How to spot a scam!

4,000,000 people in the UK fell victim to a scam in 2019 costings them over 1.5 billion pounds. These figures are increasing rapidly year on year as fraudsters become increasingly smarter. It is time to fight back and prevent criminals stealing your hard earned cash! In this article we explore some simple ways to protect you and your family. Useful tools, websites we think are useful and some advice on what to do if you are a victim including getting compensation. 

A scam can come in the form of a call, a letter, a website, an email or a face to face meeting.  For a scam to be successful your personal information is required and usually your bank details or account number. This simple rule is therefore unless you are 100% sure of the person or company contacting you do not confirm to them any details they already have or give them any new information. 

There are thousands of scams out there! We have outlined some of the common ones but also have detailed some tips and advice that might help.  


  1. If you receive a call, letter or email out of the blue from a company you do not know ignore it. 
  2. Even If you know the company or bank it may not be genuine - be vigilant. Does the email address look right? Is the contact number right? Are there spelling mistakes in the email? Is the domain name for online or email contact right? Will the person give you their name and can you call them back? 
  3. Do not give out any personal or financial information to people or companies that have called you out of the blue. Your name, your bank details, your passwords or pin numbers keep secret!  
  4. Check your bank and credit card statements regularly for any unrecognised transactions. These can be stopped and sometime refunded if you catch them early. Often you can set up alerts with your bank for any transactions over a certain level. 
  5. Make sure you have strong passwords and pin numbers. Change these regularly. If you find it hard to remember these there is software like (password managers) than can help you but the main tip is do not keep your passwords all written or typed in one place unless that is protected with a password. This is a good article on what a good password is. 



If you know you have been scammed and money has been lost don’t panic. This happens to millions of people in the UK. The important thing is to now stop it, report it and try and get your money back. There are lots of resources to help you and of course the specific course of action depends on your situation but consider the below; 

  1. Speak to your bank, credit card company or pensions company straight away to make them aware of the problem and to stop any further payments. 
  2. Depending on the Sam you may want to report it to Report a scam to the FCA There is certainly lots of information on their website to help you. 
  3. Depending on the scam you may want to Report a scam to the Police 
  4. You may want to see if you can be compensated by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS
  5. You may want to speak to the Citizens Advice Bureau to get some free advice about appropriate next steps. 
  6. You want additional support during what can be a stressful and upsetting time.  


Money Advice Service 

The Financial Conduct Authority 

The Citizens Advice Bureau 

Victim Support 

Action Fraud 

Legal Support 

No Win no Fee Legal Support 

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