How can I protect myself from phishing scams?

Remember, if something feels too good - or bad - to be true, it’s probably a scam. Never rush to respond. Think, pause, then act. 

  • Never respond, click on links, or download attachments, unless you recognise the sender and are expecting the email.
  • Never give out personal or financial information over the phone, even if the caller claims to be from your bank. This includes your bank account details, payment card numbers, or your bank card PIN codes.
  • Don’t call the number in the message. Instead, go to the company’s official website and use the contact details listed there.


Cyber criminals use global events and big news stories, such as war, pandemic, or the economy - to scam you. For example, we’ve seen scam messages mentioning the Government’s energy-bill discount scheme, and green homes grants.

How can I avoid phone scams and cold calls?

There are ways to block or prevent some cold calls:

  • Registering with the Telephone Preference Service is free and allows you to opt out of unsolicited live telesales calls. However, while this will reduce the number of cold calls you’ll get, it won’t block all scammers. Register your number with TPS.
  • Ask your phone provider about privacy services and call-blocking services. How to block unwanted calls.
  • If you have a smartphone, you can set it to block unwanted numbers. If you’re not sure how, pop into your local mobile phone shop.
  • Some local councils provide call blockers through their trading standards teams - ask yours if they do this.