Scams targeting the elderly and vulnerable 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. All too often the vulnerable don't realise they are a victim of crime.

  • 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.


What are postal, online and telephone scams?


What is a medical scam?

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.

What is romance fraud?

Con artists lower defences by building an online relationship and targeting emotions, before subsequently requesting money

What is an inheritance scam?

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.

What is a prize draw or sweepstake scam?

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.

What is an advance fee scam?

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: 

  • Ethel attempted to send a money transfer of £200 on behalf of a friend because she had been told that if she did so, she would receive a share of a much larger sum of over £1 million. This, of course, was a scam.
  • Daniel tried to send a payment of almost £5,000 to Georgia after receiving a cold call from a scammer pretending to be from a phone company. The criminal stated that Daniel had issues with their router and advised them that cash had been mistakenly transferred to their bank account. The scammer had taken over the Daniel’s computer and displayed a fake bank statement, showing the fake transfer. As a result, Daniel sent money from their account to the scammer.     

We're working with Post Office Limited to prevent victims like Ethel and Daniel from being scammed like this. 


 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.