Scams are crimes – Help stop them
Every year millions of people lose money through scams. We are all potential targets for the criminals who might try to scam us. This simple checklist will help you protect yourself and fight back against the scammers.
How can I spot a scam?
It is likely to be a scam if:
- The call, letter, email, or text has come out of the blue
- You’ve never heard of the lottery or competition they are talking about
- You didn’t buy a ticket – so you can’t win it!
- They are asking you to send money in advance
- They are telling you to respond quickly so you don’t get time to think about it or ask family and friends before you decide
- They are telling you to keep it a secret
- They seem to be offering you something for nothing
- If it seems too good to be true – it probably is!
How can I protect myself better?
- Never give out contact details like your name, phone number or address to strangers or to people who should have this information already
- Never give financial information or details of your identity, bank accounts or credit card to strangers or to the businesses that already hold your details
- Shred anything with your personal or bank details on – don’t just throw it away
What should I do if they contact me?
- Look at every piece of mail and decide if it’s likely to be a scam
- Don’t reply to spam mail, texts or emails
- Say ”no thank you” politely and put the phone down if they persist
- Phone the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 for advice (typetalk: 18001 0808 223 1133)
- Check Action Fraud alerts to common scams/frauds on the Action Fraud website (or ask your local Citizens Advice Bureau to check for you)
- Ask friends, neighbours, or family if the offer is likely to be a scam
- Destroy and throw away mailings
What can I do to stop scams?
- If you have been scammed, or think someone has tried to scam you, contact Action Fraud or call 0300 123 2040
- Phone the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133. They can pass scam details on to Trading Standards
- Warn someone – educate a friend, neighbour or relative about the dangers of scams
Cut down unwanted post
- Register with the Mailing Preference Service to cut down on unwanted letters or phone 0207 291 3310
- Your Choice service blocks post not specifically addressed to you. Email [email protected]
- The Royal Mail has an Opting out from Royal Mail Door to Door scheme in which you can choose not to have unaddressed material put through the door. For more information see the Opt out page on the Royal Mail website
- Report all items of scam mail to the Royal Mail
Cut down unwanted phone calls, texts or emails
- Register with the Telephone Preference Service to cut down on unwanted phone calls, texts and SMS messages or call 0345 070 0707
- Forward spam texts to your mobile provider
- 7726 for EE or O2
- 37726 for 3
- 87726 for Vodafone
- Delete and block scam emails
Become a Scam Marshal
A Scam Marshal is any resident in the UK who has been targeted by a scam and now wants to fight back and take a stand against scams. Visit Friends Against Scams for more information.
Last updated 10 November 2022