Online fraud

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Key points

  • Online fraud is the use of networks to steal information and commit crimes, most often involving identity theft.
  • Online fraud can be used to fool people into handing over money or personal details through a variety of methods.


Online fraud can use sophisticated technology like viruses or spyware to gain information about a user, or simply trick them into giving out details using a phishing scam. Online fraudsters will use data to hijack accounts. Other fraud involves manipulating a target through online dating or offers of "get rich quick" schemes in order for them to pass funds to the fraudster.

To protect against online fraud, users should be vigilant. The best protection for online fraud is common sense, and an understanding of the technologies behind the Internet.


Further information

Action Fraud's A to Z of online fraud

Test yourself

1. Which of these statements is true?

Online fraud is always carried out using hacking
No, often hacking is used, but users can be fooled by social engineering too!
Online fraud is avoidable by using security software
No, software is only part of the answer. Common sense and understanding of technology is essential.
Online fraudsters use software, social engineering and hacking to gain access to your account.

Your score is 0 / 0

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