Did you know that Citizens Advice found in the first five months of 2021 more than two thirds of adults (36 million) had been targeted by a scam?
Scams Awareness Fortnight (13th-26th June) aims to create a network of confident, alert consumers who know what to do when they spot a scam. The campaign spreads the message that scams are crimes that anyone can fall victim to regardless of age and background and that we can all take a stand to help stop them. There are actions we can all take to report them and raise awareness of scams to safeguard ourselves and others.
With many people facing increased financial pressures, there is a high chance that scammers will take advantage of this. For example, we’ve already seen instances of scammers pretending to be energy companies offering “too good to be true” deals and others sending out phishing emails offering fake government rebates.
It’s important to always keep an eye out for scams. They can and do affect anyone.
Warning signs of scams to look out for:
- It seems too good to be true – like an email saying you’ve won a competition you don’t remember entering
- Someone you don’t know contacts you unexpectedly
- You’re being urged to respond quickly so you don’t get time to think about it or talk
to family and friends
- You’ve been asked to pay for something urgently or in an unusual way – for example
by bank transfer or gift vouchers
- You’ve been asked to give away personal information
What to do if someone has been scammed
If someone has been scammed, there are 3 steps they need to take:
- Protect themselves from further risks
There are things they can do to stop things getting worse. They should contact their bank
immediately to let them know what’s happened. They should also change any relevant
log-in details, and check for viruses if they were scammed on a computer.
- Check if they can get their money back
If they’ve lost money because of a scam, there might be ways they can get it back. Again,
make sure they tell their bank what happened straight away. If they’ve paid for something
by card, bank transfer, Direct Debit or PayPal, then depending on the circumstances they
might be able to help them get their money back.
- Report the scam
Reporting scams helps authorities stop the criminals responsible, and protects others from
being scammed. Anyone who’s been scammed should:
It’s also important for us to all talk about our experiences with family and friends. By letting them know what’s happened they can be prepared, and together we can put a stop to scams.
Where to go for more help
- If someone has been scammed, or thinks they’ve been scammed, they can contact the consumer service by calling 0808 223 1133
- If they’ve been scammed online they can also get advice from a Scams Action adviser (Mon to Frid 9am to 5pm) on 0808 250 5050 or via webchat.
- There’s lot of scams advice on the Citizens Advice website
- You can check recent scams on Action Fraud, and sign up for email alerts to find out about scams in your area.