I get many telephone calls asking me about email scams. Hosting your email with a credible company will cut down on bogus emails but it’s still surprising what gets through. Ultimately, it’s up to you as the Human recipient, to be aware and watchful of the emails you receive.

The most common types of email scams: Online Shopping Cancelled Order

The order cancellation scam isn’t easy to spot, since most of us have received legitimate emails from online retailers. Any email claiming to be from Amazon or similar, that cites an order you didn’t place is simply not from said retailer. Don’t click anything in the email, go to your account via the website and check your order status.

Bank Scam

You’ve probably had your bank account for a while. The bank has all your details, rarely email you and if they do will say something like: “Please log in to your bank account to see our private message.” People fall for emails that appear to be from their bank asking for personal information, they may look credible but they are not! DO NOT click on links in these emails.

Facebook Scam

Facebook scams never go away! These emails will look professional and use the same style and colours as Facebook. The email will trick users into clicking a link that will take them elsewhere online. Again, if in doubt do not click on anything in the email but login to your account and check any correspondence.

Nigerian Scam

I love this one, it’s been going on for so long it’s hard to believe it still fools anybody. It’s supposedly from a man representing a wealthy Nigerian family who is seeking to leave millions of dollars offshore blah blah…. just delete this nonsense email!

PayPal Scam

A true ‘phishing’ email, where the victim is lured into providing login information. The email will claim your payment could not be processed and provide a link to a fake page to enter your PayPal credentials. DO NOT click any links in this email, do not provide your login credentials!


Be suspicious of any email that asks you for personal information like passwords, bank account or financial details. It’s almost certainly bogus as a legitimate company would not ask you for that information by email.

Generally, you can tell legitimate emails from scam by paying attention to the domain name of the email. Place your mouse over the name of the person that has sent it and you should see the sender’s true email address (depending on what email package you use). You’ll notice immediately if the domain and name do not match and it looks bogus.

Stay Alert and if in doubt call me for advice!

David Jeffries 016973 61066 • Solving People’s Digital Problems

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“About five years ago, my father-in-law was the victim of a scam artist who fleeced him out of £5,000. He was devastated and we were able to work with his bank to get some of the money back. We thought it was all in the past but in the last six months he’s received numerous calls, letters and texts from what look like other scammers. We want to try and keep him safe, what can we do?”

Unfortunately, falling victim to a scam once can increase exposure to further scams because once someone has responded to a scam, their personal details can sometimes be sold on to other criminals.

If you recognise a pattern of unsolicited calls, talk to your father-in-law’s telephone provider and see if you can get these numbers blocked or if you can get something called a ‘standalone call blocker.’ If not, register your father-in-law’s number with the Telephone Preference Service who can help you to handle unwanted marketing calls.

If your father-in-law is receiving texts it’s important that he never replies, as sometimes there can be costly hidden charges. He can report the texts to his mobile phone provider who will be able to block the number. If he’s already been stung

and call cost information wasn’t given, he should report it to Phone-pay Plus.

Mail scammers can often impersonate banks, the local council, or other established organisations. Your father-in-law shouldn’t respond unless he’s sure it’s legitimate and was expecting a letter. If in doubt, he should contact the organisation directly. He should not just telephone the number on the letter as it could be a bogus call centre.

If someone comes to the door claiming they are from one of his utility companies for example, he should ask to check their credentials. If in doubt, he should telephone the company they represent or check online but once again, make sure to not just use the contact details they provide.



For further help, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06, or contact Citizens Advice Allerdale, Town Hall, Oxford Street, Workington on 01900 604735, or visit our website at

ISSUE 433 | 18 JULY 2019 | 5

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