If someone's called you unexpectedly, be very wary of giving them any personal information such as your name, address or account details.
Telephone fraud is happening right now and we want to make sure you know what to look out for and what to do.
You might get a phone call on your landline or mobile from a fraudster claiming to be from your bank, building society, the Police or other 'law enforcement agencies'.
Their aim is to steal account security information or deceive you into giving them money.
What they might say
Here are some examples of telephone frauds we know about:
- They say that the money in your account is at risk and you must transfer it to another account to protect it
- They tell you that you've won a prize draw or raffle and then ask you to make a payment now or to buy vouchers so you can claim your 'prize'
- They warn you that fraudulent transactions have taken place on your card and you must give them your details so they can send you a replacement card
- They ask you to download software to your computer or device (and they'd then try to access your device)
- They may also say they're from Microsoft or another computer company, and that they need access to your computer remotely so that they can 'fix' something
- They may say they’re from the police or the fraud team within your bank or building society and ask you to take part in a fake undercover operation
- They may warn you that bank employees are in on the fraud and tell you that if your bank challenges you, to make up a reason why you’re transferring any money
Fraudsters can be great actors!
People who devise and carry out these frauds are skilful in convincing people that they're genuinely helping them.
Sometimes, they'll encourage you to call your bank or building society (or the Police, or your energy provider, whoever they're pretending to be) on their normal number to verify the authenticity of the call. However, the fraudster will then stay on the line so that when you pick up, you're re-connecting to them.
Stay safe - follow this advice
- The police, banks or building societies will never ask members to become part of an anti-fraud operation.
- If someone has called you (rather than you calling them), be very wary of giving them any details.
- To check that the person who called you is genuine, arrange to call them back. No genuine caller would be offended, and some fraudsters will even suggest you do this.
- Here's what you should do: hang up then look up the organisation's number on their website or on a document from them. Use a different phone to make the call or, if you don't have a different phone, call a friend or relative first to make sure the line's clear.
- Never allow anyone remote access to your laptop, computer or mobile device unless you're 100% certain they're genuine.
- We will never ask you to provide your full password, full grid card characters or PIN number to prove who you are.
- We will never call you to ask you to transfer your money into another account.