Fraud is big business and unfortunately an ever-increasing number of people are being tricked into parting with their money through a variety of sophisticated scams.
Our Security Centre provides guidance on the type of scams a fraudster may use and how you can help protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud.
Courier card scam
Plastic card fraud
(Protecting yourself from fraud)
Security Disclosure Policy
Online and social media fraud
What is cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a digital asset that can be traded online and may be used to buy products and services from people or companies who accept this form of payment.
Cryptocurrency isn’t protected by the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and most exchanges aren’t regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). However, it’s attracting more attention as a potentially lucrative investment opportunity due to the fluctuations in value seen over the past few years.
Cryptocurrency is often bought via currency exchange platforms. These are websites where you can buy, sell, or exchange cryptocurrencies for other digital currency or traditional currency like US dollars or Euros. For anyone wanting to trade professionally, you’ll probably need to use an exchange that requires you to verify your ID and open an account or a ‘wallet’ and ideally select one approved by the FCA.
Scammers are capitalising on the growing attention cryptocurrency is attracting by offering fake investments that don’t really exist or aren’t worth the money. They may do this by:
- advertising investment opportunities on social media – sometimes using fake endorsements and images of celebrities or public figures. The adverts link to professional-looking websites to trick you into investing using cryptocurrencies or traditional currencies.
- manipulating software to distort prices and investment returns and may even scam people into buying non-existent crypto-assets. The firms operating these scams are usually based outside the UK but will claim to have a UK presence.
How to protect yourself
Before investing in cryptocurrency, we recommend that you:
- follow advice from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regarding cryptocurrency providers, which can be found at fca.org.uk/consumers/cryptoassets
- consider the warnings from the FCA that investors in cryptocurrencies should be prepared to lose all their money and are unlikely to have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong
- make sure you understand everything, and you only invest money you can afford to lose
- always have sole control of your cryptocurrency ‘wallet’ and give nobody else access - if you didn’t set the wallet up yourself or you can’t access the money it’s likely to be a scam.
If you have any concerns that you’re being scammed, please contact Adam 24 on 0131 278 3777 as soon as possible.
REPORTING SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY
Call us straight away on 020 7770 0015 if you’ve been targeted by a fraudster or to report anything suspicious.
If you receive a suspicious email, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you receive a suspicious text, please forward it to 88355.
If you’ve responded or clicked any links, please call us immediately.
Scammers trick people in lots of ways
Think twice before giving out details
Always hang up if you think a caller is fake
Your PIN and logins should never be shared
Always check your statements
Listen to your instincts
Email addresses and phone numbers can be faked
Read all warnings before making payments online
Think twice before clicking on links
Protect your payments from scams
Scams can have a devastating impact on victims and it is important you understand the risks of making payments to scammers.
Please read our advice before proceeding with any payments
|I have been asked to transfer money unexpectedly||Who has asked you to transfer money?
Fraudsters may contact you pretending to be from the Bank, the Police or other organisations you trust and ask you to transfer money to another account.
Remember: A bank or genuine organisation will never contact you out of the blue asking you to move your money to keep it safe.
If this sounds familiar, do not make the payment and end contact with the individual immediately.
|I am making an investment||
Before you make the payment, consider whether this opportunity is genuine.
|I am paying for a service or making a purchase||Always double check the bank details of the person you are paying by contacting them on a number you can trust.
Fraudsters can intercept emails and invoices and change payment details. If you send money to a different account than the one you intended it can be very difficult for us to recover it and you may lose your money.
When buying goods or services from someone you do not know consider using your debit card or credit card, or a payment method which offers additional protection against scams, like PayPal or Google Pay. Only pay for goods and services via bank transfer if you know the person you are paying or are satisfied the business is genuine.
|I am sending money to someone I have never met||Always ask yourself how well you truly know the person and how reliable they are.
Dating and romance scams can have a serious financial and emotional effect on victims. The scammer will build a relationship with you before asking you to transfer money due to a personal emergency or to cover travel expenses. Remember, never send money to someone you have not met in person.
Are you amending payment details?
|Fraudsters may contact you and ask you to change details of a saved payee.
Only change the details if you know the person or business and they have proof that their bank details have recently changed. A simple phone call to the person on a number you trust could protect you from losing your money.
|Further information and support||Never be pressured into transferring money. If you are unsure, we suggest you take a day or two to think about what's being asked and talk it through with someone you can really trust.
If you think you're the victim of a scam, contact us immediately. If you want more information use the menu above to review further advice about how to stay safe online.
Online fraud is becoming increasingly sophisticated, with malware and phishing allowing cyber criminals to access computers, account numbers and other personal information. Antivirus software is vital for your security, but criminals are constantly seeking new and smarter ways to steal your identity and take money from your bank account.
- Installing Antivirus – helps to stop threats by scanning your device and looking for suspicious files. Install reputable anti-virus software on all of your devices (eg computers, tablets and phones) and update it regularly
- Installing a Firewall – hides your computer from attackers and helps stop criminals getting data in and out of your computer
- Be wary about personal information you or your family post on social media and ensure you check all privacy settings.
- Create passwords using three random words and use numbers and special characters so it’s easy to remember but hard to guess.
- Have a unique password for every website you use.
- Back up your data regularly using an external device or cloud storage service.
- Secure your devices with a screen lock.