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These are some typical warning signs that may show if someone is being targeted by scammers.

If you should spot any of these signs, please contact the Scams Unit, who will contact the resident to ensure they are safe

Postal scams

  • Make regular trips to the post office or bank
  • Have lots of scam mail in their home, including lots of post from companies abroad
  • Buy a large amount of stamps
  • Use an unusual amount of chequebooks
  • Have lots of beauty or food products around the home
  • Have 'free gifts' or 'lucky' objects sent from scammers, such as pendants, badges, etc. and items that are supposedly for protection

Telephone scams

  • Receive high volume of phone calls a day
  • Make regular payments over the phone each day
  • Receive suspicious SMS Text messages
  • Feel that the people calling them are friends as the scammers are the only people they have regular contact with
  • Talk about a helpful caller who has helped them to resolve an issue, i.e. 'fix' their computer or sort out a banking issue
  • Speak of fantastic investment opportunities that they have been given or become involved in

Doorstep scams

  • Have work completed on their property or garden, which is of poor quality or takes a long time to complete
  • Agree to further unnecessary works at the property
  • Fearful of opening the door or going out
  • Feel under pressure from those carrying out the work
  • Make large cash withdrawals to pay for work rather than use a secure payment

Online scams

  • Have received a suspicious or unexpected email asking them:
    • For personal details or banking information
    • To click on a link
    • Or to open an attachment
  • Talk of unexpected final demands or refunds from a UK official, such as HMRC or the local council
  • Talk of a new online relationship where they mostly have contact by telephone, email or on the internet and the person is in need of money
  • Discover unexpected payments have been made from their account

Common themes

A common theme for all scams is that the victim may be:

  • Experiencing financial hardship which prevents them from stocking their kitchen cupboards, heating their house or paying bills as a result of spending money on scams (or extortionate amounts for work – doorstep scams)
  • Spending a lot of their time on scams and therefore have begun to neglect themselves or their home

Report a scam

If you, a family member or a friend think you may have been a victim of a scam you can report this to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service. They will provide you with practical, and impartial advice, as well as help to stop others being scammed.

Contact us

We work in partnership with the Citizens Advice Consumer Service (CACS).

Please visit CACS for details on how to report a potential scam or call 0808 231133.

CACS will:

  • record details of your complaint
  • provide relevant advice on your consumer rights
  • forward the complaint details to the relevant Trading Standards department of police for further investigation

Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm only.

  • You can call during office hours and ask to speak to a Scams Unit Officer on 01384 818871