There are many different types of scams and it is important to be aware of how fraudsters operate so you can avoid falling victim to this type of crime.
Scams can take place via the telephone, by post, email or by cold calling (for example people calling at the door without an appointment).
To minimise the risk of getting involved in a scam you should avoid the following:
1) cold callers offering services at your door or over the phone and asking you to pay in advance
2) letters, emails or phone calls offering services or asking for charitable payments through cash transfers or to disclose your bank details by way of making a payment
3) paying money in advance to claim a prize, or being asked to ring a number to claim a prize
4) situations where you are pressured into making a quick decision
5) one-off offers or deals.
It is very important to protect your identity and financial information to reduce the chance of being scammed:
6) never give out sensitive financial or personal information over the phone or by email - your bank or building society will never ask you to disclose your full PIN number or full bank details
7) do not give your bank details or passwords to someone you don’t know
8) keep your personal documents, bank and credit cards and cheque books in a safe place
9) if you are unable to memorise your PIN numbers and have written them down, keep them in an alternative safe place to your bank cards
10) sign up for free phone and mailing preference services to stop cold callers contacting you by phone or post. Some phone companies also offer a mixture of free or paid for services which can help you block nuisance calls. ReadOfcom's information on phone company services to find out more.
11) always ask for official ID if someone comes to the door
12) get your mail redirected to a trusted person if you think your mail is being stolen.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud or you have been targeted for fraud, you should inform Action Fraud (0300 123 2040, actionfraud.police.uk).
You can also read more advice content in our Scams Awareness Month pages.
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