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How to spot a scam

Herman Khosah

Written by Herman Khosah, senior marketing executive

It’s a great time to stay connected and shop online, but remember to look out for and report scams.

Scammers are getting increasingly cunning in the way they try to get access to your personal details and your money; often known as phishing.

Phone calls, texts or emails pretending to be from the government, NHS and utility companies are becoming more and more common. You may also see an increase in texts or emails stating you have missed a parcel or that your shopping account has been suspended the more you shop online.

Top tips to help you spot a scam

  • If it is too good to be true, it probably is. Be suspicious of offers and deals that seem too good.

  • Take your time. Think about what is being offered to you and do not make any rash decisions. A genuine company will give you time to think, whereas scammers will often try to make you panic and act quickly.

  • Be wary if you are asked for personal details. Never give out personal information, such as passwords or bank details to an organisation or person you do not know or trust. Even if something looks or sounds genuine, it could still be a scam.

  • Watch out for suspicious links. Do not click on something if you are not 100% sure it is genuine. Go to the website directly rather than clicking on suspicious links.
  • Check for poor grammar, spelling errors and off company branding. Most companies are protective of their brand and would not send out important messages with mistakes. This is a typical sign that something is not right.

  • Ask yourself, are you expecting a message? Scammers are good at using current events in their scams. If you are not expecting such a message, it is better to ignore it.

Help from Action Fraud

Remember, Action Fraud are the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, they can help you if you've been scammed, or have spotted something you don't feel is quite right.

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