Scams are the fastest growing and largest area of crime. Criminals can comfortably make a lot of money, so they are always coming up with new ways to con people out of their money.

  • Phone call
  • Post
  • Text message
  • Email
  • In person

A telephone call is the most common way you will be contacted for a scam. Bona fide companies do not make unsolicited calls – if you have any doubts hang up – you can then check the number in your phone book & call your bank, or call the police, or call a computer support agency.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”

Scams can also arrive by post – often a letter saying that you have won a prize.

What do I look for?

You are contacted by someone who you do not know or by a company you have not heard of.

You are asked for money, or you are offered money.

You have to make a quick decision and have no time to talk to your friends and family about it.

You are told to keep it a secret.

How to spot a scam

Examples of scams

  • You receive a text message, email or call from someone who tells you that you have won a competition
  • You are asked to provide your bank details so that your winnings can be put into your bank account
  • Before you give any personal information, you need to make sure that you did participate in that competition or it may be a scam
  • You receive an email from someone you do not know, who asks you to give them money
  • This normally involves a story, such as ‘I have won the lottery but I need money to claim the prize’ or ‘I am stuck abroad and need a flight home’
  • If you receive one of these emails, ask someone you trust to read it

Age UK have useful information about protecting yourself from scams here. 

Protect yourself from cyber fraud

The little book of scams

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