Scams are fraudulent schemes that dupe people into parting with their personal details and/or cash. They’ve been around for as long as we can remember, but they’re no longer confined to shady door-to-door salesmen or dodgy second-hand car dealers.

Scammers now frequently target people through emails, online banking systems, text messages and online transactions. While fraud is becoming ever more sophisticated, people are still getting caught out by traditional scam letters and phone calls. So you need to be wary.

Some scams are obvious. Someone emails you to say a distant relative has died, and there’s no one but you to inherit their $100 million fortune – all you need to do is pay £500 upfront to release the funds. But some scams are a lot less obvious, and a lot more intelligent. This guide’s aimed at helping you spot them.

New figures published by Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) show a significant rise in the number of consumers who have been targeted by phone scammers over the last year.

This type of scam is known as vishing. The research found that 58% of people have received suspect calls, a steep rise from 41% in 2013.

Rule-of-thumb: Mistaking the genuine for a scam is nowhere near as bad as mistaking a scam for the genuine.

There are a number of websites that provide tips and guidance for avoiding scams.

So how do you know if the information you have received is accurate and how do you know the difference between a real scam or just miss-information? A web site called or may be a good place to start. It provides very near real time information which may provide you with enough information for you to make a judgement call on what you have been told. Just be aware that not everything you see on the Internet is true or accurate.




ActionFraud is the UK’s national fraud and Internet crime reporting centre.




Citizens Advice on Banking, Security and Fraud.


scambook1  (This link downloads the book in PDF format.)

Metropolitan Police’s Little Book of Big Scams (Third Edition).



Which? launches scam alerts as fraudsters exploit coronavirus crisis


Snopes 01


Where do you go to check what you have is a scam or not???

We've all received them and you may have received messages from friends or coleauges by email or on social media advising you of threats and potentialy harmful efects to your computer or online accounts.

How do you confirm a scam?

Its better to check with snopes first befor you forward some warning off to all in your contact list or have a rant and rave on something you've seen!

Check it first before you transmit!