Scams are when criminals use lies and deceit to fool you into parting with your cash. You usually get nothing in return and lose your money. As scams are getting more sophisticated and difficult to spot, it's important to know what to look for.

About scams

Scamming is widespread in Northern Ireland. Scams target people of all ages, backgrounds and income levels. Older, vulnerable people are particularly susceptible as well as those who are very trusting and easily persuaded to take a risk. A third of scam victims fall for a second scam within 12 months.

Scams can cause significant financial consequences, as well as lost confidence.

Common scams

The nature and complexity of scams is continuously changing and getting more sophisticated with scammers always looking for new ways to get ahead.

The most common methods and types of scam are described on the pages below. Some scams overlap, with half of all scams starting with a phone call.

You can find out more information about common types of scam at the link below.

Read some of the scams that have been reported in Northern Ireland at the link below.


The ScamwiseNI Partnership works together to keep you safe from the risk of scams. Partners include over 30 law enforcement, statutory, charity, commercial and voluntary organisations as well as government departments.

Preventing and reporting scams

You can find advice on how to protect yourself and others from becoming a victim of a scam as well as information on how to report a fraud at the links below.

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