Fraud recording, assessment and investigation

All fraud and cybercrime offences should be reported via Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre.

West Yorkshire Police will only take a crime report directly where the Call for Service criteria exists.

Call for service criteria :

  • an offence where the offenders are arrested by police
  • where, at the time of the call for service, the offender is committing or has recently committed the offence/s (all fraud types)
  • where there is a locally known or easily identifiable suspect that, through viable investigative leads the police have sufficient information to apprehend the offender

West Yorkshire Police may also offer assistance

  • where the victim is vulnerable
  • where the victim needs urgent crime prevention advice to prevent them being a continuing victim of this, or any other crime, and/or needs assistance to make a report to Action Fraud


However, in these circumstances a crime will not automatically be recorded, and the Call for Service criteria will still need be considered. 

For all reports of fraud received (as a Call for Service or as a dissemination from Action Fraud) the following considerations will inform the decision making process as to whether or not a case is investigated further :

  • nature of the offence
  • characteristics of the victim, including vulnerability
  • impact of the crime
  • criminality of the offender
  • resources available
  • potential success of the investigation

All reports received (as a Call for Service or as a dissemination from Action Fraud) will be recorded on West Yorkshire Police systems and a crime reference number allocated.


  • Classify vulnerable victims in accordance with the Victim’s Code, i.e.
    • Anyone under the age of 17 at the time of the offence
    • Anyone who is suffering from a mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1983
    • Those with a significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning
    • Those with a physical disability or who suffer from a mental disorder
    • In addition to the above, take into account the individual characteristics of the victim and/or the nature of the offending to which they have been subjected which may indicate that the victim is vulnerable.  For example, an elderly person may be vulnerable due to their age (alone) or, when considered together with the offences to which they have been subjected and the likelihood of such offences continuing.  Likewise, a person of any age may be vulnerable to particular types of fraud and their characteristics may make them more pre-disposed to certain offences.
  • Inform the victim or reporting person (as appropriate) by telephone, email or letter to their home address if there case is not allocated for further investigation. A rationale for the decision not to investigate will be provided and the victim or reporting person will be provided with advice and signposting to appropriate victim care and crime prevention advice.
  • Actively publish crime prevention advice to raise awareness and understanding of fraud offences via traditional and social media platforms
  • Review data for all victims of fraud and cybercrime who are resident in West Yorkshire with intervention for those most vulnerable or at risk of further offending
  • Engage with partners and other agencies to support victims of fraud and cybercrime


Page last reviewed April 2023