Impersonation Scams - Pretending to be the police or your bank

20 September 2021

3 min read

Trusting people is something we all do instinctively, and when someone calls you out of the blue, saying that they are from the Fraud Department of your Bank, or even the Police, you should trust them right? Wrong!

Criminals will call you out of the blue pretending to be from your Bank, Police or a genuine well known organisation, such as Amazon. They catch you off guard, claiming that fraudulent activity has been spotted on your account or that they are concerned about the safety of your money. They will often ask you to move your money to a new, safe account. They’ll tell you that this new account is either in your name, or will be transferred into your name. Stop, do not transfer any money. Criminals will use a number of techniques, pressuring you into doing what they ask and before you know it, they’ve stolen your money.

Sadly, many victims of impersonation fraud don’t realise they’ve been scammed until it’s too late. Read on to learn how to protect yourself.

How to spot a potential impersonation scam

  • You receive a call out of the blue from your local ‘Police’, or another genuine organisation. They’ll tell you that they suspect fraud has occurred on your bank account.
  • They will ask you to help with their investigation and to move your money to another account to ‘keep it safe’. They’ll ask you to withhold from telling your bank the real reason you are moving your money as the bank could be involved.
  • Stop! Moving this money is a trap and would result in your money being controlled by a criminal.
  • You can contact a genuine company to check if a call or text message is genuine by using a trusted number from their website.
  • Another twist on this type of scam is when they call pretending to be from the Fraud Department of your bank, asking you again to move your money to keep it safe.
  • Be vigilant – if you are unsure if a text message or phone call from us is genuine. Stop! Don’t panic, and contact us using the number on the back of your card, ideally using another telephone as the caller could try to stay on the line.

Remember these key tips to protect yourself

  • Be very wary of out-of-the-blue phone calls. The Bank or the Police will never ask you to move your money out of your account to keep it safe or ask you to visit a branch and take out cash to hand over to them.
  • Never share your bank account or security information in full.
  • Never share the PIN for your card with anyone.
  • Never tell anyone your Online Banking One Time Passcodes that we send to you in a text or an email. Not even us!
  • The Bank or Police will never ask you to assist with an investigation.

    Find out more about common fraud threats and how to avoid them.

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