Should you report a suspicious email, text or call?

Why it pays to speak up

Why aren’t people speaking up?

More than two in five (43%) of people who received a communication that they suspected to be a financial scam didn't report it, according to the Aviva 2021 fraud report. So why is this?

One of the main reasons was not knowing who to speak to. 45% of those surveyed said they didn’t know who to report fraud to. 

Others didn’t see the point in reporting it, with 29% saying they didn’t think it would be investigated. And 21% said they couldn't be bothered.

Another reason people didn’t say anything was that they didn’t know they should report it – 29% of people we spoke to fell into this category.

But the only way we can tackle fraud effectively is if we know the whos, whats, whys and more.

The shame factor 

Another reason people don’t report fraud is because they’re ashamed of being a victim. 

Almost one in three of the people we spoke to said they’d be embarrassed to tell anyone – including family, friends and the authorities – that they’d been the victim of a financial scam. Action Fraud also reported that sometimes people are too embarrassed to report that they fell for a scam Footnote [1].

But it’s important to remember, there’s no shame in it. 

Fraudsters are surprisingly professional and convincing. In fact 85% of people we spoke to said the fraudsters pretended to be from a company they already deal with – making their crimes even more difficult to spot.

These criminals take advantage when we’re at our most vulnerable. So it’s important that we fight back – and reporting them is the way to do this.

Reporting fraud protects you – and others 

By reporting fraud to the right people, you can keep your money secure – and stop the same thing happening to others too. Here’s a story about one of our customers whose life savings we were able to save because he contacted us: 

Someone posing as one of our real employees contacted the customer about investing in Aviva Bonds. When this customer called us to speak to the individual, we gave his personal assistant’s (PA) details. 

The PA raised concerns with her manager as she didn’t recognise the email address the customer said the individual had provided as her manager’s. 

It turned out the person who’d contacted the customer was a fraudster. The customer was about to invest £85k of their life savings and had also recommended the fake bonds to a friend – but our Financial Crime Team contacted them just in time. 

By reaching out to us, this customer saved themselves – and their friend – from losing out on a big chunk of their life savings.

Know who to speak to

If you think you've been targeted by a fraudster, you should contact Action Fraud, who specialise in tackling fraud and cybercrime. You can call them on 0300 123 2040 or visit their website at

Or if you have a policy or investment with us that you think has been targeted by a fraudster, you can report it to us – we'll look into it for you.

And if you feel that you're in immediate danger, it's important that you call the Police.

More ways to protect your money

Read more tips and guides on how to keep your money secure on our fraud hub.