News! Be #ScamAware

Could it be a scam?

Spotting a scam
It's important to always keep an eye out for scams. They can and do affect anyone.

People can be especially vulnerable at times like this when they're worried about their families, health, money and work. It might take longer than usual to realise something isn't right, so here are some of the main warning signs of scams to look out for:

  • It seems too good to be true - like an email saying you've won a competition but you don't remember entering 
  • Someone you don't know contacts you unexpectedly
  • You're being urged to respond quickly so you don't get time to think about it or talk to family and friends 
  • You've been asked to pay in an unusual way - for example by bank transfer or gift vouchers
  • You've been asked to give away personal information

If you think someone might be trying to scam you, get advice. You can contact the Citizen's Advice consumer service for help with what to do next, and report scams or suspected scams to Action Fraud.

How to protect yourself from scams

If you're not sure about something, seek advice from a trusted source. 

  • Don't be rushed into making any quick decisions
  • Never give your personal details or money to anyone you don't know or trust. If someone pressures you for money or sensitive information, like passwords or bank details, it is most likely a scam
  • Before you buy anything, spend a few minutes checking the company or website you're using. You can read reviews from different websites, search for the company's details on, and take a look at their terms and conditions
  • Pay by debit or credit card. This gives you extra protection if things go wrong
  • Be suspicious. Scammers may appear like a trusted business, have a professional website and say all the right things. Take your time to work out if they're genuine. Ask them for ID or contact the organisation on a number you know and trust.
  • Make sure your antivirus software is up-to-date
  • Make your online accounts secure. Make sure you have a strong password for your email accounts that you don't use anywhere else.

What to do if you think you've been scammed

1. Protect yourself from further risks
If you've been scammed, there are steps you can take to stop things getting worse. Contact your bank immediately to let them know what's happened. You should also change any relevant log-in details, and check for viruses if you were scammed on a computer.

2. Check if you can get your money back
If you've lost money because of a scam, there might be things you can do to get it back. Again, make sure you tell your bank what happened straight away. If you've paid for something by card of PayPal, depending on the circumstances they might be able to help you get your money back. 

3. Report the scam
Reporting a scam helps enforcement authorities track down and stop the criminals responsible, and protects others from being scammed.


Citizens Advice - 0808 223 1133

Report all types of scams to Action Fraud