It can be difficult spotting a scam, and fraudsters are often very cunning - catching people out is often their full-time job.
Watch our video to see what to look out for, and use our handy tips to spot a scam.
How to spot phishing emails
Watch our video for guidance on what to look out for and what to do if you fall victim to a phishing email.
Postal scams typically offer something that sounds attractive but in reality doesn’t exist. There’s always a catch – you’ll have to pay upfront to receive what’s on offer. Three of the most common scams are for competitions, fake foreign lotteries and clairvoyants.
Should you fall for one of these scams, there is a chance that you’ll be targeted again, as victims’ details are added to so-called ‘suckers lists’ which are then sold on to other fraudsters.
Postal scams are estimated to account for 70% of all losses from scams. This could be even higher as many victims don’t believe that they’re being conned, or don’t want to admit it.
Don’t be rushed into sending off money to someone you do not know, and always ask yourself how likely it is that you have been especially chosen for a particular offer.
Seven ways to spot a scam
Avoid falling for scams by asking yourself the seven simple questions below. If you answer yes to any of the following, there's a good chance its a scam.
- Were you contacted out of the blue?
- Does the deal seem to be too good to be true?
- Have you been asked to pass on any personal or financial details, or pay an upfront fee?
- Are you under pressure to respond quickly?
- Are the contact details vague, such as a PO box, premium rate number (starting ‘09’) or mobile number?
- Does any of the correspondence you receive contain glaring grammatical or spelling mistakes?
- Are you requested to keep the matter confidential?
If you've come a across a scam, take a look at our guide to reporting it to the right organisation.