How to report a scam

How to report a scam

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Fraudsters can be devious and smart with their scams and will target anyone. Therefore, if you fall victim of a scam, you’re not alone. The most important thing to do next is to report it.

What to do after falling for a scam

If you missed all the signs and fall victim to a scam, the next step is to report it. The first thing you need to do is gather all the information about the scam. This includes who you have been in contact with, why you’re suspicious, details of what you have provided them with, such as personal details or money, and how you’ve paid them.

Who to contact

Once you have all the information about the scam, your next step is to contact the relevant company or organisation about the scam. How you have been scammed will determine who you need to contact.

Reporting fraud

You should report all scams to Action Fraud, including both online and offline scams. You will then receive a police crime reference number and the case will be referred to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau. You should keep your reference number safe as you may need this when contacting other companies, like your bank, to inform them of the scam.

You can report the scam to Action Fraud online or by phone on 0300 123 2040.

Reporting offline scams

You can also use other services, like Citizens Advice, to report scams. If the scam hasn’t been done via the internet (e.g. door-to-door and telephone scams) they will pass the information on to Trading Standards to investigate. Trading Standards may contact you for further information and could even prosecute the scammer depending on what they find.

Report the scam to the police

If a scammer is in your area and you feel unsafe, or you have sent the scammer money in the last 24 hours, you can report it to the Police by calling 101.

Contact the relevant company

Once you have reported the scam, it is also worthwhile contacting the company the fraudster has impersonated, such as a bank, retailer, or any other organisation. Informing the genuine company will make them aware of the scam so they can warn other customers. For example, if you were led to believe that thinkmoney has contacted you, it is important to let us know to help us prevent future scams.

If you have had money taken from your account, the quicker you inform your bank, the higher the chance of getting that money back. There are no guarantees, but you can increase your chances if you act quickly.

Contact the internet provider

If you have fallen victim to a phishing scam (a scam via email), then you can contact the internet provider that the scammer’s email came from. For example, if the fake email address ended @yahoo.com, then contacting Yahoo to make them aware of the scam could also help to prevent future scams.

You can also forward the email to [email protected] This will send the fraudulent email to the National Cyber Security Centre for investigation.

Reporting financial scams

If the scam is a financial scam, including cryptocurrency, investments, or pensions, then you must report it to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as well as your bank or pension provider.

Reporting postal scams

If you receive scams through the post, then Royal Mail can investigate it. Send the mail, including the envelope it came in and a completed scam mail report to ‘Freepost Scam Mail’.

Being a victim of a scam can be an emotional and stressful time. Many can feel embarrassed about being deceived, so it’s important to know that you’re not alone and that there are organisations out there who can offer support and advice.

You can find advice on Citizens Advice or seek help and support from Victim Support.