Millions of Britons are being targeted by organised criminal gangs using the latest mass marketing techniques to defraud them of an estimated £3.5 billion a year. That's the warning today as organisations across the world join together in a global day of action and awareness to fight back against the criminals behind the scams.
If you have been a victim of fraud and lost money, you can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.
There is lots of advice available to avoid becoming a victim in the first place, and support for those who suspect that they may already have fallen victim to fraud:
• If you haven’t entered a competition, you won’t have won a prize
• If something seems too good to be true, it probably is
• Ask questions - If someone is legitimate they won’t pressurise you or be elusive
• Don’t provide money upfront
• Be very wary about giving your personal information to strangers
• Look out for bad spelling and grammar, they are often a sign of a fraudulent organisation
• Remember that websites can be faked too, and that someone may claim to work for a well known company. Always check the real company’s details against the ones you have been given, and ring them direct if you are in doubt.