Scam Alert Awareness
…and new habits to keep us safe from scams.
This is the time of year when many people reflect on the last
twelve months and think about the bad habits they’d like to
change. This may be to do with health, diet or exercise. It’s
also a time when we think about new activities we may like
It’s no different for keeping ourselves safe from fraud and
doorstep crime. We can all fall into bad habits, which make
us more vulnerable to being scammed. Read on to see how
bad habits can be turned around (even the one you never
thought you had!).
Now may also be a good time to think about new habits and
activities you may like to start, to be more resilient against
scams. That may be a computer class, or time with a family
member or friend to get to know your computer, tablet or
smartphone better. It could be sorting out your home and
garden so you are less vulnerable to doorstep rogue traders.
Remember, if you live in the northern part of Cheshire East,
the Scams Awareness and Aftercare Project could offer a
scams awareness talk to a group of older people or
individuals.They can also support you if you have been a
victim of a scam. They can be contacted on 01625 612958 or
New habit – have strong, separate passwords
Some of the most popular passwords in the world! Are MY PASSWORD and 123456.
Choose strong, different passwords for your accounts. Get Safe Online recommend choosing 3 random words e.g. BoxCupRadio.
Adding letters and keyboard characters makes it stronger again.
Avoid using children’s or pets’ names, football clubs, birthdays or parts of addresses.
New habit – practice stranger danger
As children, we’re told not to speak to strangers. It’s no different as we get older. It’s okay to be cautious when a stranger contacts you out of the blue. This may be on the phone, by email, chatting online or a doorstep caller.
In Cheshire East, they have recently had people contacted by criminals pretending to be from banks, so it pays to be alert.
New habit - only share what you need to
Don’t assume that because someone knows something about you (e.g. your name, address and who you bank with), that it’s okay to give them more information. They may be guessing or have got it from public records.
If you’re chatting online, through bingo, social media or dating sites, don’t share too much about yourself with people you haven’t met.
New habit – breathe and wait a second
The Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign talks about taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information.
This pause is useful to calm yourself and think rationally, giving you time to remember to make certain checks.
Genuine organisations will not mind anyone “taking 5”.
New habit - don’t believe everything you see or hear
Never take a celebrity endorsement on face value -be it on radio, TV, online or
in a magazine.
Always do your research for making investments. Check any investment company with the Financial Conducts Authority.
When spending your money, go by the quality of the product, not by someone who liked it.
New habit - report, report, report
Reporting scam emails over the past two years has help to remove more than 70,000 scams across 130,000 websites.
Here’s how to report scams:
Phone calls: report to Action Fraud on
0300 123 2040
Emails: forward emails to
Texts: forward texts to 7726
Doorstep: Call the Police on 101 or
contact Citizen Advice on 0808 223 1133