If you are a victim of a scam, report it to Action Fraud.
If a rogue trader or doorstep criminal is on your property now, call the police on 999 straight away.
If you think a rogue trader or doorstep criminal is in your area, call the police on 101.
Hundreds of people every year across the south west fall victim to rogue traders and scammers – from doorstep sellers to cyber criminals – all of whom have the single aim of stealing your money. Anyone can be a victim, so don’t be embarrassed if it happens to you, it’s vital you speak out.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has seen an increase in scams and doorstep traders who are trying to exploit fear and uncertainty during this difficult time. Find out about some of the COVID-19 scams to beware of and how to stay safe.
The best way to protect yourself from scams and rogue traders is to learn how to spot them and what to do if you come across them. A good place to start is the Little Book of Big Scams from Devon & Cornwall Police.
The are lots of simple and secure online behaviours you can adopt to help protect yourself from online scams.
Get Safe Online provides comprehensive and easy-to-understand information on online safety and The Cyber Aware campaign gives the public the advice they need to protect themselves from cyber criminals. Safety Detective offers parents a guide on safe YouTube and internet streaming for children.
For more advice about scams, see Citizens Advice – Scams.
If you run a youth organisation like a scout group or youth club, download the Young Friends Against Scams pack to run a scams awareness session with the young people in your group. Developed with Friends Against Scams, the pack is designed for children aged 8+ and includes information and activities to help make them scam aware.
Rogue traders and doorstep crime
We work in partnership with the police to combat doorstep crime and lots of good information and advice can be found at Devon & Cornwall Police – Doorstep crime.
Trading Standards South West have produced a ScamWise advice booklet containing advice to help you spot a potential scam and avoid becoming the victim of a rogue trader.
Illegal money lending
In England, a money lender has to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to lend money legally. Money lenders who aren’t authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority are breaking the law. They are known as loan sharks.
If you have borrowed from a loan shark, are worried about someone else who has, or want to report a suspected loan shark, you can contact the England Illegal Money Lending Team in confidence on 0300 555 2222 or via their Stop Loan Sharks website.
Find out more about loan sharks on the Citizens Advice website.
- Friends Against Scams
- Financial Conduct Authority
- Age UK – Scams and fraud
- Take Five to stop fraud
- Think Jessica – scam mail
- Royal Mail – scam mail
- Telephone Preference Service
- Neighbourhood Watch