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Top 5 tips to protect yourself against scams

Scams have been around for a long time, but email and the internet mean they are now more sophisticated than ever.

Anyone can fall victim to a scam, but by following our tips, hopefully, it won’t be you.


1. Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or banking password.

Banks will never ask you to disclose your PIN numbers or full banking passwords over the phone.

2. Don’t assume an email, text or phone call is genuine.

Scam emails are often badly-worded or littered with spelling mistakes.

3. Don’t be rushed – a genuine organisation won’t mind waiting.

If you're being asked to hit a deadline, something dodgy is probably going on.

4. Listen to your instincts – you know if something doesn’t feel right.

If you are being asked to pay up front for anything, such as a fee to receive a prize you’ve ‘won’, end the conversation. 

5. Stay in control – don’t panic and make a decision you’ll regret.

Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry. They might even threaten you. Slow down, check out the story, do an online search, consult an expert — or just tell a friend.


To report a scam please contact Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0345 404 0506.

More information about scams, including free training, is available on the Friends against Scams website at