Thousands of scams get circulated every year, and they're not always easy to recognise. 


Types of scams

Some of the most common types of scams include:

  • Investment scams
  • Pension scams
  • Phone scams
  • Post and email scams
  • Doorstep scams
  • Relationship scams
  • Fraud recovery scams


Visit Friends Against Scams to keep up to date with the latest scams.


What to look out for

Scams can be tricky to spot, however there are things you can look out for, such as:

  • Requests to share your bank account details or verify a password or PIN
  • Time-limited offers that ask you to act quickly
  • Out of the blue offers
  • Scammer emails will often be filled with random numbers or misspelt
  • Prizes for competitions you haven't entered
  • Unsolicited or unexpected contact
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is


Citizens Advice has a handy online tool that can give you advice on how to check whether something might be a scam and what to do if you've been a victim of one. Click here to find out more.


How to protect yourself

To help protect yourself from scams, you should:

  • Never give out personal information
  • Make sure your devices have up to date anti-virus software
  • Ensure all accounts have strong passwords
  • Ask for ID if anyone comes to your door
  • Make sure websites are secure and start with "HTTPS", not just "HTTP"
  • Never respond to scammer emails, otherwise they'll know the account is active


If you're unsure about a financial services company, you can check if they're on the FCA register.


More information on what to look out for and how to protect yourself can be found on the Money Helper website.


Seeking help

If you're concerned that there's a scammer in your area or you've transferred money to a scammer in the last 24 hours, you should contact 101. If you feel threatened or unsafe, you should call 999 and ask for the police.


For more information on reporting scams click here.


Other organisations who can help

If you've been a victim of a scam, organisations such as Age UK and Citizens Advice can offer support.