Advice for what your next step should be to help you get your money back.
Ask yourself the following questions. If you answer yes to any of them, there's a good chance it's a scam.
Cold calls or unexpected emails or messages should raise suspicion, especially if you’re asked to give personal or payment details.
It’s very unusual for legitimate organisations to contact you and ask for sensitive information if you’re not expecting them to.
If you're not 100% convinced about the identity of the caller, hang up and contact the company directly.
Never share your personal details with anyone if you can't confirm they are who they say they are.
Scam websites often Vague contact details can be a PO box, premium rate number (starting ‘09’) or a mobile number.
If anything goes wrong it's important you can contact those involved. This will be difficult if you don't have accurate contact information.
Premium rate numbers are also a favoured trick for squeezing every penny they can out of you.
It's important you can discuss any agreements with your friends, family or advisors.
Asking you to keep quiet is a way to keep you away from the advice and support you need in making a decision
Scams will often promise high returns for very little financial commitment. They may even say that a deal is too good to miss.
Use your common sense, if a deal is too good to be true, it inevitably is.
Fraudsters often try to hurry your decision making. Don’t let anyone make you feel under pressure - it’s OK to take a break and think things through if you’re not sure.
Sales staff should always give you time and space to make an informed decision, anyone who tries to rush you should not be trusted.
Emails or messages littered with spelling and grammar mistakes are a scam giveaway. Legitimate organisations will rarely, if ever, make spelling or grammatical mistakes in their emails to you because they’ve been put together by professionals and checked before they’re sent.
Our emails will alert you to scams doing the rounds, and provide practical advice to keep you one step ahead of fraudsters.Sign up for scam alerts
Scammers have become more sophisticated in their bid to part us from our cash.
Protect yourself from being scammed by following our tips.
Always , and have a unique one for every single website. Re-using passwords can make you vulnerable to a . Using easy-to-remember passwords and reusing the same passwords across lots of websites is not secure. If you’d like to securely store all of your passwords for different accounts we recommend using a password manager. For more on password managers and to help you choose, check out our
2FA is when you add a second step to the log-in process for your online accounts. So rather than just typing in your password, you have to complete a second step, too. Examples of this could be typing in a code sent to you by SMS, generated by an app on your phone or it can be confirming that it’s you with a fingerprint or a scan of your face.
Find out if your details have been compromised in a data breach. If your account has been compromised then the company should let you know, but you can find out yourself by visiting . This is a service run by Troy Hunt, one of the most respected names in online security. It is safe to enter your password to check if it's been revealed in a data breach - the site doesn't store passwords you enter. Try not to worry too much about a data breach, just make sure you change the password for that account and ensure you’ve not used that password anywhere else.
Checking your credit report is an important part of maintaining your financial health. It'll allow you to pick up on any mistakes - or even fraudulent applications. . You could also join which notifies banks to make extra checks if your details are used to open a new account.
Avoid putting your phone number and full date of birth on social media - scammers trawl through profiles looking through this information. Update your privacy settings so your profile and the things you post are only visible to your friends and family. You can choose settings that will stop strangers from sending you messages or friend requests. Ignore friend or connection requests from people you don’t know in real life.
Sadly, if you’ve been scammed once, you’re more likely to be targeted again. It might be worth changing your number and/or email address if you’re being bombarded by cold calls and spam.
Sharing details of the scam helps us to protect others as well as inform our scams content, research & policy work.Share scam details