How to avoid being scammed
Scams are ways to con you out of your money and it’s especially important to stay vigilant during these difficult times. Beware of bogus healthcare or charity workers, and strangers selling testing kits, face masks or hand sanitisers. Remember, there are no cures or vaccines for COVID-19 yet. Keep up to date using reliable sources, such as the NHS and government guidance (gov.uk/coronavirus).
Always stop and think before deciding to part with your money or information.
- Ask for ID from anyone who calls claiming to be from a charity or another organisation offering you support. Check their credentials by contacting the organisation directly, using a number you know is genuine.
- Don’t open the door to anyone calling out of the blue. Healthcare and other professionals will never visit without letting you know first.
- Only speak to people you know and trust about your pension or investments. Be suspicious of special offers or time-limited deals. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Take your time — don’t let anyone rush or panic you into making a quick decision. It’s okay to ignore messages or to say no.
- Don’t give out personal information, such as email logins, passwords, your bank details, details about your health conditions or why you need support.
- Never click on links or download attachments in unsolicited emails or text messages — they may contain viruses or trick you into putting your details into fake websites.
- Don’t give anyone access to your computer following a cold call or text — for example, from someone claiming to be from technical support.
- If anyone tries to force you to hand over money, call the police.
If you think you’ve been scammed, contact your bank immediately. Use the phone number on your bank statement or on the back of your credit or debit cards, or the bank’s website.
For advice about pensions or investments, contact the Pensions Advisory Service (0800 011 3797, pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk) or the Financial Conduct Authority (0800 111 6768, fca.org.uk).
Read our Scamwise guide for more information about scams and how to protect yourself.