Scams jargon

Action Fraud: the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Adware: software that can add pop-ups or adverts to web browsing.

Antivirus software: software that protects your computer against viruses, malware and other attacks by cybercriminals.

Authorised push payment (APP): where the victim is tricked into paying a scammer via bank transfer.

Bitcoin: the most famous type of cryptocurrency.

Catfishing: luring someone into a relationship by pretending to be someone you're not online.

Chargeback: a voluntary scheme to help you get your money back if you paid on debit or credit card.

Claims management companies: intermediaries that can act on your behalf if you've been mis-sold a financial product, for a fee.

Clickbait: posts that are designed to encourage as many clicks and views as possible.

Cloud-based storage: where your photos, music, or other data are stored in a secure, off-site storage system that is manged by a third party.

Copycat websites: websites that imitate official government services, real companies or charities (aka 'clone firms' or 'spoof websites').

Cryptocurrency: a digital, or virtual, form of currency.

FCA register: an official register of firms regulated by the FCS. Also highlights potential clone firms.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA): the government body that oversees financial regulation.

Financial Ombudsman Service: a free-to-consumer dispute resolution service for problems with financial companies.

Job scam: fraudsters targeting job seekers by asking them to pay upfront fees for their application, training or interview.

Identity theft: where a criminal uses your name and personal information to take out financial products.

Information Commissioner's Office: the UK authority responsible for data protection and private regulation.

Investment scam: fraudsters use a convincing investment pitch to get you to part with your money.

Land banking: where you buy a plot of land that you are told you will be able to sell for a large profit to a developer.

Malware: short for malicious software, such as viruses and ransomware, aka Trojan.

Password manager: software applications designed to store and manage online passwords, usually in an encrypted database.

Pensions regulator: the UK regulator of workplace pension schemes.

Phishing: fraudsters attempting to obtain passwords or other personal data via email, often by posing as a legitimate organisation.

Phone-paid Services Authority: investigates complaints about phone-paid services, such as premium-rate numbers.

Ponzi/pyramid schemes: fraudulent investment scams promising high rates of return with little risk to investors.

Ransomware: malware designed to block access to a computer system unless you pay to release it.

Remote-access software: software that allows you to access remotely and connect to another computer or device.

Romance scams: fraudsters who seek to gain money and personal information via online dating websites/apps.

Section 75: holds your credit card provider jointly responsible for problems with credit card purchases between £100-£30,000.

Smishing: phishing via SMS (mobile text message).

Spoofing: where scammers use software to make a display name or phone number appear to be that of a genuine organisation.

Two-factor authentication: an extra layer of protection for online accounts on top of a password, such as a code sent to your mobile phone or app.

Trading Standards: the official body responsible for investigating unfair business practices and illegal activity, such as scams.

UK Finance: the trade association representing the UK's financial organisations.

Unregulated investments: investments that are not regulated by the FCA. These are usually (though not always) scams.

Vishing: phishing via a phone call.