Citizens Advice North Herts helps you stay #ScamAware by sharing five scams you should be on the lookout for…

1. Fake text messages and emails, known as ‘friend-in-need scams’

There’s been an increase in the number of people receiving messages claiming to be from their relatives/children, asking them to reply to a new number before requesting money.

If you get one of these messages — be suspicious! Don’t be rushed into making quick decisions. If someone is pressuring you to send money or personal details then it’s most likely a scam.

Try and contact your relative/child directly on another known number instead.

2. Home Improvement scams

Always work with a trusted trader or company. Get a personal recommendation or check on the company or website you’re using by reading reviews from different sources, search for the company’s details on Companies House, and look at their terms and conditions. Comparing quotes will help you make sure you’re getting a fair price.

Always try to get a contract in writing, be wary of contractors who won’t do this.

Avoid contractors who demand full payment up front, or only accept cash. If you pay by credit or debit card, you may be able to get your money back if something goes wrong.

3. Online shopping scams

Watch out for fake adverts when shopping online. Read reviews from different websites and find the company’s details on Companies House. Pay by debit or credit card.

4. Used car scams

When purchasing a car, look for an established firm with a good reputation. Check the car’s history, arrange an inspection and take a test drive. Avoid purchasing via auction or through Facebook Marketplace — they offer less protection if something goes wrong.

5. Financial scams

If you’re contacted for an investment opportunity unexpectedly, it could be a scam. Get advice from a trusted source and don’t be rushed into making any quick decisions. Never give money or personal details, like passwords or bank details, or transfer cash to someone you don’t know or have only met online.

Always stop and get advice. For advice on scams from Citizens Advice visit or call 0808 223 1133

You can also head to Friends Against Scams to learn more about how to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams.