Types of scams awareness

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Types of scams awareness

Trading standards guidance for the types of scams to be aware of.

Scams awareness

Scams are fraudulent or dishonest get-rich-quick schemes. There are many different types of scams and new ones regularly appear trying to catch people out.

For more information on scams, you can visit:

Investment scams

For example, precious gems, carbon credits, solar panels, green energy, home insulation, land, wine, and property.


Always seek independent professional advice before signing up or agreeing to any type of investment scheme.

Email scams

These may look authentic and appear to be from your bank, building society, government department (e.g. HMRC) or other business. 


  • do check for misspellings in the email and the email address 
  • do report suspicious emails to: report@phishing.gov.uk
  • do not reply with any private information
  • do not click on any website links in the message 
  • do not give any log-in details, passwords, or PIN numbers

Telephone scams

For example, PPI (Payment Protection Insurance) Scams, where callers say they are from a claims handling company and compensation has been awarded. 

Another example is a courier scam, where the caller claims to be from the bank and tries to trick you into giving your PIN number and your bank card to a ‘courier’. Banks never ask for PIN numbers or send couriers to collect bank cards. Neither do the Police.

Also, debt recovery scams, where court action is threatened if a fictitious bill or fine is not paid quickly.


  • do not give your bank details
  • do not make any payments to release funds, etc.

Text scams

For example, receiving a text about an unauthorised payment from a bank, or a new device alert with a link to click on; or about an undelivered parcel, requesting payment for redelivery.


  • do not reply giving personal information
  • do not click on any links 
  • do report the message by forwarding it to 7726

Mail scams

For example, lottery and prize draw scams where a large cash prize is said to have been won and asking for a payment to release it. No genuine lottery or competition would ask you to do this.

Another example includes catalogue and brochure scams where a variety of products are offered such as vitamins, supplements, pills, food, beauty products, home aids, jewellery, clothing, garden products and general household items.


  • do not reply and give your personal details 
  • do not send money to claim a prize
  • do report scam mail to the Royal Mail - telephone 0800 011 3466, or write to Freepost Scam Mail, or email scam.mail@royalmail.com 
  • do report mail scams to the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 

General advice

  • do not keep cash in the house 
  • do check your bank statements regularly 
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