Common scams exposed by Which? membersPhishing emails and bogus PC support top scam list

31 October 2013

Phishing zombie coming out of screen

Half of Which? members have received a scam email in the past two years, according to our latest survey. To make sure you're not caught out this Halloween, we're exposing common scams and how to fight back.

Our survey of 1,199 Which? members highlighted some of the common consumer scams out there, with phishing emails topping the list. 49% told us they'd received at least one such email - sent by scammers pretending to be from a bank or offering a tax rebate, in a bid to trick you into sharing your personal details - in the past two years.

It can be difficult spotting a scam and fraudsters are often very cunning - our guide explains how to spot a scam.

Scams exposed

Nearly four in ten members, meanwhile, told us they'd been exposed to bogus computer help or support scams. These usually involve an unsolicited phone call where the cold caller claims they can fix your 'virus-riddled' computer.

38% of members also told us they'd received a message attempting to seek money for help (such as assistance for a destitute family abroad), while 31% had received a PPI or financial mis-selling scam call or email.

Of those that had lost money through a scam, 5% told us they'd lost £10,000 or more.

Reporting a scam

A third of those surveyed who had been exposed to some form of scam said they didn't report it because they didn't know who to report it to.

This will differ depending on whether it was an email scam, telephone scam, or another type of fraud. For more information, see our guide on how to report a scam.

You can also report any scam to Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud and crime reporting centre, which provides a central point of contact about fraud and financially motivated crime.

Getting your money back after a scam

69% of those surveyed that managed to get their money back after falling victim to a scam got the full amount refunded.

If you've paid for goods or services with a credit card, you have greater protection - meaning you can apply to your credit card company to get your money back.

If you were scammed from your debit card, you may be able to ask your bank to get your money back through the chargeback scheme.

See our guide on how to get your money back after a scam for more help.

More on this…