Protect yourself from fraud

Follow our five top tips to protect yourself from fraud:

1. Always remember: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

2. Keep your personal information safe. Never give anyone your bank PIN or National Insurance number. And shred or tear up any letters that include your personal details — don’t just throw them in the bin.

3. Keep safe online. Change your passwords regularly and make them as complex as you can remember. Install the latest antivirus protection on all your devices.

4. Be suspicious of ‘cold callers’ — anyone trying to sell you goods or services on your doorstep or over the phone where you haven’t asked them to make contact. If you have any concerns, tell them politely but firmly you’re not interested, and close the door or put the telephone down. Never get drawn into extended conversation, as fraudsters will use that ploy to try to persuade you to buy goods, often against your better judgement.

5. If you experience fraud, reporting the incident to Action Fraud may help the police catch the criminals. Visit the Action Fraud website or call 0300 123 2040 to log your case. (You can use our fraud safety checklist [PDF] to keep a handy list of what to look out for or do if you suspect you’re in contact with a scammer. We have an example of how to fill it in.)