Scams Awareness is an annual campaign which aims to inform the public about how to spot scams and report them. This year’s campaign takes place from 10 – 23 June.
It’s much easier to spot a scam if you know what to look for. Scammers may try to get your personal details to get money from you or steal your details so they can pretend to be you. If you think it seems it dodgy, don’t give them any information.
You should be extra careful if something:
- comes out of the blue or from someone you don’t know
- sounds out of the ordinary - like you’ve won the lottery, or you’ve been invited to invest in an ‘amazing’ scheme and keep it a secret
- asks you to pay for something in advance - especially by bank transfer
- asks you for personal information - like your bank details, computer passwords or PIN numbers
- pressures you into buying something or making a decision quickly - a trustworthy company will be happy to wait
- asks you to phone an expensive number - these start with 070, 084, 087, 090, 091 or 098
Scams can take the form of emails, phone calls, texts or mail in the post. Some of the most common scams to look out for are:
- Fake charities - scammers impersonate genuine charities and ask for donations or contact you claiming to collect money after natural disasters or major events
- Unexpected winnings - these scams try to trick you into giving money upfront or your personal information in order to receive a prize from a lottery or competition that you never entered
- Dating - often scammers will try to take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, by pretending to be prospective companions. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details
- Working from home - you see an advert offering work which you can do at home. You're asked to pay a fee upfront and then find there's no work on offer, or you do the work and don’t get paid for it
- Miracle health cures - the seller often promises a no-risk money-back guarantee or a free trial on a ‘miracle’ health cure. These types of products and medicines are unlikely to do you much good, and might even harm you
How to report a scam
If you suspect the offer to be a scam, you should report it to Action Fraud, the national fraud reporting centre. You can do this online or by phone.
Web: actionfraud.police.uk Phone: 0300 123 2040