Financial scams and how to avoid them

Read our tips on how to avoid financial scams

Find out about some of the most common scams and learn how you can avoid them.

Phone calls, letters, emails and texts from scammers can seem legitimate and convincing so it’s important to be vigilant and keep an eye out for anything suspicious.

Become familiar with some of the more common scams listed below. If you think you may have been a victim of a scam, report it immediately to Action Fraud, either by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. You also need to contact us straightaway if someone has taken money from your account or you think you’ve accidentally given your details to a fraudster.

Take a look at our fraud smart tips or visit the FCA and Get Safe Online for more help and support. The Little Book of Big Scams also has lots of useful information on how to stay safe.

  • Email and text message scams


    ‘Phishing’ is where fraudsters send you emails or texts, often appearing to be from your bank, asking you to reply with your security information or click on a link, where they can then access your details. Watch our phishing scams video for more information.

    Text messages may ask you to call a number claiming to be the bank’s fraud department, but the number is often a premium rate number and connects you to a fraudster.

    Fraudsters may also send a text warning that you’ll soon receive a call from the bank’s fraud department. However, it’s actually the fraudster that calls and tries to get your security information. To make the texts seem authentic, fraudsters use special software that changes the sender ID on a message, so that you see the name of your bank as the sender. This can mean the text shows within an existing text message thread from your bank.


    Other emails and texts trick you into downloading malicious software (malware) that helps fraudsters get hold of your details and your money. The messages look like they’re from legitimate organisations and give a plausible story to try to trick you into clicking a link, downloading something or opening an attachment.

    Security tips

    • Protect your computer and mobile devices with the most up-to-date security software such as our free Kaspersky Internet Security software
    • Keep your important files backed up off your network
    • Be wary of opening attachments or links in emails or texts you’re not expecting or are unsure about
    • Never share any security information in response to an email or text or on a site accessed via a link in an email or text

    Emails and texts from Barclays

    We may text or call you to confirm a transaction or contact you by email from time to time with useful advice and information about products and services, but we’ll…

    • Never email or text you a link that takes you straight to the Online Banking log-in page
    • Never email or text you asking you to verify your account or security details
    • Never email, text or call to ask you for your card details, PINs, PINsentry codes or passwords
    • Never email you asking you to confirm a recent transaction (we may text or call)
    • Never call you to tell you how to respond to a confirmation text message

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

    If you receive a text message asking you to call the bank on a number you don’t recognise, check it’s a genuine Barclays fraud team number using our telephone number checker or call using a number on the bank’s website or the back of your card.

  • Scam phone calls

  • Investment scams

  • Advance fee scams

  • Software scams

  • Pension scams

  • Online shopping scams

  • Money mules

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Protect yourself from fraud

Don’t be fooled, be fraud smart

Check out our tips to help protect yourself against fraud.

How do I report fraud?

Contact us straightaway if you think you’ve been a victim of fraud.

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