A new service has been launched which aims to get people to overcome their embarrassment at being a victim of fraud and report it to the authorities.

With figures showing fraud costs each adult living in the West Midlands around £621 per year, the National Fraud Authority (NFA) has launched Action Fraud, a national reporting centre that provides a single point of contact where victims can report the crime and seek guidance. Dr Bernard Herdan, chief executive of the NFA, said: “Action Fraud is at the heart of our strategy to make the UK a more hostile environment for fraud.

“Victims of fraud often don’t want to talk about it because they feel embarrassed.

“They not only suffer a financial loss but a loss of self esteem because they blame themselves for being taken in.

“But the best way to fight fraud and fraudsters is to get people talking about it and reporting it to Action Fraud.”

Action Fraud provides a way to report all types of fraud, including identity theft, investment, credit card and consumer fraud.

At the same time it gives law enforcement and counter-fraud agencies better information to target fraudsters, better protect the public and bring criminals to justice, by providing vital information to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).

DI Mark Salt, from West Midlands Police economic crime team, said: “Fraudsters can target people in the West Midlands regardless of where they are based, so by providing a national reporting centre we will be in a much stronger position to tackle fraud locally.”