What to do if you've been scammed
A scam is a type of fraud where someone steals your money or information.
If you’ve been scammed, you need to:
- protect yourself from further risks
- check if you can get your money back
- report the scam
Protect yourself from further risks
If you’ve been scammed, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from things getting worse. What you need to do depends on what’s happened.
If you feel threatened
If you feel harassed or unsafe, report this to the police immediately by ringing 101.
If the scammer contacts you
If the scammer comes to your door, calls you, or sends you a message, ignore them.
If you’ve given the scammer access to your computer
Sometimes scammers ask to access your computer so they can control it remotely. For example, they might pretend to be from your internet provider and say they need to deal with a technical problem.
The scammer might have infected your computer with a virus, or stolen passwords and financial information. To stay safe you should:
- reset your passwords
- let your bank know your financial information might have been stolen
- make sure you update your anti-virus software
You could also get an IT professional to check your computer.
If you think your account details or PIN have been stolen
Contact your bank immediately so they can protect your account.
After you’ve told your bank about the scam, keep an eye on your bank statements and look out for any unusual transactions. Also check your credit score to see if there are applications for credit you don’t recognise.
If you think your password could have been stolen
Change your password as soon as possible. If you’ve used the same password on any other accounts you should change it there too.
Make sure you create a strong password – for example, using numbers and special characters.
Some sites let you add extra security to your account. This is known as ‘two-factor authentication’.
If you think your account has been hacked
Your account might have been hacked if a scammer has stolen your passwords. If you think this has happened, the National Cyber Security Centre has advice on recovering an account that’s been hacked.
Check if you can get your money back
If you’ve lost money because of a scam, there might be things you can do to get it back.
Read our advice on checking if you can get your money back after a scam.
If you’re acting on someone else’s behalf
If you’re trying to help someone else get their money back, see our advice on managing affairs for someone else.
Report the scam
Reporting a scam helps enforcement authorities track down and stop the criminals responsible. Find out how to report a scam through our consumer service.