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Scams affecting consumers and businesses

Find out about common types of scams and how to stay safe.

Millions of people in the UK are affected by scams and fraud every year. New scams are constantly being created to con consumers and businesses out of their money.

Awareness is the best form of prevention.

Below is information on:

  • types of scams
  • consumer scams
  • business scams

Types of scams

The most common way scams take place is through emails, post, phone calls or text messages. These include

  • bogus lotteries
  • deceptive prize draws
  • fake ticketing
  • phishing (fake emails or pop-up websites)
  • online dating scams
  • investments scams

This list is not exhaustive. You can read more information on types of fraud that affect individuals and businesses here.

Consumer scams

If you're a consumer and have been the victim of a scam or think that you may have been a victim, please contact Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06.

Westminster residents can also contact the Trading Standards team to report scams and get advice. 

Don't be embarrassed -  the information you provide could help to prevent the scammers from claiming more victims.

More information

The consumer organisation Which? provides useful tips on how to spot and report scams.

The Financial Conduct Authority also provides relevant information on common scams and what to do if you are scammed.

The government has also produced guidance on how to identify Council Tax and business rates scams and what you can do to avoid them.

Business scams

If you're a business in Westminster and have been the target of a scam, please contact the Trading Standards Team.

Friends Against Scams

Friends Against Scams is a national initiative that aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to take a stand against them. Westminster Trading Standards is a 'Friends Against Scams Organisation' a national scheme created by the National Trading Standards Scams Team to raise awareness and to provide people with information on how they can take a stand against scams with free online training.

Published: 27 September 2021

Last updated: 12 September 2023