Avoiding crime and fraud in international trade

How to report a business crime or fraud


If you're under threat of fraud or if you become aware of a crime - whether against you or not - you should report it.

If a business owes you money unlawfully or you suspect one of its members of criminal activity, contact the Insolvency Service.

As a first step, call the local police. You can find contact details for your local police station.

Action Fraud is a central point of contact to call and get help if you have been a victim of fraud. Report a fraud online with Action Fraud.

The police can help with all types of international trade crime except fraudulent imports of intellectual property, in which case you should contact HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). The police deal with the theft of goods, extortion, fraud, and the smuggling of drugs, excise goods and people.

You should then call your insurers without delay. Insurers, particularly those dealing with international trade, will provide you with valuable assistance and in many countries will work with the police to process your claim.

If you suspect you're the victim of organised crime, you should contact the police. If you're feeling intimidated, bear in mind the police are improving the way they protect victims of crime.

It's a good idea to contact your local trade association for crime-fighting advice.

If you're the victim of freight crime, you can contact transport trade associations for help.

Trade in some goods, including drugs, firearms, wildlife, weaponry and strategic goods, is restricted. Trading in some goods is illegal. You can view a list of banned and controlled goods.

If you suspect banned or restricted goods are entering or leaving the UK illegally, call the police. They have powers to seize goods and prosecute criminal traders. Read more about customs seizures and penalties.