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How can i report a telephone scam ?

Any person who has been scammed is strongly advised to ensure that they report the scam. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed about reporting it, as scammers tend to be predatory, clever, and can target any person regardless of their status in society.
When you report the scam, it makes it easier for the organizations in charge to not only track down those behind it, but to ensure that others don’t fall prey to their clever words.

In case you get scammed, you are advised to :

  • Collect as many details about the scam as you can
  • Put in place measures to safeguard you from further risks
  • Report that scam to Citizens Advice
  • Ensure that you also report the fraud to other UK-based organizations

How Do You Safeguard Yourself from Additional Risks ?

Before you get in touch with organizations responsible for tracking down scammers, it’s recommended that you start by ensuring that you are well protected.
Protecting yourself is the surest way to make sure that things won’t get worse for you. Click here to learn what you need to do if you get scammed.

When to Contact the Local Police

You should get in touch with the local police by calling 101 immediately if :

  • You have made a money transfer to the scammers within twenty-four hours.
  • There’s a strong possibility that the people who have scammed you reside in your locality In case you feel unsafe or threatened, you should place a call to 999.

Collect All the Details Related to the Scam

You must try to recall all the details on the scam. Note them down in a notepad. You will need to have these details nearby when reporting the fraud.

You will need to ensure that you have included :

  • The people that you have been in contact with—note down the names they gave you, the phone numbers that they used, and any addresses you may have belonging to them.
  • Why you became suspicious, i.e., what tipped you off.
  • Any information that you may have shared or given to the scammers—this will include your bank details, PINs, or passwords to important online accounts.
  • Mention whether you made any money transfer or payment, and if you did, how much you sent and the method you used to send the money, e.g., bank transfer or credit card.
  • Reporting Fraud to Citizen Advice

    The medium used to report a scam to Citizen Advice will depend on the type of scam that you have encountered.

    Reporting Online Fraud

    Online fraud refers to scams occurring via the internet, e.g., through fraudulent web pages, emails, and social media. For this, you need to report to the Scams Action Service

    Reporting Offline Fraud

    This deals with all fraudulent activities that do not involve the use of the internet, e.g., telephone scams or doorstep scams. If you need to report an offline scam, you can do so by reporting to the Consumer Service.

    What Citizen Advice Will Do When You Report a Scam

    When you have furnished Citizen Advice with all the information about the scam, it will pass these details to the Trading Standards. Citizen Advice doesn’t investigate fraud itself.
    The reason the information is sent to Trading Standards is that it’s in a position to gather further information and then take legal action against the people behind the scams.

    What Does Trading Standards Do ?

    Trading Standards will first go through all the information that has been sent to it. Based on available details, it will then decide on whether to open an investigation or not. It may also get in touch with the injured parties to collect more details.
    Based on the information it will collect, it may decide to stop the scammers from operating or choose to prosecute them.
    Trading Standards don’t always contact all the victims. But this doesn’t mean that your information can’t be used as evidence to pursue legal action at a future date.

    Reporting Fraud to Other Organizations

    You shouldn’t stop with Citizen Advice. It’s highly recommended that you alert other organizations of the scam as well. Filing a report with many organizations makes it easier to catch the scammers and prevent them from scamming others.
    All types of fraud need to be reported to Action Fraud. This is the main reporting center for all fraudulent activities taking part in the UK.
    Action Fraud is in a position to engage the service of the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau which can then open an investigation into the fraud activities. A crime reference number is given to all citizens who report to Action Fraud. You can use this number to inform a bank that you have been a victim of a scam.
    Click here to learn more about what you can do to try and gain your money back after being scammed.
    It’s easier to report a scam to Action Fraud by visiting their online portal. However, you can also file a report by calling their offices.

    Action Fraud Contact Details

    Their offices are open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 8 pm
    Text Phone: 0300 123 2050
    Telephone: 0300 123 2040
    Calls to Action Fraud offices cost up to 10p a minute when calling from a landline and up to 40p a minute when calling from a mobile phone. The call to their offices should, however, be free if your current service contract has a clause that supports calls to landlines.
    Contact your phone carrier for further details in case you are unsure.
    Depending on what occurred, there are other organizations that you will need to report the fraud to as well.

    Post Mail Scams

    Postal scams are investigated by the Royal Mail. A person who has received a mail via post that they suspect is fraudulent should forward it to ‘Freepost Scam Mail.’ When sending it, ensure you include a completed scam mail report and the envelope used to send the suspicious scam mail. You can call the Royal Mail and ask their representatives to send you a prepaid envelope and a form or visit Royal Mail and download a scam mail report.

    Royal Mail Contact Details

    Calls to Royal Mail are free from landlines and mobile phones
    Telephone: 0800 011 3466
    Email: scam.mail@royalmail.com

    Financial Services Scam

    For scams that involve pensions, cryptocurrencies, insurance, or investments, you should report that particular scam to the Financial Conduct Authority.
    Individuals who believed that they may have been scammed into transferring their current pensions should get in touch with their pension providers ASAP. Once they have done that, the next step is to contact the Pensions Advisory Service.

    Fraudulent Activities Where Scammers Imitate a Person or Company

    When faced with a scam where the scammer is imitating a real person or company, you will need to immediately contact the actual person or company. Inform them that there’re scammers who are falsely using their names or identities.
    Popular imitation frauds are those that involve calls, texts, or emails that appear to have been sent by HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs). Scammers using this trick might ask you to provide them with your personal information or opt to tell you about non-existent tax rebates.
    Report such scams to HMRC scams.