What to do if you've been scammed
If you’ve been scammed, you need to:
- protect yourself from further risks
- check if you can get your money back
- report the scam
You can use our online scams helper to get advice that’s specific to your situation.
Protect yourself from further risks
Coronavirus - be aware of new scams
It's important you're aware of the many new scams around at the moment because of coronavirus. Scams to look out for include:
- advertising face masks or medical equipment at high prices
- emails or texts pretending to be from the government
- emails offering life insurance against coronavirus
- people knocking at your door and asking for money for charity
If you see emails or texts about coronavirus from someone you don't know, or from an unusual email address, don't click on any links or buy anything.
Don't give money or personal details to anyone you don't know or trust - for example someone who knocks on the door and offers to help.
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 threatened, report this to the police immediately by calling 999.
If the scammer contacts you
If the scammer comes to your door, calls you, or sends you a message, ignore them, but keep a record of what's happened so you can report it. Read our advice on how to stop nuisance calls and texts.
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 transferred money to the scammer in the last 24 hours
Tell the police immediately by calling 101.
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.
Managing someone else’s bank account
If you're helping someone who's been scammed, there are ways you can manage their bank account for them. You might need to do this if you want to stop payments or claim back money.
The person you're helping needs to fill in a form giving you permission to manage their account. This is known as a 'third party mandate'. Most banks have a third party mandate on their website.
To find out more, read 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.