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How to report a scam

This advice applies to England

Scams are schemes to con you out of your money. They can arrive by post, phone call, text message or email, or from someone coming to your home.

It’s very distressing to be caught out by a scam. But it’s important to report it to try and stop the scammer striking again.

This page tells you what you can do if you’ve been a victim of a scam and who you can report it to.

If you've lost money or been threatened with violence

If you've lost money because of a scam, report it to Action Fraud, the national fraud reporting centre.

You can report the scam online or by phone. 

You'll need to provide as much information as possible, for example any names or other information about the scammer, dates and details about how the money has been lost or how you were threatened.

If you’ve been threatened with physical violence on your doorstep, you can report this to the police by calling 101. 

Action Fraud

Telephone: 0300 123 2040

Textphone: 0300 123 2050

Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm


Reporting scams to Trading Standards

If you report a scam to Trading Standards, you're giving them vital information which they can use to help stop other people from becoming victims of the same scam.

Some scams are criminal offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. This means that Trading Standards may be able to take criminal action against the scammers.

European visitors

If you are a European visitor and think you have been the victim of a scam while in the UK, contact the European consumer centre based in your country to report it.

If you’ve been tricked into calling a premium rate number

If you've been tricked into calling a premium rate number or sending a text to this kind of number, you can complain to Phonepay Plus. This is an organisation responsible for policing companies that use premium rate numbers.  It can fine companies and may be able to help you get a refund.

Getting your money back

You can't always get your money back if you've been scammed, especially if you've handed over cash. If you've paid for goods or services by credit you have more protection and if you used a debit card you may be able to ask your bank for a chargeback.

Don't forget that If you've bought something in an off-premises sale, for example, on the doorstep, or by a distance sale, for example, over the internet, by phone or mail order, you may have a 14 day cooling-off period during which you can cancel a contract.

Next steps

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