Scams Awareness Campaign
This week sees the start of our annual Scams Awareness Campaign. For useful hints and tips on how to spot scams and stay safe, follow this link for full details.
In the meantime, here are 3 types of scams you need to know about:
1. Competition Scams
Often found on Instagram, fake accounts will trick you into liking, sharing and commenting on their posts to win something. You’ll then get a DM saying that you’ve won! And they’ll ask you to pay an upfront cost for delivery and ask for personal information. They’ll then use this to steal your money and your identity.
2. Too good to be true deals
If something sounds too good to be true — it probably is. Scammers pose as real brand accounts offering exclusive discounts on luxury goods. The accounts often have fake followers and post enhanced photos to make them seem real. When you buy from them, the goods are fake and poor quality or they never turn up.
3. Phishing emails
Phishing emails are emails used to steal your personal information. Often scammers pose as organisations such as the government and ask you to fill in information to receive a grant.
How do I protect myself online?
There are some easy steps you can take to protect yourself against scams.
- Use a strong password — and make sure your email password is different to passwords you use on other websites. Choose 3 random words and add numbers and symbols.
- Don’t click on things you don’t trust — this includes links or downloads from friends that seem out of character. For example, getting you to vote for them in a competition or send money.
- Make sure your antivirus software is up to date — your phone or laptop will notify you when the software needs updating
What to do if you’ve been scammed
If you or someone you know has been scammed, you can call our consumer service.
England — 0808 223 1133
Wales — 0808 223 1144
Advisers are available Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm.
You can also report the scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
Visit citizensadvice.org.uk/scamsadvice for all of our online advice.