Useful Contacts

For further information contact one of the below organisations

Northumbria Police 

To report a crime
or tel 0845 60043043

Action Fraud  
A national helpline that gives advice on issues about fraud, both preventing it and what to do if you fall victim to or tel 0300 1232040 (national rate)

Office Of Fair Trading 
A good source of information for consumers

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) 
National network of free advice centres. For details of your local CAB or tel 03444 111444 (will only give local CAB telephone numbers not advice)

Safe from Scams 
A site dedicated to informing members of the public about the various scams including real life case studies

Age UK 
Is a new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged. Provides free advice and information for people later in life through Age UK advice line, publications and online – or tel 0800 1696565


Useful Advice 

Register with the Telephone preference Service (TPS)
A free service. It is the official central opt out register on which you can record your preference not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls. To register: Tel 0800 398893 or visit

Register with the Mailing Preference Service (MPS)
A free service enabling consumers to have their names and home addresses in the UK removed from mailing lists used by the industry. To register: Tel: 0207 2913300 or web:

Electoral Register
You can choose whether or not to have your personal details included in the open (edited) register which can be bought by any person, company or organisation and can be used for commercial activities such as marketing. Further information can be found at
An internet based search tool to find people. Personal details can be removed from the web site listings by completing the form reference CO1. This can be found at then going via the ‘help button’ to ‘the removal of personal details’.

‘Opt out’ Services
Companies may pass on your personal details to other companies unless you ‘opt out’. Carefully read all the terms and conditions to ensure your details are not forwarded without your consent.


Ten Top Tips

If something is too good to be true it probably is. Be suspicious of all offers and deals.

Do not give out banking or personal information to anyone you do not know or trust or to an enquiry you did not initiate.

Hang up on cold callers, if you haven't instigated the call then you are not obliged to speak to the caller. It is better to be safe than polite!

Do not make hasty decisions. Insist on time to obtain independent legal advice before making a decision.

Do not hand over money or sign anything until you have checked the credentials of the company or individual

Do not send money to anyone you do not know or trust. Unless sending money to somebody you know do not use electronic cash transfer services.

Regularly review and update your security settings and anti-virus software for all devices you use to access the internet.

Minimise the personal details you share online, including social media profiles and posts. Remember criminals are constantly seeking access to your personal information.

Always log onto a website directly rather than clicking on a link provided on an e-mail.

Do not be embarrassed.
If you have been scammed or spot a scam, report it and get help. Contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at Contact the Police if the suspect is known or still in the area.

Reporting a Scam

If you think you have been targeted by fraudsters, it is important that you report the crime.

Keep all evidence that may be important, letters, emails, list of transactions.

If a fraudster has taken money from your bank account or used your debit card or credit card you should call your bank immediately. 

Often friends and family who have been scammed don’t like to admit what is happening, it is important to raise awareness to keep them vigilant and safe. 

 Action Fraud Large

Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber crime. 0300 123 2040

Further information on specific scams can be accessed below:

Scams often have similar features that may alert you to the fact that they are not genuine.

  • You are asked for money up front to pay unexpected fees (such as customs) before your 'prize' can be released.

  • You are asked to provide your bank account, credit card details or other sensitive personal information.

  • You are put under pressure to reply immediately or the money will be given to someone else.

  • You are given some of your personal details in an effort to make you believe they are genuine.

  • Do you have to ring a premium rate number (one starting with 09)

  • Was the offer unsolicited?

  • Are you being asked to keep the offer a secret?

They may also offer you something for nothing, such as:

  • Exclusive entry into a scheme that’s a sure way to make money

  • The chance to join an investment scheme that will make huge amounts of money

  • The winning prize from a draw or lottery you haven’t even entered

  • Advertising opportunities in publications that don’t exist.

How scammers will succeed?

  • Catch you unawares, contacting you, without you asking them to, by phone, e mail post or in person.

  • Look or sound pleasant, well spoken and knowledgeable, they may be kind and want you to think they’re your friend

  • Use professional leaflets

  • Be persistent and rush you into a decision

  • Ask you to send money before you receive their tempting prize, win or offer

What should you do if you think or suspect you, a friend or relative has been scammed?

Keep all evidence that may be important, letters, e mails, diary of calls and list of any transactions.

Often friends and family who have been scammed don’t like to admit it’s happening, it’s important to raise awareness to keep them vigilant and safe.

For further information, contact one of the organisations on the side of this page.