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Protecting You From Fraud

Staying safe online and helping you protect yourself against fraud and scams

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Fraudsters and scammers are clever about how they impersonate people, organisations and the police. They’ll use phone calls, emails, websites, text messages and other ways to try and take your money.

We support the industry awareness campaign Take Five, which is a national campaign from Financial Fraud Action UK and the UK Government which is backed by the banking industry to tackle fraud.

It’s important to be aware of fraud and scams so please take some time to visit the Take Five website for help and advice on how to protect yourself and your money

Common types of scams

Online Scams

Online fraud covers everything from online shopping to online banking and scammers will go to great lengths to appear genuine. However, you can easily stay safe by installing the built-in security measures most modern internet browsers (and many banks) offer.

These measures can help protect you whether the criminals are trying to dupe you with fake pop-ups in your online banking window, sending you ‘scam alert’, or faking retailer websites to make you give your financial details.

They contain vital security updates which help protect your device from viruses and hackers. These security updates are designed to fix weaknesses in software and apps. Installing them helps to keep your device secure.

You can choose to install updates at night when you are asleep and your device is plugged in, or set your mobile or tablet to automatically update your apps when you are connected to Wi-Fi and an update is available. You can also set laptops and desktops to automatically install software updates when an update is available.

Phone Scams

Fraud over the phone – or Vishing – is when a fraudster calls claiming they’re from your bank or another trusted organisation. It can be easy for them to convince you as they can fake the telephone number you see on your phone. And they do their research to find out some of your basic bank and personal details to make you think they are who they say they are.
It’s important to remember that a genuine bank will never ask you for personal or financial details like your PIN number or full banking password (even by tapping it into your phone keypad).

5 things to look out for on a scam phone call:

  • The caller doesn’t give you time to think, tries to stop you speaking to a family member or friend or is insistent and makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • They ask you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons.
  • They ask for your 4-digit card PIN or your online banking password. Even if they ask you to give it to them by tapping into the telephone keypad rather than saying the numbers out loud, this is a scam.
  • They ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping.
  • They may say that you are a victim of fraud and offer to send a courier to your home to collect your cash, PIN, payment card or cheque book.
E-Mail Scams

Emails scams are known as Phishing. You should always be suspicious of unsolicited emails that are supposedly from your bank or some other trusted organisation because the address can easily be faked. Never click on any links they contain either, not before stopping to check if they seem genuine first.

7 ways to help spot scam email

  • The sender’s address doesn’t match the website address of the organisation it says it’s from. Roll your mouse pointer over the sender’s name to reveal its true address.
  • The email doesn’t use your proper name – it might say something like “Dear customer” instead.
  • There’s a sense of urgency, asking you to act immediately.
  • There’s a prominent website link which may look like the proper address at a glance, but with one character different.
  • There’s a request for personal information.
  • There are spelling and grammatical errors.
  • The entire text of the email is within an image rather than the usual text format and the image contains a bogus link you can’t see. Again, roll your mouse pointer over the link to reveal its true destination
Text Message Scams

A text message might not be from who you think – this is known as Smishing. It's when criminals pretend a message is from your bank or another organisation you trust. They'll usually tell you there's been fraud on your account and will ask you to deal with it by calling a number or visiting a fake website to update your personal details. Please take a moment to stop and think and realise this is the fraud…

3 signs a text message might not be genuine:

  • It asks you to give sensitive personal / financial information, passwords, or to make transactions by following a link in the message.
  • It asks you to call a certain number that you don't know. In this case, call your bank on a number that you trust to check the number and message is authentic. E.g. – such as the number on the back of your card.
  • The sender uses an urgent tone, urging you to ‘act now’.

Simple steps to help protect yourself from fraud and scams

Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision

However you’ve been contacted and whatever you’re being asked to do, take time to stop and carefully consider your actions.


Stay in control
Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information. Don’t feel embarrassed when faced with unexpected or complex conversations. The right thing to do is to stop the discussion if you don’t feel in control of it.


Listen to your instincts

If something doesn’t feel right then it’s usually right to question it. If you’ve taken all these steps and still feel uncomfortable or unsure about what you’re being asked, never hesitate to contact your bank or financial service provider on a number you trust, such as the one listed on their website or on the back of your payment card. It’s also worth speaking to a friend or family member to
get their thoughts.


Helpful websites with information and advice on protecting yourself from fraud and scams

Please take the time to check these websites for more information on how to protect yourself from fraud and scams

Take Five

Action Fraud


Get Safe Online

FCA ScamSmart