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Do you know how to spot a scam?


A scam is when someone tries to take your money by pretending to be someone else, pretending to help you in some way or by trying to offer you something which they are not going to give you.

It can be difficult to tell if something is a scam. EVERYONE is at risk.

Protect yourself, stop and think before your share information or pay money.


Impersonation scams

This is when a scammer pretends to be someone you think you can trust so they can take your money.

They might pretend to be

  • your bank
  • your employer or recruiter
  • the police
  • a delivery company
  • a phone company
  • a debt collector
  • or even a government department

They could call you, send text or social media message, or they could email you. They will try to trick you into giving them money.

“Hi Dad, this is my new number. I need you to send me money quickly, it’s an emergency”.

Scammers pretending to help you may ask you for information which could help them take your money.


  • Your bank will never ask you to transfer your money to a ‘safe account’
  • The authorities will never ask you to pay money immediately or be arrested
  • Only scammers will try to rush and panic you
  • Never share your name, date of birth, address, bank account details, card details, passwords or passcodes.

If in doubt, call the organisation back on a number you can trust. For example if someone calls you and says they are from NOW Money, tell them you will call them back. Hang up – and call our customer support team on our official phone number you will find on our website.

Romance scams

A romance scam is when someone tries to get you to fall in love with them, to trick you into sending them money.

They could set up a fake profile on a dating app or social media. They may message you a lot, spending time to get to know you – but they don’t video call or meet you in real life.

They might say they need money to come and meet you, or for medical help for themselves or their family. They may even encourage you to feel sorry for them and send them gifts.


  • Don’t send money or gifts to anyone you’ve not met in real life
  • Be careful with sharing information with people who will not meet you in person
  • If in doubt, talk to a trusted friend.

If you think you have given information or money to a scammer, contact NOW Money (800 66966639) – or your bank as soon as you can.

Lottery or prize scams

In a lottery or prize scam, the scammers may call or email to tell you that you’ve won a prize through a lottery or sweepstakes and then ask you to pay an upfront payment for fees and taxes.


  • Never make an upfront payment for a promised prize, especially if they demand immediate payment!

Purchase scams

Fraudsters can target anyone who buys online.  They can set up social media profiles and even create websites to offer things for sale.

The most common items scammers try to sell are fashion, tech and tickets.

Fraudsters tempt you with low prices and items that are sold out or rare. There’s usually a good reason why you can’t find the same item elsewhere at the same price: because it’s a scam. It’s better to pay more to a genuine seller than to lose your money. You could pay for the tickets or goods, but these things will either be fake or not exist at all.


  • Fraudsters will want you to pay by bank transfer or a way that doesn’t offer you any protection. Always pay by debit card or another service that offers buyers protection
  • If you can’t pay by card, only pay when a seller hands over the item to you. Be aware that tickets could be fake. Only buy from a trusted source
  • Check website payment pages are secure by looking for a padlock symbol in the address bar, and making sure the website address begins with ‘https’.

Scammers are trying new and clever ways to take your money. If you are ever in doubt, take time to consider it, talk to a trusted friend or call your bank.