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ActionFraud is the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre.

They provide a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime.

Click here to download a leaflet about Action Fraud

School Fraud

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Fraud – Schools Targeted

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has seen an increase in recent weeks in the volume of CEO Fraud reports whereby schools are the targeted victim. This has resulted in substantial financial losses for several schools that have fallen victim to this type of fraud.

A school is targeted by a fraudster who purports to be the Head Teacher / Principal. The fraudster contacts a member of staff with responsibility for authorising financial transfers and requests for a one off, often urgent, bank transfer to be made. The amounts requested have been between £8,000 and £10,000. 

Contact is made by email and from a spoofed / similar email address to the one the Head Teacher / Principal would use.


  • Ensure that you have robust processes in place to verify and corroborate all requests to change any supplier or payment details. Get in touch with the supplier (or internal colleague) directly, using contact details you know to be correct, to confirm that a request you have received is legitimate.
  • All employees should be aware of these procedures and encouraged to challenge requests they think may be suspicious, particularly urgent sounding requests from senior employees.
  • Sensitive information you post publicly, or dispose of incorrectly, can be used by fraudsters to perpetrate fraud against you. The more information they have about you, the more convincingly they can purport to be one of your legitimate suppliers or employees. Always shred confidential documents before throwing them away.
  • Email addresses can be spoofed to appear as though an email is from someone you know. If an email is unexpected or unusual, then don’t click on the links or open the attachments. Staff should not be allowed to check emails or use the internet with administrator accounts.

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting .

Better Internet Security

Domain Name Systems (DNS) are like public phone books for the web. They’re the reason you only need to remember a website’s name and not its IP address (think of these as phone numbers for computers). When you type “” into a browser, a DNS service translates that into the associated IP address ( for you.

Imagine a phone book that automatically filters and removes phone numbers known to be used for fraud. That’s what Quad9 does for websites. Quad9 provides an automated way to protect yourself and your business by blocking access to known malicious websites, like phishing sites designed to steal personal or banking details.

Quad9 checks the website to determine if it’s malicious.

Visit for a step-by-step guide on how to improve your online security in two minutes.


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Action Fraud

Government Grant Fraud

Individuals and businesses are being warned to watch out for cold calls and online contact from fraudsters who are offering victims the opportunity to apply for Government grants for an advance fee. To make the grants look legitimate fraudsters have set up bogus companies and convincing looking websites that claim to be operating on behalf of the UK Government. Fraudsters cold call businesses and individuals offering the grant and if they’re interested direct them to fill out an online application form with their personal information. Once the fraudsters have that information they’ll contact back victims and congratulate them on being accepted onto the grant programme.   

Pre-paid credit cards

 Applicants are then asked to provide identification and are instructed to get a pre-paid credit card to deposit their own contribution to the fake Government grant scheme. Fraudsters will then contact victims on the phone or are emailed and asked for the details of their pre-paid credit card and copies of statements to in order for them to add the grant funds.

 Of course the grant funds are never given by the fraudsters and the money that’s been loaded by the victim onto the card is stolen.

 If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately and report it to us. We’ve already taken down one website fraudsters have been using to commit this fraud and are working with Companies House to combat this issue.

 How to protect yourself

 Be wary of unsolicited callers implying that you can apply for grants. You should never have to pay to receive a government grant, and they definitely won’t instruct you to obtain a pre-paid credit card. The government should have all the information they need if a genuine grant application was submitted, therefore any requests for personal or banking information either over the phone or online should be refused.

What to do if you’re a victim: 

  •  If you think your bank or personal details have been compromised or if you believe you have been defrauded contact your bank immediately.
  • Stop all communication with the ‘agency’ but make a note of their details and report it to Action Fraud.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Fake Adverts Warning

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud have recently noticed that Fraudsters have been setting up fake adverts on social media (including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) and job browsing websites to dupe people into believing they are recruiting for prospective models.

Once victims show interest in the job, the fraudsters contact potential victims on the false promise of a modelling career and subsequently advise the victims to come in for a test shoot.

The fraud can then potentially be carried out in two ways;

Firstly, the fraudsters can pressurise the victims in sending an upfront fee to book a slot for the test shoot. Once they have received the upfront fee, the victim will never hear from the fraudsters again.

The second possible method is that the fraudsters will take the advance fee that the victim sends for a photo shoot and arrange a photo shoot with the victim. After the photo shoot, the fraudsters will contact the victim after a few days and convince them that their shoot was successful and offer them a job as a model. The victim will then be asked to sign a contract and pay another upfront fee, usually to secure the modelling contract.

Fraudsters are also creating fake adverts for supposed modelling opportunities for children which do not exist. Fraudsters will inform parents or guardians that a potential career in modelling awaits their child. This tactic convinces the parent or guardian to sign up their child and send an advance fee.

The suspects will also convince the victim that in order to become a model, they will need to have a portfolio. The fraudsters will recommend a number of packages and stress that if a package is not paid for in advance, the process of becoming a model cannot continue.

Over a two year period (September 2015 – August 2017), an average of 28 reports of advance fee modelling frauds have been received per month by the NFIB. In August 2017, 49 Action Fraud reports of this fraud type were received and may continue to rise. The total loss in August 2017 alone was over £71,000.

Tips for staying safe:

  • Carry out your own research prior to paying any type of advance or upfront fee.
  • Be wary if you are asked to pay for a portfolio, as many legitimate agencies will cover that cost.
  • Don't give your bank account details or sensitive information to anyone without carrying out your own research on the relevant agency.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Caller ID Spoofing

ACTION FRAUD on Caller ID “Spoofing”

The scam “cold Callers” have a new and significant weapon in their armoury.  It’s a disturbing development which enables a scam caller to realistically claim to be a bank security official alerting the victim that there is evidence of tampering with their bank account.
Not entirely convinced, a victim challenged the caller for an ID and was able to convince the victim that they were an authentic bank official (in this case Santander).     When asked by the victim “How do I know you are the bank security official ?” –   the caller asked for the victim’s mobile no. and said he’d call back with evidence. With this next call he was able to display on the Caller ID the same phone no that was on the victim’s Santander Bank Card.
The victim still had doubts but was persuaded  by this and the confident handling (a quiet Scottish accent who knew the name of the victim and readily volunteered his own name). The victim then followed instructions to transfer funds to a new Sort Code and Account no. supplied by the fake “bank official”.

In all, some £50,000 was speedily transferred out of the victim’s account. The victim, having some later qualms too late, called Santander and established that the named person was not a member of their staff. The incident is still being investigated by the police and Santander has not undertaken to compensate fully for the recovery of the lost funds.

Help protect yourself from this kind of fraud take precautions as follows :

  • Your bank will never discuss this kind of transaction over the phone.  
  • Before you commit to transferring any funds as requested, you should make a separate call to your known phone number contact with the bank to confirm the authenticity of the caller.  
  • When you do this, firstly ensure that your phone line is clear of the caller (i.e. that you have a proper dialling tone) or use another phone / mobile to ensure you are making proper contact with your bank.

Remember, if you have any doubts about the caller’s authenticity, break off phone contact and carry out your own checks as recommended above.

Click Here to view Caller ID Number Spoofing  Action Fraud Leaflet