includes romance fraud.

February is Scams Awareness Month. For more information on the activities that have been taking place visit the Office of Fair Trading’s website or Action Fraud’s website.

The reports made to Action Fraud of mass marketing frauds are sent to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), based at City of London Police, the national lead force for fraud. The NFIB analyses this information, searching for patterns and similarities between reports, which come from across the country. Intelligence packages are formed from the data and sent to relevant law enforcement agencies such as the police and Serious Organised Crime Agency

For more information please email

Updates to this page

Published 25 February 2011