From phishing to romance, fraudsters are always on the lookout for victims who let their guard down long enough to be


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Scammers can strike in many ways – from a phone call out of the blue, a great bargain on Facebook Marketplace or even the whisper of romance.

But although fraudsters are always on the lookout for victims who let their guard down long enough to be exploited, they often use the same tactics – and make the same mistakes.

Here we have a look at the five most common scams so far this year, according to consumer experts at Which? and discover the steps you can take to avoid falling victim to any of them.

Read more: Three scams holidaymakers should look out for when booking airport parking

What is a phishing scam?

‘Phishing’ refers to scammers trying to lure you in to obtain your data, often in the form of emails or texts impersonating a genuine company or Government department. An example of a recent phishing scam is here, when fraudsters send text messages to mobile phones saying that the receiver is eligible for a £750 “Living Payment”.

How do they work?

The messages often prompt you to click a link to visit a website under the guise of something needing attention, such as a subscription expiring or to secure your account after a fraud attempt. Or as in the example above, to claim a payment.

Phishing can also take place on social media, where fraudsters publish posts that link through to dodgy websites. If you click a link in a phishing message, you’ll often be taken through to a spoofed website where you’ll be asked to enter your name, address and bank details. Once you’ve given your details to a scammer, they can be used to scam you there and then, and to target you in future, for example, to call you posing as your bank. As the scammer has some of your information, you might be inclined to trust the call as genuine.

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