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Take Five to stop fraud

Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police.

They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you'll let your guard down for just a moment.

How to protect yourself

  1. Be absolutely certain who you're speaking to

    A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account. Only give out your personal or financial details to use a service that you have given your consent to, that you trust and that you are expecting to be contacted by. Before you share anything with anyone, stop. Then pause to consider what you're being asked for and question why they need it. Unless you're 100% sure who you're talking to, don't disclose any personal or financial details.

  2. Don't assume an email, text or phone call is authentic

    Even if someone seems to know your basic details, it doesn’t mean they’re genuine. In an attempt to gain your trust, fraudsters may claim you’ve been a victim of fraud. They often do this to get you talking, then try and persuade you into giving them your security details.

  3. Don’t be rushed, or pressured, into making a decision

    No genuine bank or trusted organisation will, under any circumstances, force you to make a financial transaction on the spot. Neither would they ask you to transfer money into another account for reasons relating to fraud. If you’re asked to do this, then stop and consider what they are asking you.

  4. Listen to your instincts

    Does a situation feel wrong or strange? If so, it’s usually right to question it. Fraudsters will try to manipulate you: they’ll try and lull you into a false sense of security when out and about, or rely on your defences being down when you’re at home. They’ll try to appear trustworthy, but they may not be what they appear.

  5. Stay in control

    Be confident. It’s always okay to stop a conversation. You can always refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information.

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.

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Learn more about fraud here

  • Fraud over the phone – or vishing – is when a fraudster calls claiming they’re from your bank or another trusted organisation, often under the pretence that there has been fraud on your account. They can fake the telephone number they use, to make it look like your bank is calling. They will often have researched basic information about you before they call too. This can make them seem convincing.

    Remember though, a genuine bank will never ask you for personal financial details (like your PIN number) or full banking password (even by typing it into your phone keypad), or ask you to transfer money directly to them.

  • Online fraud covers every kind of fraud, from online shopping to online banking. To help protect yourself online, install the security software and updates that most banks and browsers offer. These can help protect you against fake pop-ups in your online banking window, ‘scam alert’ messages that hide malware or false retail websites that ask for your financial details

  • Sometimes called ‘phishing,’ fraudsters may contact you by email to try and get your details. They usually claim they need to verify, or update, some information, or reactivate your account. Email addresses can easily be faked, so always be suspicious of unsolicited emails claiming to be from your bank, or any other trusted organisation. Never click on a link contained in an email without first checking that they seem genuine.

  • ‘Smishing,’ as it is sometimes called, is when a fraudster pretends a text message is from your bank, or another organisation you trust. They will usually claim there has been fraudulent activity on your account and will ask you to deal with it by calling a phone number or visiting a website. Both will probably be fake and designed to gain your personal and financial details. Remember to stop and think before calling any numbers or visiting a suspicious link: any data you enter will be captured by them.

  • Fraudsters can often find out business invoice details (right down to payment dates) and will then pose as a supplier for that business. They do this to try to trick you into paying them. If a supplier contacts you about changing their payment details, always check it with them using their on-file contact details. Checking invoices and calling suppliers can prevent fraudulent transactions.

  • If you get an email from your CEO, or another senior member of staff, asking you to make an urgent payment outside of normal procedures, don’t automatically do it. It’s become very easy for fraudsters to manipulate the characteristics of an email, including the sender’s address, so that it looks genuine. But when you transfer that money, it goes straight to an account controlled by a fraudster. Keep an eye out for emails written in an unusual style, and always check any unusual payment requests directly, ideally in person or by telephone, to confirm the instruction is genuine.

  • What to do if you’re a victim of fraud

If you think that you may have revealed your security details, fallen victim to fraud, or notice any unusual activity on your account, please contact us immediately on:

+44(0)3457 212 212 (Call Charges) - for current account customers

+44(0)345 600 6000 (Call Charges) - for credit card customers

+44(0)3457 213 213 (Call Charges) - for business banking customers

If you have seen a scam email claiming to be from us, please let us know by forwarding it to ihaveseenascam@co-operativebank.co.uk