What does it look like?

We've written this story to show you how scammers trick people. It describes common tactics we know scammers use, based on insights from our fraud and scams team.

The building work scam

Greg was at home watching TV one afternoon, when his doorbell rang.

It was a friendly man who explained that he was doing some building work in the area, and could see there was an issue with Greg's roof. He said he'd seen this problem a lot – it was dangerous, but he could fix it quickly and knew exactly what to do.

Greg was worried, but the builder reassured him. They talked for quite a while and eventually Greg agreed to have the work done. The builder asked for a deposit to buy the materials with, so he could start the work as soon as possible.

Greg paid the deposit, and the builder promised to come back the next day, but he never came and Greg never heard from him again.

What's the scam?

The man at the door was a scammer who had no intention of doing any work. His story about the roof was a lie to pressure Greg into handing over money immediately.