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Eight of the most common scams revealed

Can you spot the signs of a scam?


Today, Citizens Advice have revealed eight of the most common scams that are reported to them by the general public.

Fraud is now at record levels, with more than 5m scams costing Brits a mind-boggling £9bn each year.

In fact, it’s estimated that a scam is now attempted once every six seconds.

Some of the most common scams include phishing emails purporting to be from their banks, phishing messages seeking money for services and bogus computer support.

Scammers have become more sophisticated in their bid to part us from our cash, our guides can help you spot a scam or get your money back.

Eight most common scams revealed

Citizens Advice have revealed eight of the most common scams that are reported to them by the general public.

  1. Investment scams Victims are persuaded to invest money in fake ventures and are then unable to get their cash back.
  2. Fake services People are offered a service for a fee, only to find the service is not what it seems or doesn’t exist. Examples include offers to fix computers remotely and fake invoices for advertising.
  3. Vishing Con men cold call people pretending to be from a legitimate company, asking for credit or debit card details. For example, they might pretend they need to refund overpaid bills.
  4. Doorstep selling Victims are offered goods door-to-door or from the back of a van, which are likely to be counterfeit. Fraudsters selling mattresses, ‘fresh’ fish and cleaning products were all reported to Citizens Advice.
  5. Up-front payment or fee Fraudsters ask for a payment in advance for a service or product that never materialises, such as asking for a fee to get a loan or to pay for a training course to secure a job.
  6. Premium-rate texts Victims inadvertently agree to receive premium-rate texts about games or competitions, usually costing around £4 each.
  7. Counterfeit goods People buy goods at marketplaces or online that turn out to be counterfeit or stolen. Common products include cigarettes, shoes and clothing, and tickets for events.
  8. Goods not received People place orders for goods that do not arrive. Scams are often carried out through social media and online auction sites.

Safeguard us from scams

While there are sensible steps we can all take to protect ourselves, an unfair burden has been placed on the public. We’re urging the government to take the lead and ensure companies safeguard us all from scams. Sign our petition to force action on scams.

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