Protect yourself from scams

Learn about the different types of scam

Scammers get more sophisticated every day, so it’s important to be alert. We’ve put together some examples of the most common scams, to help keep you protected.

Why you need to stay alert

Scammers do everything they can to appear legitimate. Learning about the different types of scam can help you to protect yourself when you get a phone call, or an official-looking letter, email, or text message. We'll help you question any correspondence you receive, so you don't fall for a scam.

Think you’ve been targeted?

If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, please contact us as soon as you can.

If you get an email or text that looks suspicious, please forward it, along with any attachments if possible, to internetsecurity@barclays.com.

Visit our latest scams page to learn about current trends and what to look out for.

Types of scams to watch out for

These are among the most common tricks currently used by scammers but they constantly come up with new ways to contact you, so be vigilant.

Impersonation scams

When someone pretends to be the police, a bank, a friend or business, to convince you to send them money. 

Investment scams

When you’re invited to invest in things that are worthless, or don’t exist.

Purchase scams

When fake or non-existent items are advertised for sale.

Advance fee scams

When fake companies ask for an upfront fee and then don’t provide the service you’ve paid for.

Invoice scams

When account details on an invoice are changed, or emails are intercepted, so the money is wrongly paid into the scammer’s account.

Romance scams

When someone pretends to be interested in a romantic relationship with you. They gain your trust and then ask for money.

Pension scams

A scammer says they can make you money, and convinces you take a lump sum out of your pension – then steals it.

Doorstep scams

A rogue trader knocks on your door and pretends your house needs work – then overcharges you for it and often doesn't finish the job.

Bereavement scams

A scammer contacts you after someone has died, and says you owe money to pay off a debt or to access a payout.  

Phishing, smishing, and vishing

You receive an email, text message, or call claiming to be from a well-known company or organisation such as a bank or the police.

Our quick tips to get you started

Be sceptical and vigilant

Be wary if you transfer money to someone and it bounces back straight away. You might have sent it to an account that’s been closed for fraud. Don’t try to make the payment again, especially if the person gives you new details immediately or asks you to pay in another currency. Instead, speak to a trusted friend or family member or call us.

Talk to someone you trust

Always speak to a trusted friend or family member if you're unexpectedly asked for money. Remember – if you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable talking about the situation, it could be a sign that something’s not right. Consider consulting a qualified financial adviser before investing your money.

Ask questions and do research

Read reviews of the sites or companies you’re thinking about dealing with. Don’t rush into making any payments. Check their web address too, to make sure the site is genuine – check there aren’t subtle misspellings in the web address and make sure there’s a padlock symbol shown next to the address in your browser. 

When you transfer money, tell us the real reason

When you transfer money, we ask you tell us the reason for your payment so we can help protect you from scams. Scammers often try to trick you into selecting the wrong reason so you see the wrong warnings.

Always take the time to select the right reason for your payment. If someone asks you to select one that doesn’t match what the payment is for, it’s probably a scam. If you think you might have already paid a scammer, please report the scam to us

Protection update

Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams

An APP scam is when you make a Faster Payment or CHAPS payment to a payee you think is genuine, or for a purpose you think is legitimate, and it turns out to be fraudulent.

We’ve signed up to the Contingent Reimbursement Model (CRM), a code that aims to reduce and protect you from APP scams. It means we’ll refund you if you’re the victim of one, as long as you weren’t to blame for the success of the scam.

Scams where you’ve paid by cash, cheque or international transfer aren’t covered by the CRM code, but you should still contact us if you’ve been the victim of one as we review all claims.

We continue to do everything we can to protect you, and it’s also important for you to protect yourself. Our guides show you the steps you can take.

Online payments

The way you pay online is changing, to help protect you from fraud. 

New rules on payment services mean you’ll sometimes be asked to prove it really is you when making some online purchases.  

There are three ways you’ll be asked to confirm it’s you

  • The Barclays app (make a few taps on your screen)
  • Text message (type in a code sent to your mobile)
  • PINsentry card reader (use it with your card to generate a code)

The quickest and easiest way to confirm is by using the Barclays app. Find out how the changes could affect you.

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