The word scam is part of our everyday language, but what is a scam? It's defined in the dictionary as an illegal way of making money, usually by tricking people. Scams have been around for ages, but the bad guys are always coming up with new ways to trick unsuspecting people into parting with their money.
The latest scam warning to look out for, are automated phone calls pretending to be from your bank or card company.
Banking and finance trade association UK Finance says it's had dozens of reports of these scams over the last week alone and has urged customers to stay alert.
Victims have received an automated phone call claiming to be from their bank or card provider, saying there's been a suspicious transaction on their account.
They were then asked to verify the transaction by pressing a number on their phone to take them through to an "agent" – who is actually a fraudster.
What to look out for in a scam call
UK Finance is reminding consumers of five warning signs to look out for during a phone call, which suggests that the caller could be a scammer:
The caller is insistent and doesn't give you time to think, or tries to stop you speaking to a family member or friend.
The caller asks you to transfer money to a different account.
The caller asks for your online banking passwords or four-digit card PIN.
The caller asks you to withdraw money and hand it over for "safekeeping".
The caller offers to send a courier to your home to collect cash, PINs, cards or cheque books to "protect" you from fraud.
Remember that your bank, card provider or the police will NEVER contact you out of the blue asking for PINs or passwords, or telling you to transfer money to another account.
If you feel uncomfortable or suspicious during a call, hang up and call your bank or card provider directly on its official phone number.
"Fraudsters may already have some information about you, so don't take this as confirmation that their approach is genuine. Never give out any personal information if you are at all suspicious. Instead,
Hang Up - this will stop them from trying to pressurise you.
Make Tea - this will give you time to stop and think
Callback - contact your bank directly on a number that you can trust such as the one on their official website."