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Types of abuse

Fraud and Scams

Fraud and Scams 

Fraud is when someone tricks or scams you out of money or something else valuable. There are various types of Fraud which Merseyside Police describe below. 

Personal fraud might be someone pretending to be your bank to trick you into transferring money into their account.

Business fraud could be someone lying in company accounts to steal from people who have loaned them money.

Fraud often happens online, like ticketing scams or using a fake dating profile to con money from you.

Every year, millions of people in the UK are scammed – from all walks of life. If you've been scammed, you're not alone, and there's support available.

Who can I talk to if I’ve been scammed?

  • Tell your bank or financial institution immediately if you notice a suspicious transaction from your bank account or credit card. They will try to recover any money lost. They may cancel your current card and send you a new one to stop any other fraudulent transactions from your account.
  • Report the scam to the police.
  • Contact Action Fraud using their online fraud reporting tool. You can do this any time of the day or night. You can also report fraud by calling the Action Fraud team on 0300 123 2040.
  • Contact Victim Support or Think Jessica if a scam has made you feel anxious, fearful or guilty. They provide emotional and practical help to victims of crimes and scams.
  • Contact the 24-hour Samaritans helpline on 116 123 if you feel low or anxious and need someone to talk to.
  • If you need care and support, you can contact Sefton Council Adult Social Services Department. They can provide safeguarding support and will work with you to consider what action to take.
  • Contact Citizens Advice if you’re having trouble paying your bills and are worried about what to do.

What are the signs that a relative or friend has been scammed?

You may be worried that someone you know has become victim to a scam. Look out for these warning signs:

  • Unusual amounts of post or letters in their home
  • Evidence of large cash withdrawals or multiple cheque payments
  • Lack of money to pay for other things
  • Lots of phone calls from strangers or companies.

Some scam victims don’t realise that they are being scammed or refuse to believe it. They may feel that the scammers are their friends, or that their returns or prizes will come through if they continue to respond. This can make it very difficult to talk to them about getting help.

How can I help a relative or friend if they’ve been scammed?

Raise the subject with them sensitively – perhaps by asking them about the calls and mail they receive. See if they might be willing to register for the Mail Preference Service and the Telephone Preference Service to help block some of the calls and mail.

  1. Help them to report the fraud. You can report fraud to Action Fraud on behalf of someone or encourage them to report it. It’s advised that you get permission from the victim before reporting the fraud on their behalf, but you can report the fraud without their permission.
  2. Find support locally. The government has advised that internet scams, postal scams and doorstep crime are all forms of financial abuse and are often targeted at adults who need care and support.

If you're concerned that an adult who needs care and support has been affected by a scam you can raise your concerns via Adult Social Care on 0345 140 0845. They will make safeguarding enquiries and work with the adult to consider the action that may need to be taken.

Take Five is a national campaign that offers straight-forward and impartial advice to help everyone protect themselves from financial fraud. This includes email deception and phone-based scams as well as online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations. Take a moment to read their leaflet offering advice and support. 

If you work with victims of scams, in a voluntary or a paid role, you may be interested in free E-Learning from the National Trading Standards Scams Team.  

National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team Practitioner E-Learning.

Guidance for community health and social care workers to help identify and prevent scams in society

Scams: the power of persuasive language.


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