Scams targeting vulnerable and older people are carried out on the phone, online or through the post and may involve the victim attempting to use money transfer services to send money to the scammer.
- If you or someone you know is a victim of a scam, get in touch with ActionFraud on 0300 123 2040 or click here. Alternatively, if you have information about someone running a scam, tell us.
Scammers promise miracle tablets or other medical cures that claim to offer unbelievable results but they leave victims out of pocket with the potential of damage to their health.
Con artists lower defences by building an online relationship and targeting emotions, before subsequently requesting money.
Victims are told that they are receiving a large inheritance from a long lost relative and that they must send money for taxes or fees before they receive any money.
Victims are contacted by phone or email stating that they have won the lottery in another country and need to send money for taxes or an administration fee before their winnings can be released.
You may receive a letter or email offering a payment if you can get money to the sender. The scammer might claim to be somebody official like a lawyer or accountant and promise to give a portion of the money in return for help with the transfer but you'll never see the promised payment.
Stories from scam victims
These stories of scam victims were provided by the Post Office. The names have been changed to protect the identity of those involved:
Was contacted by telephone and the person at the other end informed them that their internet provider had been hacked. Cecil was told that, because of this, he would have to pay over £4,000 to someone in Benin.
Was asked to send money to Nepal after receiving a call from what she believed to be a government organisation. The caller informed Rose that she was due to receive a cheque for over £3,000 in overpaid taxes. However, in order to gain access to the cheque, she would need to send money. Rose received a further phone call to say the cheque was instead for £13,000 and to receive this cheque an amount of over £1,000 would have to be sent to Nepal.
We're working with Post Office Limited
to prevent victims like Cecil and Rose from being scammed like this.
Got information about a scam and/or scammer?
Crimestoppers cannot take information from victims of scams. If you or someone you know is a victim of a scam, get in touch with ActionFraud on 0300 123 2040 or click here.
GIVE INFORMATION anonymously