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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.

Living Options Devon Keep Active

Our team supports anybody with a disability, or long term health condition to get active and keep active both body and mind.

Learn more

Time To Talk

Our free, confidential listening support and advice helpline, for those with a disability, long term health condition or Deaf people who use BSL.

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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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Devon Disability Network (DDN)

Enabling disabled and Deaf people to campaign and be involved in developing the support services they need.

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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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Deaf Get Active and Volunteer

We aim to increase participation in sport / activity in the local Deaf community through volunteer-based peer support and online resources.

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Your Campaigns

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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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.

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Your Stories

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”.

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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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Mick’s Story

“It is very rewarding watching people build their confidence and being part of their journey in sports”

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Ted’s Story

“I’m fifty and can now go with my wife, grandchildren and dog rather than sitting in the car pretending I’m okay.”

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Our News

Living Options’ Hub Coordinator and Travel Blogger Becki Discovers Powderham Gardens in a New Video

This month we met with our Countryside Mobility partner Powderham Castle highlighting their accessible heritage site, and beautiful gardens and […]

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Photography Course Available from Living Options and Well Image in July and August

Photography Course Available from Living Options and Well Image in July and August

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UK Accessibility Innovation: Have you heard of the Zero Project?

7 UK organisations receive awards from the The Zero Project

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NHS Devon CCG’s Inclusion Team Wins Award For Inclusivity Work Supported By Living Options

NHS Devon CCG is recognised for inclusivity programmes supported by the Living Options team

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Get Yourself Active Launches New Website

Get Yourself Active has a new website where you can access guides about a wide range of activities for disabled people

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Countryside Mobility: Inside Out Podcast

If you didn’t know, our Countryside Mobility project manager Neil Warren produces a great outdoor podcast called Inside Out

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