I Think I've Been Scammed, What Do I Do?

by , Last Updated: 12 January 2015

It's everyone's worst nightmare, but if you think you may have been a victim of fraud there are some simple steps you can take straight away to sort the problem out. We look at what to do if you think you've been scammed.

Man shirt office computer unhappy

With online fraud growing and the annual cost of identity theft to the economy estimated at 1.2 billion, the threat of being scammed is a very real one. That said, there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of fraud meaning that you can protect yourself and your identity from potential scammers.

However, unfortunately fraud still happens and if it happens to you, you'll want to know what to do about it.

How will I know I've been scammed?

There are several things that might give you a clue that someone has stolen your identity, stolen money from an account of yours, or is otherwise using your personal details for their own gain. Here are the essentials to look out for:

  • You check your credit report and find entries that you can't explain.
  • You notice transactions on your bank or credit card statement that weren't carried out by you.
  • You apply to claim benefits but are told you're already claiming.
  • You receive bills or invoices for things you haven't knowingly paid for.
  • You're refused forms of credit even though you have a good credit history.
  • Post you are expecting never arrives.

If any of these things happen to you, you can be reasonably suspicious that you are at risk of or may already be a victim of fraud.

So what can I do about it?

First of all, don't panic. It may be that a transaction on your statement that seems strange can be traced back to a harmless source; for example you might see a payment of 50 to your local supermarket when you know you only spent 20 - until you remember you asked for 30 cashback that day. It may also be that a mistake has been made by your bank which can easily be rectified.

As such the first thing you should do if you spot an anomaly regarding the use of your credit card, debit card, a cheque or an online payment is contact your bank. Your bank (or the financial organisation who issued the card or account) will then report the matter to the police if necessary, and give you all the support you need to get the problem sorted..

In all instances if you think you've been scammed your bank should be your first port of call. If you suspect money has been stolen from your account you can call Crime Stoppers too on 0800 555 111. If any of your personal documents have been stolen such as your passport or driving license, report this to the relevant organisation right away (Home Office Identity & Passport Service for lost passports, DVLA for lost driving licenses).

It may also be a good idea to register with CIFAS if you have had personal documents stolen as they provide a service recommended by the FCA whereby your personal details will be protected in future - though membership does cost upwards of 20 a year.

Finally, you can also contact a credit reference agency if you think you've been a victim of fraud or if you see something suspicious on your credit report. Get in touch with Experian, Equifax or Callcredit (you only need to contact one, as the information will be passed on to the other two) and they will be able to advise you on what to do next.


I thought I'd been scammed in November last year and so cancelled my creditcard. I AM STILL trying to sort this out as the car hire company concerned ALAMO EUROPCAR are totally inadequate as THEY made an administrative mistake and charged ME; BARCLAYCARD were advised of the problem in November last year and have yet to answer my letters satisfactorily. So, it was not a scam but ineptitude by Alamo Europcar but I AM THE ONE OUT OF POCKET in time, money and hassle!!!!

by Wendy-Jane, 27 Apr 2010

I completed a bank transfer to a guys bank for some Ugg boots on eBay. Never received boots or would he answer phone. I have his bank details but my bank Won't do anything as I willingly made the transfer. I think that is appalling! My bank is Nat West. I've reported it to action fraud. What else can I do?

by Mummajuju, 4 Jan 2013

look through every part of their terms and conditions and maybe phone crime stoppers as they are the main people that are supposed to stop this kind of thing happening also they would be able to explain all the consumer rights and all the rest and give you all the information needed. im not sure they would get the money back but i think its worth a try at least. good luck x

by ladylehmann, 7 Oct 2013

I ordered a camera from a website called www.valuebasket.com on the 4 dec 2013, paid with my NatWest debit card, phoned a couple of times to ask where my order was and they send they would send me a tracking number but they didn't , so I tried phoning them again but the number has been disconnected, I sent a couple of emails but had no response. So I take it I have been scammed !!!!!!
Do you think my bank will cover me !?

by lenyam, 12 Dec 2013

Sorry not ebay duh. GUMTREE

by Mummajuju, 4 Jan 2013

Well you are not the only one I bought a ticket from. Travel agency by transferring money to his account and I did not receive any ticket nor my money. I was of the opinion that the scammers can be found because of his bank account details at least he must have a correspondence address to have current account in the UK but nobody is interested in pursuing that line so I lost out too

by samade, 16 May 2013

im in the middle of purchasing a ticket from a travel agent called zipfli and paid a lot of money and they keep telling different story and apparently they are so called english but their not. they claim to be online ticketing and they are doing my head in. anyone should report such company like them. they are the people making the world a tough place to leave

by angel1593, 16 Jun 2013

Has anyone got any advise for me.
I got married last september and hired a videographer it is now 11months later and after emailing the company they assured me they would still be sending me the dvd. I have now found out the company have gone bust and i can not get in contact with thia people by phone or email, i dont care about the money i just want the footage even if its not edited to see if i can salvage somthing from it. The company was called high definition brides.

by kfinch, 12 Aug 2013

I send over £700 in ukash voucher to a loan form how do I know this is not a scam

by russe12, 26 Oct 2013

I'm didn't go through with this , But I don't want other's to be hurt by this, I'm not saying I went, I was ...Her it is , a few days a go I was playing on my Facebook page(on my cell,that's the only I can get on my Facebook) this women taxes me (through my Facebook) saying was from PCH (Danielle Lam) texting me saying I had won a million , we texted back in forth, I cryed at first thinking it would be awsome if it was true , but Then she says she's doing my P14 papers do I have my claim number , I said no what was my claim number , she tells me I can go to any walgrees,7-11, rite-ade, C.Vc , an then she sends me a picture of a pay pal card an text my claim card number on the back of my pay pal card to (315-519-4693), I don't want to see Good hard working people or in my case Disabled , I get one check a month to live on the, luckily I caught it right way , Please get this person trying to hurt others on this cold season , from what I understand this Person is trying to scam people across the country , Please let the public know about the public(green grench scamer, is what I'm calling them) trying to say she works at publishers clearing house , texting through (Facebook)I'm a mom trying to raise a mom a soon to be awesome 14, it's not easy , hopefully u guys can stop this Horrible person .Thank you .... Timara Bainter

by timara, 4 Dec 2013

iv been scammed through autotrade which is a car firm or whateva and i dont even drive now iv been scammed by buying some charms off a website whats suppose to be real pandora charms and i got them and they aint real charms there fake which i aint happy about

by Tiffsternffc, 4 months ago

I was bidding on a tv on eBay and lost, but two days later the seller emailed saying the sale feel threw and ask't if I was still interested in the tv, but rather go threw ebay he sent me an email address, I payed (like a foul) but no further contact sent numerous email no response!! Want can I do ??

by phileve4, 3 months ago

I know you didn't buy it through Ebay in the end but it would be worth getting in touch with them and informing them what has happened. Nothing lost in contacting them. Other than that I would have a word with the Police, fraud section, and ask them what is the best thing you can do. What a shame phileve but all is not lost yet.

by Sabre, 3 months ago

i think i have been scammed on illegal site on my computer. police block have to pay £ioo to unlock. paid paypoint £ioo and half hour later computer works. does the police collect monies like this? is this a scam?

by madudm, 3 months ago

Hi all, I have been scammed for £1200 via ebay, a seller with good feedback had about a dozen items listed on classified ads, all seemed ok so I made a transfer for the 1200, no goods turned up!! I contacted the seller and his version is that he was contacted via other people to list on his ebay and they would pay him commission, which apparently they did the first week. What can be done about this? as the guy has admitted to me and also sent me 40 odd emails from these so called people, I have reported it to action fraud, ebay didn`t want to know SURPRISE SURPRISE, this transfer was done through my business account into a UK bank, any advise or help please.

by pauli, 2 months ago
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