Loan Fee Fraud

Loan fee fraud is when someone who is looking for a loan is asked to pay an upfront fee before receiving it.

They pay the fee, but they never get the loan.

In December 2019, loan fee fraud was the third most queried scam to the Financial Conduct Authority. (

The average fee relating to loan fee fraud reported to the FCA is approximately £220.

Read more: Loan Fee Fraud

Paypal and Online Marketplaces

If you buy from Facebook Marketplace or any other online Marketplace using PayPal, please be aware of the following:


  • The victim contacted the seller of a games console advertised on Facebook Marketplace at £150.
  • The suspect replied with an excuse that he was not local for the next month, so he would have to post it. (RED FLAG – This would avoid a meeting)
  • The suspect then sent his PayPal reference to the victim.
  • The victim accessed his PayPal account and sent the suspect the £150.
  • The victim then receives a message from the suspect stating that the funds were on hold, so he won’t send the item out until the funds have cleared.
  • The suspect then said he’ll issue a refund, which he actually did.
  • The suspect then asked the victim to resend the funds using PayPal but this time not using the ‘Goods and Services’ option but instead, opting for ‘Friends and Family’ and gave a different PayPal reference. (RED FLAG – NEVER pay for goods or services using the PayPal Friends and Family option, your purchase will NOT be protected, see Key Message below)
  • The victim sends £150 using the PayPal Friends and Family option instead of Goods and Services.
  • The following day, the victim contacts the suspect for tracking details of the games console.
  • The suspect initially did not reply but later stated that he was busy and subsequently closed or blocked his Facebook profile to the victim and stopped communicating.
  • The victim contacts PayPal but because they made the payment for a computer games console using the Friends and Family option, they were not covered by PayPal Purchase Protection.

Read more: Paypal and Online Marketplaces

Christmas Charity Donations Fraud

At this time of year, genuine charities will be seeking donations.

However, fraudsters may seek to exploit the Xmas period with fake charities or, copycat websites of the genuine charity.

They may send out phishing communications using email, text and social media, in order to deceive you into believing they are genuine, which may result in clicking on a malicious link and submitting your bank information into a fake website and the possession of the criminal.

To check if a charity is registered, visit and rather than click on a link, do some internet research and visit the genuine website if you want to donate. Before you enter bank card details into the webpage, ensure not only that the site is genuine, but the the web address in the top URL address bar displays HTTPS meaning the link between your device and the payment webpage is secure. The same applies for telephone numbers, I would suggest that you don’t call the number within the communication, instead, do your internet research and identify the genuine charity website and follow the donation options listed.

For more information visit


Best wishes

Mr Nigel Sutton 8517

Cyber Protect Officer

Serious & Organised Crime (Intelligence and Specialist Crime Department

Christmas Picture

PayPal Phishing Alert

There have been 21,349 Action Fraud reports featuring fake PayPal phishing emails recorded between January to September 2020, with a total reported loss of £7,891,077.

Online marketplace sellers have received a fake email that appears to be from PayPal, stating that thefraudster has made a payment for an item. A follow up email requests the shipping tracking order reference, prompting the seller to dispatch the item. The fraudster relies on the seller not verifying that the payment has been received in their PayPal account, before shipping the item leaving the seller at a loss.

The reporting to Action Fraud does not suggest that PayPal are implicated or complicit in any fraud, eitherdirectly or indirectly; the use of a popular brand may be exploited by fraudsters to commit fraud.

What you need to do

Verify the payment: If you’re selling goods on an online marketplace, such as eBay,

Verify the payment: If you’re selling goods on an online marketplace, such as eBay,don’t post the item to the buyer until you have verified, using the official app or website,that the payment is in your account.

Report suspicious emails: If you’ve received an email you’re not quite sure about,you can report it by forwarding it to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Fraud, often called Scams, is the fastest growing area of crime and is often not reported.

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.