Criminals are getting better and better at using technology to steal people’s personal details and financial information. 

We want to protect our customers from this and other types of fraud. So, if you’re worried about unsolicited phone calls, letters, emails, texts or messages, here are some things to look out for.

Common types of cybercrime

Phishing emails  – Mass emails that look like they come from a company or friend but don’t use your name. If you get one of these you can forward it to Gov.uk.

Suspect texts – Text messages that ask you to call and quote a reference number or follow a link. You can send these on to 7726 to report them.

Fake websites – Websites set up by fraudsters to look like a well-known shop or business. If you’re not sure if a page is legitimate, check the website name carefully, and look out for bad spelling or odd layouts. Don’t buy anything or give out any details if you think a site might not be real.

Viruses and malware – These can steal data from your electronic devices. Make sure you have anti-virus software on your computer. Don’t click on links, attachments or pop-ups from people or sites you don’t recognise, and always use strong passwords.

Payment diversion fraud – A type of fraud that often happens to people when they’re buying a new home. It’s when you get an email supposedly from your solicitor asking you to transfer a large amount of money to them. If you get one of these call your solicitor to check before doing any transfers.

Social media scams – When a friend asks you for money in a social media message. Check with them by phone before doing anything. Don’t click on any links if they don’t come with a personal message.

Other types of scams

Fraudsters don’t only operate online. They also use letters, cold calling and phone calls to try to steal personal and financial information.

Nuisance calls – Hang up if you feel intimidated, rushed or harassed by a caller on your landline or mobile. Don’t respond to answerphone messages that do the same.

Doorstep scams – If someone you don’t recognise comes to your door, ask to see ID before you let them in. You could also put up a ‘no cold calls’ sign, and join your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

Courier fraud – This is when someone claiming to be a police office or your bank calls to say there’s been illegal activity on your credit or debit card. They might offer to pick up your card by courier or ask for your PIN. You should hang up if you get a call like this.

Get help with scams from Saga

If something doesn’t look or feel right, call us on 0800 656 9921 and ask for the Saga scam helpline (provided by Arc Legal Assistance). We’re here 24 hours a day, and calls are free and confidential.

Our helpline in action

Here are some stories from customers who used our helpline and avoided being conned.

A win on the People’s Postcode Lottery

A customer got a letter from the People’s Postcode Lottery saying they’d won a prize, but they were worried it didn’t look legitimate. After calling our helpline they realised it was a fake.

If this happens to you
Don’t respond to letters, emails, phone calls or text messages asking you to pay taxes, custom fees, insurance, or shipping or handling fees before you can get your winnings.

A warning about internet being cut off

A customer got a letter from BT saying their internet would be cut off if they didn’t pay a fee to renew their broadband.

If this happens to you
Don’t respond to anything asking you for financial information or personal details – it doesn’t matter if it’s a letter, message or phone call. If you’re worried, you can always contact your provider using a number listed on their website to check.

An invite to an NHS Covid survey

A customer got a letter from the NHS asking them to take part in a Covid survey. It told them to call a number and give out personal details.

If this happens to you
Beware of any letters asking for personal details or money. For more information on how scammers are using the coronavirus pandemic to carry out fraud, go to the Crimestoppers COVID Fraud Hotline website, or call 0800 587 5030.

Extra safety online

If you have legal expenses cover with your Saga Home Insurance, you can use our online safety support service. Call 0800 092 0809 to get advice on dealing with and stopping suspicious emails, identity theft and computer viruses.

Where to go for more information

  • Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime. You can report scams, and get news and advice. You can also call them on 

    0300 123 2040.

  • Citizens Advice has lots of information on how to report a scam and protect yourself.
  • Age UK has advice on how to spot a scam and keep your information safe.
  • Take Five to Stop Fraud is a national campaign offering impartial advice on stopping email, phone-based and online fraud.

Don't forget

Call 0800 656 9921 anytime for free advice from the Saga scam helpline.

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