Community safety


In the financial year 2018-2019 there were 1153 reports were made to Action Fraud with total losses purporting to be £3,615,778 (an average of £3,136 per report) by residents of Merton Borough. 

The top 5 by volume (number of reports) type of fraud is as follows; 

·       Advance Fee 213 Reports, £158,961 lost

·       Online Shopping Fraud 201 reports, £585,896 lost

·       Banking Fraud, 70 reports, £334,589 lost

·       Computer Service Fraud, 52 reports, £81,346 lost

·       None of the Above (Misc.), 247 reports, £1,001,584 lost 

Online Shopping

Victims are convinced to pay money for items that don’t exist or are counterfeit when shopping online. E.g. fake adverts on eBay.

Never pay via direct bank transfers, always use the websites recommended payment method. Please see our animation for more details; 

Advance Fee

Victims are encouraged to pay an advance fee with promise of a larger amount back in return. E.g. a scam email from the “Tax Office” stating that the victim is owed a refundfor overpayment of tax but requesting an admin fee first.

Never give your bank details or personal information following an unsolicited email. Confirm with the company via a pre-established contact method. (i.e. the phone number on the company’s website) 

Investment / Share sales Fraud

Victims are pressured in to making “investments” or buying shares that don’t actually exist or have no chance of the financial return suggested.

Genuine investment/shares companies do NOT cold call people. Contact Financial Conduct Authority for advice. or 0800 111 6768 

Computer Software Service Fraud

Where fraudsters phone the victims claiming that they are internet providers, (e.g. TalkTalk, BT, EE) Microsoft or similar, and state there is an issue with their computer/internet/router and either demand money to prevent their internet being shut off, or offer to help the victim “fix” the problem by getting the him/her to install “team viewer” (or similar) a program which gives the fraudster remote access to the victim’s computer. Once the fraudster has access to the victim’s computer, they will see what they can find or steal to defraud the victim or demand payment for their services. This is a scam so remember:

·       Your service provider will never contact you out of the blue because of unusual activity on your computer.

·       Never give someone remote access to your computer.

·       Your provider will not threaten to cut off your internet.

Please watch our video for more information:

 Payment Fraud

Payment or Mandate Fraud is when fraudsters get a victim to change a direct debit, standing order or bank transfer mandate, by purporting to be an organisation they make regular payments to, for example a subscription, membership or a business supplier. Normally this is done via email where one of the email accounts is hacked and emails containing “new” bank account details are sent. Always verify changes to financial arrangements with the organisation (or person) directly, using established contact details, i.e. call them using a number from their website or a phone book. Watch our animation for more details: 

The top two frauds in “None of the above” are “Courier Fraud and “Push Payment Fraud” (these don’t officially have their own classification. Victims are called by fraudsters pretending to be police, Tax office or from the victim’s bank and convince them to give their card details over the phone. Or in some cases, transfer money to a “safe account,” buy gift vouchers or to go and withdraw money as part of an “investigation.” The fraudsters arrange for a courier to pick up the victim’s card or cash to take it away for “evidence”.

Your bank, the police, or tax office will never ask you to attend your bank, withdraw, transfer or pay money over the phone or send couriers to collect your card or cash. Nor would they ask you to buy goods or vouchers. This is a scam.

1.     Hang up (Never give details or money following a cold call)

2.     Take 5  (Seek a second opinion, tell someone what has happened)

3.     Verify (if concerned, contact the company via a pre-confirmed method)

All of our videos and electronic leaflets can be found on the following link;

Always report, Scams fraud and cybercrime to Action Fraud, either online at or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.


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