Scammers are quick to adapt – and we’re constantly uncovering new scams.
If you’ve received an unexpected call that you’re not sure is from us, end the call and phone us back from a different phone, or call a friend to see if the scammers are hanging onto the line.
More and more people are getting targeted by bereavement scammers. Never rush to make a payment and be careful of any unexpected requests for payments or claims for money owed.
See our first steps page for more about bereavement scams.
Family and friends impersonation scam
Scammers send messages where they impersonate your family members or friends. They might give a reason why they’re using a different number – like saying they’ve lost their phone – but they can also fake genuine contact details.
If you get a message from friends or family asking for money, give them a call on a number you trust and speak to them before you make a payment.
If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers know people are looking for a bargain at Christmas time, so they’ll try and hook you in with deals on anything from cars to game consoles and mobile phones.
Stay alert to what you click through to, and remember that adverts on social media and genuine auction sites could still be fake. Do your research before buying anything. Always pay with your debit or credit card, or the genuine site’s recommended payment platform, for the best protection.
Text messages about voicemail
Some scammers have been sending people messages with links to listen to a new voicemail. If you open the link your smartphone could be infected with malware that lets them access your bank account, other apps and personal information.
You can keep your account safer by always taking a moment to consider whether a text message you’ve received is genuine – especially if it contains a link.
Everyone’s talking about cryptocurrency at the moment, but it doesn’t mean you should listen to anyone offering to invest your money in Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency, especially if they’re offering to open a wallet for you that you wouldn’t have access to.
Scammers are posing as sales staff to get you to buy into a ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’. If you are looking to invest, it’s best to get the opinion of a qualified adviser and check the FCA website – don’t give out any details over the phone.
Covid vaccine passport scam
Scammers send an email claiming to be from the NHS, asking you to a click a link to apply for a ‘Digital Coronavirus Passport’. It then asks for personal and payment details to pay an admin fee. If you receive an email like this, don’t click on the link or give out any details.
Fraudsters call you to say your National Insurance number has been compromised and the National Crime Agency will be in touch. They then ask you to give your details or make a payment over the phone to receive your new National Insurance number. If you get a call like this, hang up – only scammers will try to rush or pressure you and your NI number stays the same for life.
The coronavirus situation has meant lots of us are using dating sites and social media to meet others. Not everyone is who they say they are and scammers can pose as others online. Always do your background research on the person you’re speaking to and don’t transfer money to someone you haven’t met in person – especially if they say they’re overseas and need the money for some kind of emergency or crisis. Speak to someone you trust first.
Take Five to protect yourself
We’re teaming up with UK Finance, who’ve launched their ‘Take Five to Stop Fraud’ campaign to help keep you safe from fraud and scams. Following these steps can help protect you and your money.
Take a moment to stop and think before giving out your personal or payment details.
Could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests you think seem suspicious – only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
If you believe you’ve been targeted by scammers, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at actionfraud.police.uk. If you’re in Scotland, please report it to Police Scotland directly by calling 101.
Get more tips at takefive-stopfraud.org.uk.
What to do with a suspicious message
If you get an email or text that claims to be from us but looks suspicious, please forward it, along with any attachments if possible, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also forward any suspicious emails to email@example.com. The National Cyber Security Centre will test the validity of the site and will remove it immediately if it’s a phishing scam.
The government’s website sets out how to protect yourself from fraud and cybercrime.
Visit our fraud and scams page for tips on how to spot scams and protect your money.
Check out our article on fraud and scams that explains how anyone could be vulnerable to scammers.