How to report a scam

If you spot a scam, it’s not always clear who you should report it to and it depends on whether it was an email scam, telephone scam or another type of fraud.

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1 Reporting email scams

If you've spotted a scam email or phishing email, report it to the internet service provider (ISP) that was used to send you the email.

If the scam email came from a Yahoo! account, send it to abuse@yahoo.com. Gmail has a 'Report spam' button and Hotmail has a 'Report phishing' button. 

Once you report the scam email, the internet service provider (ISP) can then close the account which sent the email.

You can also report the matter to the company or body being mimicked such as the bank, government department or other company cited in the email. 

If you're not sure whether an email you have received is a phishing email, take a look at our guide to spotting phishing emails

2 Premium rate phone scams

If you want to complain about or report a premium-rate telephone service scam, contact Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA). 

This is the official UK regulator for content, goods and services, charged to a phone bill.

You can call PSA free from a landline on 0300 30 300 20 or visit the PSA website.

Take action on scams

The financial regulator has 90 days to answer our banking scams super-complaint. And the clock is ticking.

In order to understand the issue better, the regulator is asking victims to share their experiences.

Have you or someone you know suffered this type of scam? Share your bank transfer scam story here.

3 Speak to Citizens Advice

If you report a scam to your local Citizens Advice, they may be able to offer you advice. 

You may also be giving them vital information which they can pas on to Trading Standards to help stop other people from becoming victims of the same scam.

Scams are criminal offences under the Fraud Act. This means that trading standards officers can take criminal action against the scammers.

4 Reporting to Action Fraud

Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and crime reporting centre. It provides a central point of contact about fraud and financially motivated internet crime. 

It offers an online reporting tool or you can call and speak to an advisor on 0300 123 2040.

You can also use its online form, which takes 20 minutes to complete. 

After reporting a scam, you'll get a national crime reference number and the case will be referred to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau for analysis, by the City of London Police. 

Not every report results in an investigation, but each helps build a clearer national picture about fraud. 

5 Reporting a scam to local police

You should consider contacting your local police station to report the scam. This may provide them with useful information in catching the fraudsters.

Do not dial 999 to report a scam. This number should only ever be used in an emergency.

6 Reporting to the company

If you are the victim of a mimicking scam, where fraudsters pretend to be from a genuine company, it’s worth contacting the company that has been mimicked.

It can then warn other people about the scam and take steps to prevent others falling victim to the same scam. 

Often companies will warn their customers of mimicking scams by putting notices on their websites. 

7 Stop scam mail

The Mailing Preference Service (MPS) allows you to have your name and address removed from mailing lists. 

To register for the free service, call 0845 703 4599 or visit mpsonline.org.uk. 

8 Report to Royal Mail

If you do receive correspondence you believe to be from fraudsters, you can forward it to Royal Mail with a covering letter to Freepost, Scam Mail, PO Box 797, Exeter, EX1 9UN. 

You can also email scam.mail@royalmail.com or call 03456 113 413. 

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