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Stay scam smart

We saw a surge in scams during the COVID-19 pandemic, and – as the cost-of-living crisis bites – it seems that scammers are out in force again.

Research by Citizens Advice shows that over 40 million people – or more than three-quarters of all UK adults – have been targeted by a scammer this year. One of the best ways to stay vigilant is to be aware of which scams are being reported.

Common scams

One of the most common scams currently is the offer of a refund or rebate of some kind. As household costs soar and people become increasingly vulnerable financially, it’s natural to want to claw some of that money back – and scammers are only too happy to exploit this.

Citizens Advice and the Consumer Protection Partnership say that people have been sent emails purporting to be from energy regulator Ofgem – recipients are asked to hand over their bank details so they can receive a rebate. Other scams involve tax rebates or refunds from the government or HMRC.

Other types of scams

Recognising the signs of a scam

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute warns that it might be a scam if:

If you think you’ve been scammed

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute recommends you:

Reporting scams

Stay informed

The more informed you are about scams, the less likely you’ll be to fall victim to one. Outsmart the scammers by signing up for the Which? Magazine Scam Alert Service to hear about new and emerging scams.

Don’t forget to protect your pension

Your pension is likely to be one of your most valuable assets, so it’s really important you keep it safe.

The Financial Conduct Authority provides helpful guidance on how to spot and avoid scams. To help you understand the different ways you can be scammed, and what to do if you think this has happened to you visit MoneyHelper.

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