A scam is a scheme to con people out of their money. There are lots of different types of scams, including text, telephone or computer scams, upfront payments, doorstop selling and investment scams. People can be especially vulnerable when they’re worried about loved ones, health, money and work. When we’re dealing with other worries like these, it might take longer than usual to realise something isn’t right. Scams can affect anyone, so it’s important to know how to spot one!
It might be a scam if:
- It seems too good to be true – for example you’ve won a competition you didn’t enter in
- Someone you don’t know contacts you unexpectedly or they mention they are from a company or organisation you are unfamiliar with
- You’re being urged to respond quickly so you don’t get time to think about it or discuss it with someone else first
- You’ve been asked to pay in an unusual way – for example by bank transfer or gift vouchers
- You’ve been asked to give away personal information
If you think someone might be trying to scam you should hang up the phone immediately, or if it’s via email, take the time to get advice before taking any action. You can contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 for help with what to do next, and report scams or suspected scams to Action Fraud.