Protect yourself against online problems like fraud, identity theft, abuse and viruses - Get safe online

Do you think you have been scammed?

If you think that you have been a victim of a scam or know someone who has and would like advice, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline.

Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded, or experienced cybercrime.

If you've paid for something you haven't received, you might be able to get your money back from organisations such as your bank.

Check if you can get your money back after a scam

Would you like to learn more about scams?

Learn how to protect yourself and others from scams by completing the Friends Against Scams awareness session. Once you have completed the session, you can assist us in raising awareness of scams in our communities.

Anybody can join Friends Against Scams and make a difference in their own way. You can become a friend, a SCAM champion, give organisational support and become a Scam Marshal.

What do Trading Standards do about scams?

Trading Standards receive referrals regarding potential scam victims from various organisations.  We can give victims advice and support on how to seek a refund from the scam company. We will also try to prevent the victim from engaging again with the “scammer”.

If a person is receiving scam phone calls on their landline, we offer a criteria met service where we will supply and fit a call blocker. These prevent unwanted and scam calls from getting through to the individual.

We also receive intelligence on scams which we investigate where we can. We regularly provide information on scams on our social media pages as well as our quarterly newsletter to prevent people becoming victims to scams and losing money.

Top 5 scams

1. Telephone scams & nuisance calls

Callers can inform you there is an "urgent problem" such as your bank account has been compromised. The scammer may ask for your bank details or offer for a courier to come and collect the bank card.

  • Do not give PIN numbers or passwords or hand over your card.
  • Always verify a caller's identity by contacting the company afterwards using an official number.
  • To contact your bank, use the number on the back of your bank card.
  • Many telephone providers have free call-barring services and call blocking devices are also available.

2. Scams & phishing emails

Attackers deceive people into revealing sensitive information. They pretend to be an organisation such as the DVLA or TV licensing.

  • Always check the address of the sender by hovering over or clicking the sender's name.
  • Be wary of links to click which may take you to an external page where card details are requested.

3. Friend or family in need

Beware of messages or emails claiming to be friends or family asking for help or money.

  • Verify their identity before sending money or personal information.
  • Never click on a link in a text if the sender is unknown.
  • Report unwanted texts to 7726.

4. Social media and online marketplace

If an account is hacked the victim can be extorted for money or the account used for fraudulent activities.

Fraudsters target job seekers with fake job opportunities on social media.

If you're selling items online, fake buyers may contact you asking you to pay the courier's fee, promising a refund once delivered. The "buyer" will not reimburse the seller.

  • Use 2-Step Authentication. Keep passwords secure and use different ones for each account.
  • Check who is sending messages and contact the organisation directly if you have doubts about the authenticity.
  • Request the buyer to collect the item themselves or alternatively, deliver the item to the buyer if possible.

5. Parcel delivery

Messages are sent saying you need to pay for the re-delivery of a parcel.

  • Don’t pay. It is the sender's responsibility to pay for delivery fees.

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