Be aware of this year's top scams
Over £1.2 billion was lost through fraud targeting individuals last year. Anyone can be targeted and if you realise you’ve fallen victim, it’s vital you act immediately and report it:
- Phone your bank using the number on your bank card
- Report it Action Fraud online or call 0300 123 2040
- Contact Victim Support online or call their free helpline on 0808 1689111
You can sign up to the Which? scam alert service to spot and avoid the latest scams.
To help you spot potential fraud, here are some of this year’s most common scams:
Parcel delivery scams: Fraudsters send fake texts or emails notifying you of missed deliveries, offering to reschedule, or asking for payment of delivery fees. Once you click on the link, you are asked for personal and bank account information.
Doorstep scams: Fraudsters posing as energy suppliers claiming to offer refunds, discounted top-ups for their meters, extra support, and government grants; while attempting to con victims out of money and their identity. The average loss to this scam is £171.
Hello Mum – WhatsApp Scam: Scammers send random fake messages targeting parents, claiming to be their child texting from a new number because they lost or damaged their phone. Then they ask their parent for money. The average loss to this scam is £3,000.
Social media scams: Scammers use sites like Instagram and Facebook to trick people into, revealing personal and banking information by signing up to websites offering fake branded goods, bitcoin or cryptocurrency investments, celebrity endorsements and bogus advertising.
Dating and romance scams: Scammers take advantage of those looking for love by creating fake profiles and stealing real people’s identities. They create relationships with victims and then manipulate them into handing over money or personal information.
Bank fraud scams: Scammers send a message pretending to be from your bank warning you about suspicious activity on your account. They suggest you click a link or transfer your money to a safe account. This scam is designed to get your money or personal information.
Housing disrepair scams: Scammers have been known to impersonate legal firms offering to help you claim compensation from your landlord. Their aim is to persuade you to pay a fee or get your personal details so make sure the company is legitimate before you give them any of your personal information.
How do I protect myself?
If you’ve been contacted out of the blue and asked for sensitive information, hang up and contact the company directly, using details from their website rather than those you’ve been given by the caller.
Check the grammar and spelling of emails and texts – scam messages often contain mistakes or use language that doesn’t feel right.
Always log onto a website directly - never click on links or attachments.
Never send money to anyone that you don’t know very well.
If you feel pressured to decide quickly, and an offer feels too good to be true, trust your gut, it usually is.
In the past online scammers have pretended to be from L&Q’s repairs department. We will never ask you to give us personal information without going through a series of standard security checks with you.
If you are concerned about any conversations that you have with L&Q colleagues about your personal details, please contact our customer service centre on 0300 456 9996. They will be able to confirm if the contact was actually from our repairs team.
If I’m the victim of a scam, will my bank refund stolen money?
If you’ve been scammed and have transferred money into a bank account, you can use the Faster Payments sort code checker to find the name of the bank your money was transferred to then contact them and try to prevent the money from being withdrawn.
Most banks have signed up to the Authorised Push Payment Scam Code set up in 2019 to reimburse blameless victims of transfer fraud. Find out more about the code and what to do if you become the victim of a scam.
Some banks may refuse if they can prove that you:
- actively authorised the transaction
- you were grossly negligent
- you waited over a year before notifying them
Banks have a responsibility to safeguard your money, so they must provide evidence before refusing you.
If you are not happy with your bank’s decision, you can escalate your complaint on the Financial Ombudsman website.
You can find more advice and information about personal fraud on the Metropolitan Police website.