Quick Exit

Scams and Fraud

Fraud can be distressing, but with some knowledge and vigilance, you can safeguard yourself against scams. Here are ten golden rules to help you prevent fraud and outsmart scammers:

  1. Be Skeptical: Treat all “too good to be true” offers with suspicion. Remember, there are no guaranteed get-rich-quick schemes.
  2. Take Your Time: Don’t agree to offers or deals immediately. Insist on time to seek independent or legal advice before making decisions.
  3. Verify Credentials: Before handing over money or signing anything, check someone’s credentials and their company’s legitimacy.
  4. Money Caution: Never send money to unfamiliar or untrusted individuals, whether in the UK or abroad. Use payment methods you’re comfortable with.
  5. Guard Personal Details: Never share banking or personal information with strangers. Safeguard this valuable data.
  6. Direct Website Access: Always log on to websites directly rather than clicking links in emails.
  7. Seek Independent Evidence: Don’t rely solely on glowing testimonials. Look for solid, independent proof of a company’s success.
  8. Consult Professionals: If an offer involves money, time, or commitment, seek independent or legal advice.
  9. Report Scams: If you spot a scam or have been scammed, report it promptly. There’s no shame in being deceived; reporting helps prevent others from falling victim.
  10. Get Help: If you suspect a scam, contact Action Fraud at 0300 123 2040. If you know the suspect or they’re nearby, call 1011.

Remember, your information may be crucial in completing the bigger picture and protecting others. Stay informed, stay cautious, and don’t hesitate to report any suspicious activity. 

If you’ve been scammed, consider resetting your passwords, notifying your bank, and updating your anti-virus software and seek professional advice and/or report using an online form from Action Fraud.

Financial abuse

Financial abuse can take many different forms, for example; fraud, theft, deception, false accounting, exploitation or pressure in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions.

The abuser could be a family member, friend or new ‘best friend’, carer, work colleague, person in authority, a rogue trader or bogus caller. They may be career criminals or just opportunists. The chances are they will prey on adults at risk. These people may be experiencing hardship, loneliness, recently lost a partner, they may be socially isolated or have some sort of cognitive impairment.

The level of abuse could be a few pounds a week to thousands, but it is still abuse. Some victims may not know they are a victim, some may be complicit as the abuser is their only contact with the outside world and they are dependent on them. Victims are quite often unaware of who to report their abuser to or are too scared of the repercussions. Whatever their situation, the victim needs to be supported.

Indicators of financial abuse

  • high usage of cheque books
  • large withdrawals from bank accounts
  • unexplained withdrawals or transfers from accounts
  • basic requirements being neglected – utility bills, food, clothes or hygiene
  • warning letters for payments of bills
  • changes in deeds or ownership of property
  • change in wills
  • repairs or maintenance to property costing excessive amounts
  • refusal to be allowed into a property, where there had not been an issue previously
  • reluctance to accept care services
  • purchase of items that the individual does not require or possess

If you believe you are a victim of financial abuse or you suspect or know someone who is, please report it to Adult Social Care.

Most often financial abuse occurs within romantic relationships and is often part of a pattern of coercive control characterised by belittling, threatening, intimidating and domineering behaviour. 95% of domestic abuse includes economic abuse. The Domestic Abuse Act was updated in April 2021 to include economic abuse.  This article provides more information on what financial abuse is and how to get help.  If you believe you are victim of domestic abuse there are many organisations providing help and support.

Resources and help to stay safe 

Practitioner Resources