Fraud and international trade

Business: Imports Exports

    Contact the UK’’s national fraud reporting centre Action Fraud if you’’ve been a victim of fraud or you need advice.

    Fraud is taking money or goods by deceiving others. Examples of fraud concerning international trade include:

    • pretending to pay for goods from another country by creating false documents, but not actually paying for them
    • stealing a business identity or creating a fake business
    • stealing ‘intellectual property’ – for example, by importing pirated films or fake trademarked items
    • charging VAT but not paying it to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
    • trading in weapons or their components but pretending they’re something else

    The police can help with all aspects of international trade crime – apart from fraud about intellectual property.

    For intellectual property fraud, contact Action Fraud, Crimestoppers or your local trading standards office through the Citizens Advice Bureau.

    Further help and advice

    Visit the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) website for up-to-date advice on the risks involved in doing business in different countries.

    You can check VAT numbers for companies within the European Union (EU) on the Europa website.

    Find out who to contact if you think you may be a victim of international trade fraud