Spotting scammers and fraudsters

Scammers use whatever means they can to try and get sensitive data from you. They can fake their phone numbers, pretending to be a trustworthy person from a well-known company, and even create official-looking social media accounts. They’ll often seem friendly, polite and professional, but as soon as they put you under pressure and ask you to act immediately – be suspicious.

Calls, emails and texts

In doubt whether a call’s genuine or not? It’s best to hang up.

Social Media

This is the latest way scammers will try to get you. If you’re contacted by an official-looking account asking you to click a link or for personal information, stop and think. If it’s Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, is the account verified? Is the company name spelt correctly in its username? Does its follower count seem likely for a major brand? All of these things can help you suss out a fraudulent account.

Worried you could’ve been scammed?

If you ever think you’ve been the victim of fraud – whether you’ve given your details over the phone or clicked a dodgy link in a text or email and shared sensitive info – don’t panic. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Get in touch with your bank if you think you might have given out any financial info – they’ll try to recover any money you’ve lost
  2. Change your account password(s)
  3. Call 159 to chat to most UK banks confidentially if you’re concerned you’ve provided your contact details to a scammer
  4. Ring Action Fraud (the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime) on 0300 123 2040 or use their online reporting tool at

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