How to Report a Scam & Why It’s Important

Vikki BournerWritten by Vikki Bourner, on 09 Feb, 2024

Most people won’t know how to report a scam and those who’ve been a victim of phone crime are inclined not to. This is because as well as being financially devastating, becoming a victim of a scam is mentally devastating too.

A study by the National Trading Standard’s Scams Team revealed that 32% of those scammed chose not to tell the authorities. What’s more worrying is that 42% of victims didn’t tell their bank. And sadly around two-thirds felt they couldn’t tell friends or family what had happened. This means that phone crime is more likely a bigger problem than the figures suggest. And victims will not be getting the support they need and deserve.

Why would someone not report a scam?

The issue lies in where the blame is placed. Those who experience a home burglary would not think twice about reporting it to the police. After all, a criminal has come into their home uninvited, and they should be held accountable. Those who experience phone crime, however, tend to blame themselves and feel ashamed for letting it happen. This is because they answered the call and entered into a conversation.

Instead of wanting justice, victims of phone crime have a more emotional response to what has happened to them. In fact, further research from the NTS broke it down to the following:

  • 46% felt angry with themselves
  • 40% felt stupid for not realising what was being done to them
  • 38% felt embarrassed about what had happened

From these figures, it’s clear that there is a strong stigma around becoming a victim of phone crime which needs addressing. The fact is that no victim of any crime should blame themselves.

People don’t report scams as they feel angry, stupid or embarrassed.

How do you report a scam?

Not knowing how to report a scam or where can be one barrier too many, especially when you’re in shock and emotional. Most people don’t realise it, but there is a dedicated UK department that deals with scams and fraud. Action Fraud has a great website where you can report a scam or fraudulent activity, whether you are a victim or a witness. There is a lot of information on known scams, prevention advice and up-to-date news available on the website. If you would rather speak to someone, you can call 0300 123 2040.

You can also get help and advice in respect of scams from Citizens Advice. They have a consumer helpline available which is 0808 223 1133 or you can use their online tool.

Why reporting scams is so important

Reporting a scam will do the following:

  • Raise awareness of the prevalence of scams & fraud which will help to prevent further victims by ramping up vigilance.
  • Create a more accurate picture of the scale of phone & cybercrime to enable sufficient resources to crack down on criminals & increase victim support.
  • Remove the stigma that comes with being a victim of a scam, giving people the confidence to talk, seek the right support & shift the blame to the criminals.

When you report a scam or even a potential scam you are helping others as well as yourself. Lord Michael Bichard, Chair of the National Trading Standards, had this to say about reporting scams,

“Scams and fraud blight every part of society and it is time for society to fight back. If we can strip away the shame associated with becoming a victim of fraud or scams, by bringing the issue out into the open and discussing our experiences as families and communities, we can reduce the power of the criminals to do harm. Education is key to prevention. Alongside this, I am asking the Government to step up and provide better care for victims, helping us break the cycle of shame, underreporting and under-resourcing.”

Reporting a scam helps you to heal, raises awareness & helps others.


To help in the fight against scams and fraud and to assist in removing the stigma that surrounds victims, Friends Against Scams has started the campaign #NoBlameNoShame. It was launched to encourage people to talk about scams and give victims the confidence to come forward; to not only report the crimes committed against them but, to get the right support in overcoming such a devastating experience.

Despite how a phone or cybercrime victim feels, the blame should never be taken on personally. Scammers and fraudsters are experts when it comes to what is effectively stealing with consent. They know what to say and when to strike and no matter how vigilant or prepared you are, no matter how intelligent or on the ball you are, you are not 100% immune from their advances. The only way to reduce telephone and cybercrime is to talk about it, even shout about it! Share your experience, and make the scammer’s playbook known to all. If we all take a stand, we can make scammers think twice before they pick up the phone.

You are not to blame for being scammed so don’t feel shame. #NoBlameNoShame.

If you want to know more about the latest scams or get involved in the fight against them you can visit Friends Against Scams and become a SCAMchampion just like the team here at Phonely have. We can band together and help spread the word.

Want to know more on how to spot a scam or how you can protect yourself from a scam? Click on the links below to access the dedicated blogs on each.

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