Scams: how to spot and beat them

Be scam aware!

It is estimated that consumers lose between £5-10 billion every year to scams!

A scam is a scheme designed to con you out of your money or obtain your personal details. They can come by post, telephone, online or even by someone calling at your home. They could include bogus prize draws / lotteries, mail order brochures selling over-priced inferior goods, clairvoyants promising good fortune, ‘subscriptions traps’ for health-related products, get-rich-quick investment schemes, bogus tax rebates, or through claims that you could lose your life savings or even the threat of being arrested for a bill you haven’t paid.

New scams appear every day and anyone can suddenly become a target and fall victim.

Scammers will sound and appear genuine, and some are very convincing. But always remember:

  • if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is
  • don’t be rushed into something you might regret at a later date
  • if you have any doubts, just say no

If you’re unsure about whether something is a scam or not, always check with a family member, friend or someone else for their thoughts.

If you wish to report a suspected scam or have any information about a possible scam, please contact us via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.

If you have fallen victim to financial fraud, please call 0300 123 2040.