Fraud is when a person lies to you, or ‘scams you’, in order to gain an advantage, such as taking your money or learning private information about you. This could be via email, text, phone or in person, either on the street or on your doorstep. 

Some adults may be especially vulnerable to fraud and financial abuse. If you’re concerned about someone you know, contact your local Social Services and ask for Adult Social Care.

With a little knowledge you can protect yourself from fraudsters too. Learn the 10 golden rules to prevent fraud, find out about the most common types of fraud and download The Little Book of Big Scams (PDF 2.7MB) to find out more. An audio version is also available.

10 golden rules to prevent fraud

Remember these 10 golden rules to help you prevent fraud and beat the ‘scammers’.

  1. Be suspicious of all ‘too good to be true’ offers and deals. There are no guaranteed get-rich-quick schemes.

  1. Do not agree to offers or deals immediately. Insist on time to obtain independent or legal advice before making a decision.

  1. Do not hand over money or sign anything until you have checked the credentials of the company or individual.

  1. Never send money to anyone you don’t know or trust, whether in the UK or abroad, or use methods of payment that you’re not comfortable with.

  1. Never give banking or personal details to anyone you do not know or trust. This information is valuable so make sure you protect it.

  1. Always log on to a website directly rather than clicking on links provided in an email.

  1. Do not rely solely on glowing testimonials. Find solid, independent evidence of a company’s success.

  1. Always get independent or legal advice if an offer involves money, time or commitment.

  1. If you spot a scam or have been scammed, report it and get help. Contact ActionFraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at Call us on 101 if the suspect is known or still in the area.

  1. Don’t be embarrassed about reporting a scam. Because the scammers are cunning and clever there is no shame in being deceived. By reporting you will make it more difficult for them to deceive others.

Get help or report a scam

If you think you’ve uncovered a scam, have been targeted by a scam or fallen victim to fraudsters, report it to the Met here.

Reporting crime, including fraud, is important. If you don’t tell the authorities, how
do they know it has happened and how can they do anything about it? Remember that if you are a victim of a scam or an attempted scam, however minor, there may be hundreds or thousands of others in a similar position. Your information may form part of one big jigsaw and may be vital to completing the picture.