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Online fraud

Online fraud

Protect yourself from online fraud

Want to know how you can protect yourself from online fraud? Here are some of the most common scams and tips on how you can avoid them.

If you think you've fallen victim to online fraud on your Barclays account, call us straight away on 0845 600 2323 (+44 247 684 2063 outside the UK) 1.

Social engineering

Social engineering is the act of manipulating people into doing what you want. In terms of online fraud, a fraudster will usually trick people into disclosing their passwords, log-in details or other confidential information.

You can protect yourself by:

  • Not disclosing confidential information over the phone unless you're absolutely sure of the caller's identity. If in doubt, ask for the caller's phone number and check it to see that it's genuine.
  • Never accepting instructions to synchronise the PINsentry card reader, either online or through any other method. The PINsentry card reader does not require synchronisation.
  • Never accepting instructions from anyone asking you to enter an account number and amount into the PINsentry card reader unless you wish to make that payment.
  • Never sending confidential information by email. It can easily be intercepted by a third party, and companies like ours will never ask you to email personal details, account information or passwords.
  • Keeping your PIN confidential at all times. Banks, including us, will never ask you to disclose your PIN.


Phishing is a process used by fraudsters in an attempt to acquire your confidential information by sending out emails or other kinds of messages that direct you to bogus websites or phone lines. These emails or messages claim to be from a particular company, so they often look legitimate. But these messages are actually sent by fraudsters, often at random. Any information you disclose on these bogus websites or phone lines is captured by the fraudsters.

You can protect yourself by treating any unsolicited emails or calls that ask for confidential information with suspicion. If in doubt about the validity of a particular message, contact the company that supposedly sent you the message to make sure it’s genuine.

For more information about Phishing, visit our Learn about scams page.


A trojan is a type of malware (malicious software) that is installed on any internet-enabled device (eg computer, smartphone) without your knowledge or consent. Typically, a fraudster will send you an email that tries to trick you into following a website link, downloading something or opening an attachment. If you take this action, the trojan is installed.

Trojans can be capable of recording your passwords and other personal details by capturing your keystrokes or taking screen shots of sites you visit. These details are then sent to a fraudster. Some trojans actually allow a fraudster to shadow your computer sessions, seeing everything you do.

The best way to protect yourself from trojans is to install firewalls and internet security software on your computer and to keep these things up to date. If you're an Online Banking customer, you can get the award-winning Kaspersky Internet Security suite (RRP £49.99) for free. Check out our free security software offer page for more information.

To learn more about trojans, visit the UK banking industry's website. 2
Learn about scams

Money mules

Most UK bank accounts do not allow customers to make online cross-border transfers. Since most online fraudsters tend to be based outside the UK, they need people within the UK to launder the funds they receive from their scams. These people are called money mules and they are often innocent victims themselves.

Money mules receive funds into their accounts that fraudsters have stolen. These funds generally come from other victims whose bank accounts in the UK have been compromised. The money mules are then encouraged to send the funds to the fraudsters overseas using a wire-transfer service, minus their commission.

Money mules are recruited through a variety of methods, including spam emails, genuine job search websites, email responses to a victim's online CV, instant messaging and newspaper ads.

This scam offers you the chance to earn some easy money for a few hours' work each week, but beware: Handling money that's been obtained fraudulently is a crime, even if you're not knowingly complicit in the crime. You can protect yourself from becoming involved by:

  • Treating any unsolicited job offers with suspicion, especially if the company is based overseas.
  • Verifying the details of any company that you’re considering working for.
  • Not giving your bank account details to anyone whom you don't know and trust.

Remember the golden rule: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

For more about money mules, visit the UK banking industry's helpful website. 2
Learn about scams

What should I do if I've fallen victim to fraud on my Barclays accounts?

Contact us immediately if you think you are or may be a victim of fraud on your Barclays cards or accounts. The number you should call varies according to the type of fraud involved.

If you've received a suspicious email that claims to be from us, please forward it to and then delete the email immediately.

Important information
1. Lines are open Monday to Sunday 7am–11pm. To maintain a quality service, we may monitor or record phone calls. Read our call charges and information


2. All of the external sites you can reach through the Barclays web site are here to help you. However, we must tell you that we accept no responsibility or liability for the content, accuracy or availability of any external site you may encounter.

Barclays Bank PLC. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register number: 122702). Barclays Bank PLC subscribes to the Lending Code which is monitored and enforced by the Lending Standards Board. Further details can be found at Barclays Insurance Services Company Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Register number: 312078).

Barclays Bank PLC. Registered in England. Registered no. 1026167. Barclays Insurance Services Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered no. 973765. Registered office for both: 1 Churchill Place, London E14 5HP. ‘The Woolwich’ and ‘Woolwich’ are trademarks and trading names of Barclays Bank PLC. Barclays Business is a trading name of Barclays Bank PLC.


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