Keeping you and your finances safe from fraud

Anybody can fall victim to fraudsters, especially online.  Scammers make their living by tricking people out of their hard-earned savings, so knowing how to spot a scam is an important skill. 

To help keep you safe, we’ve pulled together the vital information needed to help you recognise financial scams, as well as what to do if you think you’ve been targeted.

Should you need further support, Take 5 to Stop Fraud is a national campaign offering free, impartial advice to help prevent email, phone based and online fraud.

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Protecting yourself against fraud

Protecting your information

There are many precautions you can take to protect your financial information and prevent misuse. We recommend taking the following steps to ensure the safety of your finances: 


  • Avoid using passwords that could be easily guessed (e.g. 123456 or your date of birth). Instead, use a mixture of letters, cases, numbers and symbols.
  • Use different passwords for different accounts and change them regularly.
  • It’s not uncommon for thieves to go through your rubbish, so use a shredder to destroy any documents that include your name, address or financial details. 
  • Never access financial apps when connected to public wifi.
  • Never give your account details or security information (including any passwords for electronic banking) to anyone. Remember, a bank or building society will under no circumstances ask you for your full PIN or password. 
  • Always log out of a website when you have completed your transactions.
  • Protect any devices that connect to the internet with up-to-date security and anti-virus software. 
  • Never click links in an unexpected/unusual email or text message. 
  • Keep your passbooks, and other important information, in a safe place. 
  • Let us know as soon as possible if your passbook is lost or stolen, or you suspect someone has accessed your account or used your passbook without authority. The best way to let us know is by calling us on 0800 834312 or you can email us at
  • Let us know as soon as possible of any change in your name, address, telephone number or email address, or if you do not receive any information that you were expecting to receive from us
  • Check your passbook regularly.
  • Check your annual savings statement and payment notifications.

Protecting your identity

Helpful websites advising on fraud prevention

Types of fraud

Authorised push payments fraud

This type of fraud is when criminals masquerade as a genuine person or organisation to trick a customer into transferring money to them.  Most people don’t think that they would fall victim to a scam – they think it only happens to the elderly or vulnerable.  Criminals use a range of tactics to target people, including pretending to be from your bank or building society, the Police, HMRC, the Council, your gas or electricity provider or even the NHS.

Hackers may even monitor email threads for genuine payment dates and information, so they can intercept the conversation at a time when the victim would expect a payment request in their inbox. For example, the scammers could be impersonating the solicitors you’re using to buy your house or the tradesmen you’ve hired for a home extension. 


How to protect yourself:


The best defence against this type of fraud is gut instinct and vigilance - if you suspect something is ‘off’ don’t ignore it. There’s no harm in calling the company, or person, to double-check the payment request is genuine. Never use the details provided in the email though, as it’s likely the scammer’s decoy information. 

You should also think about the following:

  • Check if what the person calling is claiming has happened, has actually taken place.
  • Keep calm. If you panic, you may do something that you wouldn’t normally do if you had time to think about it.
  • Be suspicious and ask questions to check the information being provided.
  • Switch phones, as the caller may give you a contact number that appears genuine. If you're going to make a call, ring someone else first or use another phone, as the caller may stay on the line.
  • Don’t assume a call, email or text is genuine. The caller will be very convincing, or the email may be from a service provider you have a contract with as they may know some of your basic information.
  • Stop and take your time to think about what is being asked of you.
  • Listen to your instinct. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t continue. Politely put the phone down.
  • Never disclose your password, account details or where you hold other accounts.
  • You can block a phone number or report an email as spam to stop future contact.

Doorstep scams

Tax refund scams

Overpayment scams

Investment scams

Pension scams

Romance scams

Money mules

What to do if you think you’ve been targeted by fraudsters

If you believe you’ve been the victim of a scam or fraud contact us immediately by calling 0800 220 568 and choose Option 1 (Savings Accounts), then Option 3 to be put through to our Service Hub.


Our opening hours are 9.00 am – 5.00 pm Monday to Friday.


Please try to have the following information available if possible:


  • Your account number.
  • The amount of money involved.
  • Date of the transaction.
  • Where the money was sent – name, sort code and account number.


If you’ve been a victim of a fraud or scam, you should also contact Action Fraud and your local Police service on 101.

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