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Sheffield Adult Safeguarding Partnership

Staying Safe from Scams


Scams and Fraud

A scam or fraud is where someone behaves in a way that is deceptive, dishonest or illegal in an attempt to take money or goods from another person.  Scams and fraud can take different forms. 

Anyone can be a victim of a scam or fraud, and it is important to make sure you are aware of the risks and signs. If you care for an adult(s) at risk, make them aware of the signs and tips for staying safe, scammers often exploit those who are the most vulnerable.

Trading Standards - Not Born Yesterday

Sheffield Trading Standards “Not Born Yesterday” campaign aims to protect those at risk, from scams and rogue traders.

Signs someone could be vulnerable to scams are:

  • They receive a lot of Junk Mail
  • They're pestered by nuisance calls
  • Buy a lot of mail order goods

Take a look at the following poster or more information:

Not Born Yesterday Rogue Trader Poster (sheffield.gov.uk)

As well as rogue traders knocking on doors, Trading Standards have seen an increase in Crime in The Home offending where Rogue Traders are joining online ‘platforms’ to give consumers a level of confidence in their legitimacy. It is important to be mindful when searching for trade services online to make the necessary checks, ask trusted friends, families and neighbours if they have used them, or ask for recommendations from people you trust instead.

If you have any suspicions that a person at risk has been a victim of a scam or Rogue Trader, you can report it on:

Tel: 0808 223 1133

Email: tradingstandards@sheffield.gov.uk

Staying Safe Online

Although the internet can provide us with a range of tools to keep in contact with people, manage our day to day lives and learn more about the world, it has made us all more accessible and vulnerable to being the victim of a scam.

Easy Read Guides

The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities has produced this easy read guide to staying safe online and when using social media Easy Read Guide - Staying Safe Online

Stop it now have produced this easy read guide to raise awareness of the risks that come along with making friends online Easy Read Guide - Making Friends Online

Top Tips for Staying Safe from Scams 

  • You can reduce your likelihood of being scammed online, by being more aware about the personal information that you put out there and by not posting lots of personal details about yourself.
  • Use complex passwords, not personal information like your pet’s name, date of birth or the town you live in. It also helps to change your password regularly
  • Install anti-virus (security) software onto your computer.
  • Only accept friend requests, follows etc. on social media from people that you know and that you trust.
  • If you get an email or text, from someone or an organisation claiming to be a bank saying there is a problem with your account, contact the bank directly for confirmation that it is them, do not give out your PIN number, password or click on any links and don’t respond to messages asking for personal or financial details.
  • If something seems too good to be true – assume that it probably is!
  • Be suspicious of cold callers. When someone contacts you out of the blue, either in person on your doorstep, by phone or online, attempting to sell you something and you haven’t asked them to make contact, close the door or put the phone down. Be aware that cold callers can use techniques including drawing you into a long conversation as a way to persuade you to but from them. Do not sign up or buy anything from them straight away, if what they are selling is something you would be interesting in purchasing take away information to research first.

    Emotional Support

    The impacts of fraud can reach beyond the impact of the economic/monetary loss and individuals who are the victim of scams can experience emotional harm, even if money is not lost or is reimbursed. A victim of a scam may lose confidence and struggle to trust others. A survey by Which? Found that 71% of fraud victims said their experiences had had a detrimental impact on their stress levels; 63% said it was harmful to their mental health, and 39% said it had affected their physical health.

    If you are struggling following being a victim of a scam, you can contact Victim Support:

    Website: Home - Victim Support

    Telephone: Victim Support have a free, confidential helpline, that is accessible 24/7 available on 0808 16 89 111

    Resources - Staying Safe and Scam Aware

    How to report a scam - Which?

    Staying Safe from Fraud and Scams - Ann Craft Trust

    Keeping Safe from Financial Abuse - Ann Craft Trust

    Scams and fraud | Money Matters | Age UK

    Top tips on safe online dating - Get Safe Online

    How to Stay Safe Online - Guidance for Adults and Young People with Learning Disabilities - Digital Safeguarding - Ann Craft Trust

    Get Safe Online | The UK's leading Internet Safety Website

    Trading Standards | Sheffield City Council

    Fraud - SYP (southyorks.police.uk)

    Friends Against Scams - National Trading Standards (NTS)

    Scam - Which? Consumer Rights - Which?