CyberBustHow To Report Online Scams In The UK: Protecting Yourself and Stopping...

How To Report Online Scams In The UK: Protecting Yourself and Stopping Fraudsters

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This post will show you how to report online scams in the UK.

The internet has revolutionized our lives, offering endless opportunities for connection, information, and commerce.

Unfortunately, it has also become a breeding ground for online scams. These scams can target anyone, regardless of age, background, or technical expertise.

This guide equips you with the knowledge to identify online scams in the UK and provides a comprehensive breakdown of where and how to report them.

By understanding these reporting procedures, you can protect yourself from further losses and potentially help prevent others from falling victim to these malicious schemes.

One of the things you should do if you’ve encountered an online scammer is to report them. In this article, you’ll find out how to report online scams in the UK. 

READ ALSO: What Are the Benefits of Outsourcing to an IT Support Company?

Signs To Know If You Have Been Scammed

How To Report Online Scams In the UK

Before diving into reporting mechanisms, let's explore some common red flags that indicate you might be encountering an online scam:

  • Urgency and Pressure Tactics: Scamsters often create a sense of urgency or pressure to manipulate you into making a rash decision. They might offer “limited-time deals” or threaten negative consequences for not acting immediately.
  • Too-Good-To-Be-True Promises: If an offer seems unbelievably good, it probably is. Promises of high returns with little effort or significant discounts on popular items are classic hallmarks of scams.
  • Unfamiliar Payment Methods: Legitimate businesses typically offer established payment options. Be wary of payment requests through money transfer services, prepaid gift cards, or cryptocurrency.
  • Poor Grammar and Misspellings: Reputable companies generally have well-written communication. Grammatical errors, typos, and awkward phrasing can indicate a scam attempt.
  • Unsolicited Contact: Avoid unsolicited emails, phone calls, or social media messages offering deals, investments, or prizes. Legitimate businesses typically don't initiate contact this way.
  • Requests for Personal Information: Legitimate businesses rarely request sensitive information like passwords, bank account details, or social security numbers over email or insecure channels.

If you encounter any of these red flags, it's best to err on the side of caution and avoid further interaction.

Where To Report Online Scams In UK?

report online scams uk

The appropriate reporting channel for online scams in the UK depends on the nature of the scam and the potential losses incurred. Here's a breakdown of the primary reporting organizations:

1. Action Fraud

  • Focus: This is the national reporting center for fraud and cybercrime in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
  • Suitable for: Use Action Fraud for reporting a wide range of online scams, particularly those involving significant financial loss.
  • Reporting methods:
    • Online: File a report through the Action Fraud website.
    • Phone: Call Action Fraud at 0300 123 2040. (Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM)
  • Information needed:
    • Gather as much detail about the scam as possible, including the scammer's contact details, the method of contact (email, social media, phone call), the amount of money lost (if any), and the payment method used.
    • The more information you provide, the easier Action Fraud can investigate and take action.

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2. Citizen Advice UK

  • Focus: Citizen Advice offers support and advice for various consumer issues, including online scams.
  • Suitable for: Citizen Advice is a good starting point if you're unsure which reporting agency to contact or if the scam involved a smaller financial loss.
  • Reporting methods:
    • Online: Report the scam through the Citizen Advice online form.
    • Phone: Call the Citizen Advice consumer helpline at 03454 04 05 05. (Monday to Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM)
  • Information needed: Similar to Action Fraud, gather details about the scam and the scammer. Citizen Advice can then advise on the most appropriate course of action.

3. National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)

  • Focus: The NCSC focuses on cybersecurity threats.
  • Suitable for: Use the NCSC reporting channel specifically for scams received via email (phishing attempts).
  • Reporting method: Forward the suspicious email to
  • Information needed: While the NCSC might not directly pursue individual scammers reported through email, they analyze the reported emails to identify patterns and create tools to prevent future phishing attacks.

READ ALSO: 5 Common Online Scam Tactics

4. Reporting to Specific Authorities for Specialized Scams

  • Financial Scams: Report financial scams to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). They regulate the financial services industry and can take action against fraudulent companies.
  • Pension Scams: Report pension scams specifically to the Pension Advisory Service. They offer free guidance and support to people with pension concerns.

5. Royal Mail

  • Focus: If you suspect a scam arrived through the postal service, report it to Royal Mail.
  • Reporting method:
    • Complete the online scam mail report form.
    • Phone: Contact Royal Mail Customer Services at 03457 950 014. (Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM)
  • Information needed: Royal Mail might request the original scam mail envelope for further investigation in addition to scam details.

Taking Additional Steps:

  • Report to Social Media Platforms: If you encounter a scam on social media (e.g., fake profiles or fraudulent advertisements), report it to the social media platform itself. Most platforms have reporting mechanisms for suspicious activity.
  • Banks and Credit Card Companies: If you suspect your bank account or credit card details have been compromised due to a scam, contact your bank or credit card company immediately. They can help deactivate your cards, prevent unauthorized transactions, and recover stolen funds.
  • Change Passwords: If you shared any login credentials (usernames, passwords) with the scammer, immediately change your passwords for all relevant accounts. Use strong, unique passwords for each account, and consider using a password manager to help you keep track.

Protecting Yourself from Online Scams

While reporting scams is crucial, prevention is always better than cure. Here are some tips to safeguard yourself from online scams:

  • Be Wary of Unsolicited Contact: Don't click on links or attachments in emails or messages from unknown senders. If you're unsure about an email purporting to be from a legitimate company, contact them directly through a verified phone number or website.
  • Verify Information: If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Do your research before investing or purchasing anything online. Look for reviews, check the company's legitimacy, and be cautious of unrealistic deals.
  • Strong Passwords and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Use strong, unique passwords for all your online accounts and enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) whenever possible. MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second verification step beyond just your password.
  • Software Updates: Keep your operating system, applications, and firmware updated with the latest security patches. These updates often address vulnerabilities that hackers might exploit.
  • Beware of Phishing Attacks: Phishing emails and websites trick you into revealing sensitive information like passwords or credit card details. Be cautious of emails or messages urging you to click on suspicious links or download attachments. Don't enter your personal information on unfamiliar websites.
  • Beware of Social Engineering: Social engineering involves manipulating people into giving away personal information or clicking on malicious links. Be cautious of unsolicited calls, emails, or messages that create a sense of urgency or ask for personal details.


By following these tips and reporting any scams you encounter, you can play a vital role in protecting yourself and others from online fraud. Remember, if you're ever unsure about the legitimacy of something online, it's always best to err on the side of caution.

While some scams can be unbearable, it shouldn’t distress you as anyone can be a victim. What you should do is to report to the necessary organizations and services to ensure that the scammers are held accountable.

In some cases, you might not get your money back, but your report can save others. 


About the Author:

Writer at SecureBlitz | + posts

John Raymond is a cybersecurity content writer, with over 5 years of experience in the technology industry. He is passionate about staying up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the field of cybersecurity, and is an avid researcher and writer. He has written numerous articles on topics of cybersecurity, privacy, and digital security, and is committed to providing valuable and helpful information to the public.

Editor at SecureBlitz | Website | + posts

Christian Schmitz is a professional journalist and editor at He has a keen eye for the ever-changing cybersecurity industry and is passionate about spreading awareness of the industry's latest trends. Before joining SecureBlitz, Christian worked as a journalist for a local community newspaper in Nuremberg. Through his years of experience, Christian has developed a sharp eye for detail, an acute understanding of the cybersecurity industry, and an unwavering commitment to delivering accurate and up-to-date information.


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