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Fraud and Scams

Financial scamming and fraud involves someone deliberately deceiving someone else for personal gain, usually money. Financial scams are a risk for everyone but it is usually older and vulnerable people who are targets of this type of fraud.

Difference types of financial scams have been taking place for many years, however an increase in internet use has meant financial scamming has increased and provided fraudsters with a global audience.

The impact of financial scams can be more wide ranging than financial loss and can cause long lasting damage to a person's health and wellbeing. People with dementia are particularly at risk of financial scamming which can impact on them, on their families and loved ones and on the society around them.

NEVER - Provide bank account information, send money to or receive money from someone you’ve never met. Don’t give away your bank cards or PIN’s no matter how convinced or scared you might feel.

The Police, Banks & HMRC will NEVER call you and ask you to transfer money, withdraw cash or purchase goods. Hang up!

NEVER click on any links or attachments. Even 'unsubscribe' links before verifying the email as a trusted source

Use your Spam filter and DELETE all marked as spam

Watch out for strange spelling like the examples below


  • Telephone Preference Service (TPS): Free opt-out service to help stop unsolicited calls. Tel: 0845 070 0707 or visit:
  • True Caller: For smartphones you can download the True Caller app. Regularly update to reduce nuisance calls.
  • Call Blocker phones: BT 4600 Cordless Nuisance Call Blocker phone is an example of what nuisance call blocking aids are available.
  • Phone number ex-directory: To avoid having your number listed online & in local telephone directories, contact your provider to have your number made ex-directory.
  • Gift Voucher Scams: NO legitimate debt can be paid in iTunes vouchers / STEAM cards – Hang-up on that call.

Hang up, ensure the line is disconnected & call the company back on a genuine number. If possible, call from a different phone.

Don’t trust your ‘Caller ID’. Fraudsters use a technique called ‘spoofing’, which means they can choose which number you see calling you. They often use genuine bank’s numbers.

A money mule is a person who transfers money acquired illegally, through a courier service or electronically, on behalf of others. This is money laundering.

For more Fraud tips & Scam Alerts follow us on Social Media:

Twitter: @NottsFraudCops

Instagram: @NottsPolice

Facebook: Nottinghamshire Police

The Mental Capacity Act 2005

The mental capacity act is a statutory framework that allows for decision making on the behalf of people over the age of 16 who have a mental incapacity. The Act covers personal welfare decisions, mental healthcare decisions and financial decisions.

 Aims of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 :

  1. A person has capacity unless it is proved otherwise
  2. Practical steps must be taken to help a person make a decision before it is deemed that they are unable to do so
  3. It is understood that people can be understood to make unwise decisions without being understood as incapable
  4. Decisions made on the behalf of an individual must be done in their best interest
  5. Before decisions are made on a person’s behalf consideration must be given to alternative ways of doing so.

Different Types of Scam

The following definitions have been taken from the NCPQ catalogue:

419 LETTERS: An advance fee scam where you are asked to help transfer money out of a country. As a reward you are offered a percentage of the money once you have paid for transaction fees or taxes. Repeated requests for additional fees are made. Once the scammers have your bank details the accounts are emptied.

CATALOGUE SCAMS: Sell low value and unwanted products, vitamins and ‘miracle cures’ at so-called ‘bargain’ prices. Responding to one offer can lead to a flood of catalogues. Will often claim the recipient has won a prize but need them to purchase goods from the catalogue to receive it.

CHARITY SCAMS: Scammers pocket charitable donations or use personal details to access bank accounts and sell these to other fraudsters. In addition charities have been criticized for their often aggressive or manipulative marketing techniques leading to a government review and recommended regulation (Etherington et al, 2015).

CLAIRVOYANT SCAMS: Offer contact with the deceased, predictions of the future or promises of protection in return for a fee. Victims may be groomed over time, leading to a relationship forming

in which the victim has invested both emotionally and financially, and may be reluctant to end.

INVESTMENT SCAMS: Online offers of worthless, overpriced or non-existent shares

LOTTERY OR PRIZE DRAW SCAMS: Claim the recipient has won a large sum of money in a competition or lottery they did not enter and a fee is required to release the prize. It is estimated that prize draw or lottery scams cost the UK public £60 million per year in detriment (National Trading Standards, 2015).

PENSION SCAMS: Offer to convert pension benefits to cash benefits, targeting older people who have to face high fees and tax bills. This has become particularly relevant in light of the changes in pensions access made in April 2015 (Action Fraud, 2016). Large pensions have become available as cash, making the individual a potential scam target.

RECOVERY ROOM SCAMS: Offer victims, who have previously lost money to investment scams, the false opportunity to recover their funds for a fee.

ROMANCE SCAMS: Bogus online dating or chat room accounts where relationships are established which aim to take money from groomed victims. Sometimes victims are asked to pass money from another country through their account – this may in fact be money laundering.

TV LICENSING: Emails stating your payment is due , or you're due a refund

PAYPAL: Emails stating there is unusual ativity on your account

AMAZON: Emails stating there is a problem processing an order & to click the link to confirm log in details.

SEXTORTION: Emails that claim to have acessed victim's devices following viewing pornographic websites.

HMRC: Emails starting you're due a tax rebate.

Dating Online


When dating online, beware of:                

  • The Sob Story: Someone telling you how much they want to visit, but need money to pay for tickets / visas, medical expenses for ill family members, or for discharge fees from their job. Fraudsters will often pose as someone working either in the military or on an oil rig.
  • Repayment: Any reference to gold/diamonds as a repayment, allowing you to check a pretend bank online to show you a fake balance. Don’t become a money mule.
  • Don’t let time cloud your judgment: Fraudsters use time to play fake stories on you, make you believe the relationship is real & gain your trust all to financially exploit you. Even if this is years down the line.
  • Declarations of love: This can be within a matter of weeks, days or hours, so be cautious!
  • Use only reputable dating sites and their own messaging service: Ensure sites are part of the Online Dating Association (ODA). Fraudsters want to quickly switch to social media or texting to avoid the sites scam protection from detecting their grooming tactics and to hide their requests for money.

Services Contacts

Help and further information

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