Scams and online security

Protect your data and yourself by spotting scams and learning how to report them.

Types of scams

A scam is a type of fraud in which someone steals your money or personal information. You can be scammed online, in person, over the phone, or through the post

Recognising a scam

Scams can be difficult to recognise. It may be a scam if:

  • you suspect you’re dealing with a fake company – for example, if there is no postal address
  • you’re asked to transfer money quickly
  • you’re asked to pay in an unusual way – for example, using iTunes vouchers or through a transfer service like MoneyGram or Western Union
  • you’re asked to give away personal information like passwords or pin numbers
  • you haven’t received written confirmation of what’s been agreed

When we contact you

We work hard to keep citizens safe from fraud. Here are some things to expect when contacted by the council and our contractors:


We go through Data Protection before discussing any personal information. 

If you try to call the number back you will receive an automated message letting you know that you have been contacted by the council. 

This number will be a Leeds number, but may vary for contracted services such as Mears. If the call is unexpected please contact us for guidance.


Emails will be sent from and will address you by name and reference number. Sometimes we may attach electronic documents, forms and links to our website to help you with your request.


Any letters sent from the council or contracted services will be printed on official headed paper. If you are unsure of any post, please contact us for guidance.


We may sometimes need to visit your property. Our employees and partners will have an ID badge that you can ask to see before inviting them into your home. If you are unsure, please contact us.

Report a scam

If you think you have discovered a scam or have been a victim of one, contact ActionFraud.

Online support

For advice on how to stay safe online, the Learn my way website offers free skills training. Our Learn in the library page has details on accessing this at your local library.