How to Protect Yourself

Anyone can be affected by a scam – from elderly or vulnerable individuals to big charities and corporations.

How to tell:

Scams can come through email, post, phone calls, or knocks on the door.

It is probably a scam if the email, caller, letter, or person on the doorstep is:
– Asking for personal information such as your bank details
– Saying you have won a competition you did not enter
– Offering you a deal that is ‘too good to be true’ or an amazing deal only available right now
– Asking you to send money in order to get money back e.g. ‘if you pay £500 now, we’ll send you £5000 later’
– Pressuring you to join a scheme you aren’t sure about
– Contacting you to offer an ‘investment’ in commodities such as diamonds, parking spaces, carbon credits, or wine

What you can do:

You can report any fraud or scam to Action Fraud at 0300 123 2040

Emails: you can forward any scam emails to the address from

Phone calls: To check whether a call is a fraud or not:

– Hang up the phone and call someone else – like a friend – too see if the call goes through. Scammers can sometimes stay on the line and pick up your next call, so if you just call the police, you get to the scammer instead.

– Look up another official number and call them back – do NOT call a number the original caller gives you or call them back on the same number as they called on.

– If you are getting unwanted calls from people asking ‘Did you have a car accident?’ Or ‘Do you have PPI?’ then you can sign onto the Telephone Preference Service by registering online here or by calling them on 0345 070 0707. This makes it a legal requirement that companies do not make calls to you. This stops legitimate companies from cold-calling you, but it doesn’t necessarily stop scammers.

Shops and market stalls: If you are scammed at a shop, stall, or market stall, call the Consumer Advice line on 03454 04 05 06 to find out what your rights are.

Post or doorstep sales: Trust your instincts – if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.

– If someone on the doorstep is pressuring or threatening you, call the police.

– If you find you have signed up to a scheme that won’t let you cancel, or there is someone who keeps coming back for more money, tell someone. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or Citizens Advice Bureau, telling someone will be the step towards solving it.

– Remember, it happens to everyone businesspeople, solicitors, companies, have all been scammed. The best thing to do is tell a friend or family member that you are worried, or contact City Advice on  020 7392 2919.