How to stay safe and spot scams before it’s too late

Scammers have become increasingly savvy, constantly designing new ways to deceive unsuspecting individuals. Whether it’s through phone calls, text messages, emails, or letters, scammers often pose as reputable organisations, such as banks or government bodies, to trick people into sharing personal information or sending money.

Here are some key signs to watch out for to help you identify and avoid falling victim to scams:

  1. Trust your instincts: If something seems suspicious or too good to be true, it probably is. Listen to your gut feeling and proceed with caution if you receive an email, letter or phone call which you weren’t expecting.
  2. Protect your sensitive information: Be cautious about sharing passwords, PIN numbers, or other personal details, especially in response to strange requests. Legitimate organisations will never ask you to provide sensitive information via email, text, or phone call.
  3. Be wary of urgent requests for money: Scammers often pressure you into transferring or sending money quickly, sometimes using unconventional methods like requesting payment in Google or Amazon vouchers. Take a moment to verify the legitimacy of the request before taking any action.

By being vigilant and following these tips, you can safeguard yourself against scams and protect your finances and personal information. Remember, it’s better to err on the side of caution than to become a victim of fraud. Stay informed, stay cautious, and stay safe.

Common scams 

Investment and Pensions Scams: Fraudsters promise high returns or pressure victims into making quick investment decisions. Protect yourself by:

  • Researching and verifying investment opportunities before committing any money.
  • Consulting with a trusted financial advisor before making any significant commitments.
  • Being cautious of offers that seem too good to be true.

Tech Support Scams: Tech support scams involve fraudsters posing as tech support representatives who claim your computer has issues and offer to fix it for a fee. Protect yourself by:

  • Never trusting unsought tech support calls or pop-up messages.
  • Refusing to give control of your computer to strangers.
  • Avoiding sharing personal or financial information with callers.

Scams Targeting Older People: Scammers target older individuals with various schemes, including identity theft and fake charities. Protect loved ones by:

  • Educating them about common scams and warning signs.
  • Encouraging caution with sharing personal information online or over the phone.
  • Making sure they seek advice from trusted family or friends before making financial decisions.

‘You’ve Won a Prize’ Scams: Scammers claim victims won a prize or lottery but require payment of fees or taxes. Protect yourself by:

  • Being sceptical of messages claiming, ‘you’ve won a prize’.
  • Not responding to such messages unless you are absolutely sure it’s legitimate and refers to a competition which you have entered
  • Never providing personal or financial information to claim a prize.

Fake job opportunities – the latest scam

Scammers are exploiting job seekers by posing as legitimate recruitment agencies and advertising fake job opportunities. They lure individuals through online postings and WhatsApp messages, in the hope to obtain personal information.

Reports from reputable sources like Action Fraud highlight a rising trend in recruitment scams. Protect yourself by:

  • Being cautious of unexpected job offers.
  • Avoid sharing personal information under pressure.
  • Research companies before engaging with them.



Keep yourself updated on the latest scams by signing up for scam alerts from reputable sources like UK consumer champion ‘Which?’. These alerts provide valuable insights into emerging scams, empowering you to stay alert and protect yourself from fraudsters.

Action Fraud

Report fraud or cybercrime 24/7 by calling 0300 123 2040.

You can register with Action Fraud to report fraud at any time online. Protect yourself further by joining Action Fraud Alerts to receive direct, verified and accurate information about scams.

Citizens Advice Bureau

Reporting scams are crucial to stopping fraudsters from being able to target other individuals. Visit Citizens Advice Bureau’s report a scam page for any more advice on how to report scams.

Age Cymru

Age Cymru provide advice on what support is available if you’ve been caught by a scam. They help individuals who have been scammed and point you in the direction of resources which are available if you are struggling financially or emotionally because of it.  

Cai Cox

PR & Communications Trainee