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The list of types of online fraud is always growing. This article features a list of the most common things to look out for.


Shopping Fraud

  • This kind of fraud can involve buying:
  • faulty goods
  • goods which do not exist
  • from copycat websites

If you are ever buying something online, always check for https:// and a padlock within the address bar. This means that all the information entered on the web page is secured between yourself and the website.

If you are ever in doubt about a company, use search engines and social media to find out as much information about them as possible before deciding to do business with them.


Holiday Fraud

  • Making payments for a holiday on unsecured web pages.
  • Paying for tickets which are fraudulent or never arrive.
  • Fake websites and email offers for holidays or villas that do not exist.
  • They require you to pay a deposit, which you never see again.
  • Fake competition scams defrauding you out of a fee to secure a holiday.

It is always recommended to use travel operators who are ATOL and/or ABTA protected. Check on the ATOL and ABTA sites to verify that the company genuinely is – and hasn’t just made up a number for these.

ALSO: be aware of posting photos from your holiday and ‘checking in’ at the airport on social media – you are advertising to potential burglars that your house is empty!


Pension Fraud

Be wary of any approaches by phone, email, text or in person about cashing in your pension before you reach retirement age.

Be wary of approaches to invest your lump sum ... especially those with returns that seem too good to be true (because they probably are).

Always speak to a financial adviser who is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.

Warning Signs

  • Being approached out of the blue over the phone, via email/text or in person door-to-door
  • You aren’t given long to make a decision or you feel pressured into making one immediately
  • Where the only contact details they give you or are on their website are a mobile number and a PO box address
  • When a firm doesn’t want or allow you to call it back


If you have been cold called and suspect it was a scam...

  • Report it to the Financial Conduct Authority using their online investment scams reporting form or by contacting their Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768.


Identity Fraud

When criminals access your details to either open an account in your name, or to take over an account held in your name.

Protecting Yourself

  • Check your credit file at least once a year with credit reference agencies
  • Check your bank balance regularly
  • Always keep your bank & credit card statements in a safe place. Shred any paperwork relating to your cards when you don’t need it any more – don’t just bin it

Watch: How much information is online about you? 

If you have lost money to any fraud or scam:

  • Contact your bank or financial institution, to limit any further damage. In some cases, the bank may refund you the lost money.
  • Report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre by calling 0300 123 20 40 or by visiting


Warwickshire Trading Standards