A fake 'legal company' has been scamming people online - here's what you need to know

The national fraud reporting centre, Action Fraud, is urging people to be wary of a company using its name to scam people.

On its website, the service announced "members of the public who are searching for the official website (for example on search engines) may be directed to the following website www.actionfraudsolicitors.co.uk."

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Action Fraud Solicitors does not appear on the official Law Societies register, and is purporting to be a legal firm.

The website, which has reportedly now been taken down, was asking people for their private information. Action Fraud has confirmed it is not associated with the fake site, and is urging people not to give details to anyone online who they do not know or trust.

Action Fraud Solicitors is not real

Action Fraud Solicitors must not be confused with the UK's main Cyber Crime reporting centre called Action Fraud.

Action Fraud stated on its website, "Under no circumstances would Action Fraud request payment for our services. Action Fraud or the police would never ask you to provide sensitive financial details such as your banking passwords or PINs."

It asks those who may have been a victim of fraud to contact them on their site or, in Scotland, to contact the police directly.

The fake Action Fraud Solicitors was attracting visitors to its site by manipulating Google searches so those looking to report cyber crime may accidentally become a victim of it.

How to protect yourself from cyber crime

If something doesn't feel right online, it's probably not. Always trust your instinct when handing over information, and never hand over sensitive information such as bank details and addresses to an organisation you do not know.

If you have come across the fraudulent Action Fraud Solicitors website and given them your information then contact Action Fraud immediately. You may want to check to ensure no credit cards have been opened in your name.

Never give out information in unsolicited requests such as cold callers or websites.

If you live in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, contact Action Aid if you believe you have been a victim of cyber-crime. If you live in Scotland, contact the police by dialling 101.