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How to recognise a Scam

scam is a deceptive scheme or trick used to cheat someone out of something, usually money. Scams are on the increase. We explore different scams and how to report them.

Road traffic sign with the word SCAM on it

Scam Information and Support

We know that the coronavirus outbreak has seen an increase in scams and doorstep traders. People trying to exploit fear and uncertainty.  They often target elderly and vulnerable people and usually imitate Benefit or Government emails. Some of them are really convincing and can easily catch you out, and they can be really distressing  Please keep safe, always ask for a person’s ID if you are unsure, and don’t open links and attachments from unknown emails. 

Types of Scam

Doorstep Scam

Or doorstep fraud involves someone coming to your home and knocking on the door, with the aim of tricking you out of money. There can be added pressure with face-to-face interaction, and this can sometimes be even more challenging than dealing with other types of scams, such as phone scams and online scams.

Which explain this in full in their article here

Phone Scam

Fraudsters are cunning in their phone-scam tactics and it’s not always easy or obvious to tell straight away whether it’s a scam. Stay one step ahead with the tips set out in this article by Which Magazine

Which? Provide lots of information on different types of Scams and how to report them on their website

Post Scam

Scam mail can take the form of fake lotteries and prize draws, get-rich-quick schemes, bogus health cures, investment scams and pyramid schemes. Sometimes these can be sent to you if a scammer has got hold of your contact details fraudulently.

Sometimes they are tricky to spot. Royal Mail helps you look out for scam mail, and explain how you can avoid falling victim to it on their website.

For help with email, telephone, and text scams click here.

Scam information in British Sign Language

ActionFraud Top 5 tips to keep your personal and financial details safe in BSL
How to look out for Scam in BSL

How to avoid scams and how to report them

A hand reachin gout of computer screen reaching for cash and a credit card.

Money related scams

All banks and building societies have information on their websites about how to contact them and what to do if you have been the victim of a money-related scam.

This list features the big banks and building societies; if yours is not listed, search “[bank / building society name] report fraud” to report suspicious communications.

HMRC Government Scams:

You can report something suspicious to HM Revenue and Customs’s (HMRC) phishing team, for example:

  • a text message (forward it to 60599 – you’ll be charged at your network rate)
  • an email (forward it to
  • a message in an application, for example WhatsApp – take a screenshot and forward as an email
  • phone calls asking for personal information or threatening a lawsuit (report a phone call)

Victim Support

Isolation may increase domestic abuse, violence, and crime, please be assured there is help available, our Victim Support team works closely with Victim Care Devon and Cornwall to provide victim support services to disabled and Deaf communities across Devon.  We offer support for both reported and non-reported crimes, helping the victim to overcome the effects caused by a crime. Our volunteers are trained to give emotional support, information, practical help (including in British Sign Language) to people that have been affected by a crime. This is a free and confidential service call us on 01392 459222 or SMS text 07734 768910 or email​

Victim Care and Support at Living Options Devon

There are several covid related scams to look out for, these include ones on the covid vaccination. Remember the NHS will never:

  • ask for, or accept, cash for vaccines
  • ask for your banking details or identity documents
  • turn up at your residence unannounced

If you have received a text message, email or phone call where someone has tried to charge you for the vaccine please report this to Action Fraud, even if you haven’t given them any money.

For those who have received an email that they think could be fraudulent, they should report it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS).

Action Fraud

Action Fraud is the official national fraud and cybercrime reporting website. On this website you can:

  • Report a fraud
  • Report in a range of languages
  • Use a typing live chat
  • Read about different types of fraud
  • Links to useful organisations that can help educate you about protecting against fraud and help if you have been the victim of fraud
  • News about active scams and how to protect yourself
  • Guidance on recovering a hacked account
A leaflet from Devon and Cornwall Police on how to contact them through the pandemic. Remember in an emergency always call 999

There are several different ways to contact the police depending on the support you need. Remember in an emergency always call 999. To find our more about their support services during the pandemic visit the Devon and Cornwall Police website.

Citizen Advice Bureau

Offer lots of help and support with online scams, how to report on and offline scams, and check if something is a scam. Use the Citizen Advice Online Scam Helper on their website.

Help and Support

Need some advice or would like to talk to someone? Our friendly Time to Talk team are on hand to offer confidential listening and support.

You can all them for free on 0300 303 3691

or call our friendly Hub team 03192 459 222

The team are trained to provide support and information relevant to your needs and concerns, including sensory loss and counselling, both of which might be affecting your mobility.

The Hub

Your first point of contact with Living Options Devon, our friendly Hub team connects you to the support services, advice, and information that you need.

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Time To Talk

Our free, confidential listening support and advice helpline, for those with a disability and/or long-term health condition.

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Counselling Service

Six free sessions of accessible counselling to people with a disability and members of the Deaf community (British Sign Language Users) across Devon.

Learn more

Countryside Mobility

Providing easy access to the countryside for anyone who has difficulty walking, through an off road mobility scooter hire scheme
Explore the South West with freedom and ease.

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Victim Care and Support

Free confidential support for victims of crime

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Sight and Hearing Service

Living Options Northern Devon, supporting you with information, advice and equipment for sight and hearing. The team also signpost to additional support services locally for disabled people and members of the Deaf Community.

Learn more

Your Campaigns

We support Purple Tuesday

Ask your local shops to make a commitment to improving access. This could be through implementing the hidden disability sunflower lanyard scheme, or supporting customers with sensory needs with formal quiet hours.

Find out more

50 years of Pride

This year the UK is celebrating 50 years of Pride. On 1 July 1972 a ‘carnival parade’ of protest was […]

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BBC Make a Difference Awards 2022

BBC Local Radio has created a new award campaign to celebrate people who are going above and beyond to make […]

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Tell us about your care

Your feedback will help the CQC develop new services for disabled people, with their needs central to their plans.

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Your Stories

David’s birthday fundraiser in aid of Countryside Mobility

“I wanted to do something close to my heart. My family and friends know how much I enjoy the countryside. So, I suggested instead of any gifts, if they might like to give a donation to Living Options.”

Read the full story

Steve’s Countryside Mobility story

“The loss of mobility is forever but these machines will certainly change a disabled person’s perspective of just what might be achievable and remove some of the restrictions if only for a few hours.”

Read the full story

Jodie’s Story

“Jodie has been able to fully access two National Trust properties in Cornwall. Today we have been at Godolphin. In April she was able to use the Tramper at Lanhydrock”.

Read the full story

Annie’s Story

“It stopped me from worrying about things, we could talk things through. It was somebody at the end of the phone to have a laugh with.”

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Our News

Are you finding Christmas difficult?

Christmas is a time of year when we are expected to be joyful and sociable, spending time surrounded by family and friends. For many of of us though, Christmas can be a particularly difficult time.

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Support over the festive period

Find details of organisations where you can get help. If someone is in crisis or needs immediate help they should […]

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Living Options opening times over Christmas and New Year

Living Options will be open as usual until 12 noon on 22nd December 2023, we will be re-opening on Tuesday 2nd January 2024

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Magical trails and illuminations

It’s looking magical out there! Wrap up and enjoy the view from a Tramper. There are some stunning displays of lights at a number of our Countryside Mobility partner sites.

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Celebration and thanks to long-standing trustee

After 20 years of service, long-standing trustee Brian Imeson retired this year from the Living Options Devon board. We are incredibly grateful for the support Brian provided over the years, and the valuable contribution he has made to the charity

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David Gray’s incredible birthday fundraiser

We want to say a huge thank you to Countryside Mobility member David Gray, who raised an outstanding £1,005 as part of a birthday fundraiser to celebrate his 60th birthday.

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