7 July 2023
10 min read
We know there’s a lot of information about scams, and it can feel overwhelming. We’re always looking for ways we can help protect you and your money, so we’ve brought together our 8 key tips on how to protect yourself against any type of scam.
Scammers know that most people do know about scams and are cautious about sharing personal information with strangers. So, they’ll try to get around this.
Scammers will pretend to be someone else – ranging from:
Scammers develop new scams, especially relating to worrying events. You’re less likely to know what to expect in relation to unfolding events, and more likely to feel stressed if someone contacts you about them. For example, they’ve impersonated:
Scammers will offer many reasons why you need to follow their unusual instructions – for example because you or they are in trouble, or because you shouldn’t miss out on their opportunity.
Scammers may call you early in the morning or late at night when:
Don’t assume everything you read online is true, or that every message you receive is genuine.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Scammers may know some of your personal information. But this doesn’t mean they’re genuine, so don’t automatically let your guard down just because someone seems familiar with you or your situation when they contact you.
Scammers can sometimes make any name or number they like appear on your phone screen when they call you – for example, they can make it look like your bank is calling. So, it’s important to do some research rather than relying on the information on the caller display to check if the caller is genuine.
Scammers can be very good at making convincing materials, such as:
Scammers know how to ‘push your buttons’. They can find all sorts of ways to pressure you.
Scammers know that many people don’t like to be rude – they know you may find it especially hard to say no to someone once you’ve been chatting for some time.
Scammers will push you to act quickly, with their list of excuses why you need to act quickly.
It’s important to spot when this is happening to you. You may be speaking to a scammer if:
Don’t let anyone force you to make a decision quickly. It’s safer to take the time you need to look into the situation than to leave yourself vulnerable to scammers.
As good as scammers may be at copying genuine organisations or creating convincing materials, there are usually tell-tale signs that they’re not who they say they are.
You can start by reading our advice on staying safe from different types of scam.
You can search online for:
Scammers’ tactics are constantly evolving, but there are a few things you can look out for.
Spelling mistakes are one possible sign that what you’re reading is part of a scam. However, many scammers use perfect spelling, so don’t assume that means they’re genuine.
Watch out for emails which aren’t from a genuine organisation. It’s the part of the email address after the ‘@’ which you need to pay attention to:
When someone catches you off guard, you may not always recognise the signs of a scam.
It can really help to ask for a second opinion from a friend or family member, or read more about how to check if something might be a scam.
We know that some people are more vulnerable to scams due to memory problems, illness or brain injury. If you’re worried about this, someone can be given the power to manage another person’s finances once they’re no longer able to manage them themselves, you can:
If someone has contacted you unexpectedly to ask you to send them money or personal information:
Scams can have devastating effects on people’s lives. Sadly, being the victim of a scam only increases your chance of being targeted again.
If you’ve lost money to a scam, you may be contacted by someone offering an opportunity to recover the money you’ve lost – this is another scam and can lead to losing more money.
If you suspect that your personal information has gotten into the hands of scammers, you can help protect your identity and prevent someone from applying for bank accounts or credit in your name by applying for protective registration with Cifas.
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