Everyday numerous scams are created all of which are designed to trick you into handing over money or personal details. The Office of Fair Trading estimates that that around 3 million UK consumers lose a total of £3.5 billion to scams every year but it's not just your money that's at risk, being scammed can be very distressing.
Scams come in many different forms
Most commonly scams are received by email, post, phone call or text message. Common scams include bogus lotteries, deceptive prize draws, fake ticketing, phishing (fake emails or pop-up websites), online dating scams and fake investments- this list is not exhaustive though.
Don’t be embarrassed
The scammers can be very clever and manipulative using tactics to target all kinds of people and businesses. If you are a consumer and have been the victim of a scam, or think that you may have been a victim please contact Citizens Advice on 08454 04 05 06. The information you provide could help to prevent the scammers from claiming more victims.
Westminster residents can also contact us.
If you’re a business in Westminster and have been the target of a scam, please contact us.
Action Fraud is the UK's National Fraud reporting centre. They have a huge amount of information on different types of scams.
Rare Earth Metals
Rare earth metals are being promoted as an alternative investment by fraudsters who are cold calling potential victims and persuading them to invest in substantial sums of money. Fraudsters are claiming that the high demand for the metals in the manufacture of goods such as computers and mobile phones will lead to very attractive returns.
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has produced guidance on what to look out for and why you should be wary about investing in this market.
Unscrupulous traders are targeting people in the sale of carbon credits. Carbon credit trading is a legitimate trading sector which involves the sale of certificates or permits which allows a Company to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) per credit; it is becoming an increasingly popular area of business due to the pressures being faced by Companies to reduce their carbon footprint.
Unfortunately fraudsters are now contacting people and selling ‘carbon credits’ or investing in a ‘green scheme’ that could ultimately result in you losing money on the investment.
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has produced guidance on what to look out for: http://www.fsa.gov.uk/consumerinformation/scamsandswindles/investment_scams/carbon_credit
'The Little Book of Big Scams'
The Metropolitan Police Service has produced a guide on how to avoid some the the most common scams. 'The Little Book of Big Scams' is a comprehensive guide on fraud prevention, explaining the most common scams and providing essential advice to reduce you becoming a victim.
A link to the booklet and a downloadable version can be accessed at here.
Was this useful?
Whatever your interest, Westminster City Council welcomes and encourages you to get in touch with suggestions for improvements to the site. Please tell us how useful this page was to you.