Be aware, criminals will call you unexpectedly pretending to be from your Bank or the Police. They will attempt to 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 may even ask you to move your money to a new, safe account; telling you that the account is in your name, or will be transferred into your name. Stop, do not transfer any money. Criminals will try and use a number of techniques, pressuring you into doing what they ask in order to gain access to 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 from the Police telling 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 may even ask you to go to a branch and take out cash to hand over to them. In both scenarios, 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, 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 unexpected 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.
- Don’t give out personal or financial information details about yourself to anyone, unless you know that the callers is genuine.
- The Bank or Police will never ask you to assist with an investigation.
- Don’t rely on the caller ID display on the phone to check if the caller is genuine. Fraudsters can manipulate this.
Find out more about common fraud threats and how to avoid them.
Take Five is a national campaign that offers straightforward and impartial advice to help everyone protect themselves from fraud. Visit: takefive-stopfraud.org.uk for more information.