Our Top Common Scams and How To Avoid Them

In 2012, more than 22,000 people in the UK were scammed, says Citizens Advice. Although you can take precautions against burglars and snoops, fraudsters are much more covert in their operations. It’s not always easy to spot a scam, so here are some of the most common ones you may encounter, otherwise a case with a criminal lawyer may be necessary:

False Green Deals

Always be suspicious of anyone who is trying to sell you something unsolicited at your door or over the phone. Fake green deals can promise you thousands of pounds in funding for projects, such as insulation or solar energy. You will be asked to pay an admin fee.

Also beware of any ‘energy saving’ gadgets that promise to save huge amounts of electricity for an expensive price.


Someone at your door will offer a free survey of your home, to establish if you have any damp. They will always find damp, even where there is none. He or she will say it needs immediate attention and will give you an extortionate quote on the spot that requires a deposit.

Common Scams

Fishy Salesmen

This may seem like common sense to most, but if someone comes around your house offering food, steer clear. Especially if it’s for ‘cheap’ fish that you have to buy by the box.

Broken Hearts

On a dating website, an attractive person – who lives abroad – contacts you, looking to start up an online romance. A little later down the line, your new internet lover asks for money to pay for emergency bills.

Council Tax Fraud

Any documents or phone calls to do with taxes leave most of us feeling cold. Don’t panic, however. It may be a scam if they are asking for an administration fee or are asked for your bank details for a refund. Always double check with the council before you commit to any actions.

Job Nightmare

You submit your CV to a job-searching website and you receive a response, guaranteeing you a position, as long as you pay a fee. Alternatively, you may see a high salary job advert, but you must pay for a training course before you can apply.

Lottery Prize

You receive congratulations that you won a lottery you can’t remember buying a ticket for. Already, alarm bells should be ringing. To collect your money pot, you will be asked to pay some sort of processing fee or to call a high-charge phone line.

Telephone Debt

You are called and told that you are in debt on your phone line for whatever reason. You’re then asked for immediate payment or you’ll be disconnected and face legal action. If you do end up putting down the phone, the fraudsters will attempt to trick you into thinking your line has been cut by staying on the line.

Holiday SOS

A friend or relative has had their email account hacked and an email appears in your inbox, begging you for money, as they are stranded abroad. This is a load of rubbish.