What happens if you are accused of fraud?

This may be good news for the victims of fraud, but less so if you find yourself accused of fraud, which is more common than you might think. Accusations of fraud arise after making an insurance claim or claiming benefits, for example, while, in addition to the police, fraud investigations can be carried out by the Serious Fraud Office, HM Revenue and Customs, the Financial Services Authority, the Department for Trade and Industry, the Office for Fair Trading, the Health and Safety Executive, Trading Standards and local authorities.

Take legal advice as soon as possible

Innocent or otherwise, it always makes sense to contact a lawyer as quickly as possible. Much of the evidence used by the authorities is gathered from their initial interview with you, so advice on how to approach this is essential. Despite recent cutbacks, Legal Aid is often available for those without the means to fund their defence and the assistance of a solicitor or other qualified representative during any police station or Revenue and Customs interview is free of charge, whether you use the police's duty solicitor or your own .


Forgery makes the news on a regular basis. Indeed, there is a whole industry forging anything from art to literature, music, banknotes, coins to identity documents. Defined as the process of making or adapting objects or documents with the intent to deceive, it is one of the techniques of fraud.

Tax evasion

Tax evasion is the general term for attempts by individuals, firms, trusts etc to evade taxes by illegal means. It means taxpayers deliberately misrepresenting the true state of their affairs to the tax authorities to reduce their tax liablity. It is a crime in most countries and the penalty ranges from fines to imprisonment. Unlike tax avoidance, which is the legal means of reducing your tax within the law such as tax deductions, tax evasion is a criminal offence.

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