Help to stay safe from scams

Scams are often smart, sophisticated and hard to spot so we've created this page to help you protect yourself from fraud

  • Your financial information and secure login details are valuable, so don’t share them with anyone – even if they’re claiming to be us. We’ll never ask you to tell us these.
  • Choose passwords you can remember easily instead of writing them down.
  • Scams usually start with someone getting in touch out of the blue. An email, a phone call or text message you weren’t expecting can be convincing, but stay wary and hang up or don’t reply.  If you’re at all concerned you should contact your provider.
  • Don’t click links or open emails unless you’re confident the email is really from a sender you know.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it very likely is. Stay sceptical.
  • Scammers often try to put pressure on you to make a quick decision. Always take your time to check things out before going ahead.
  • We’ll never ask you to move money to a ‘safe’ account, so if someone contacts you asking you to do this, it’s a scam.
  • Scammers take advantage of current events to steal, so check a trusted source, like the MoneyHelper, regularly to stay a step ahead of the latest scams.

The types of scams people might try:

If you have an investment or pension

Investment scams usually involve someone unexpectedly calling and inviting you to invest quickly in a scheme with very attractive returns and low risk. Remember, it’s easy enough to produce authentic looking paperwork and add pressure by making it a ‘limited time offer’ but don’t be rushed into a quick decision – always take the time to make proper checks before investing your money.

Pension scams usually follow the same approach as investment scams – contact out of the blue for an offer that’s too good to be true. It usually involves promising to help you ‘unlock’ your pension by transferring money to a different pension scheme. Retirees and people nearing retirement are targeted because they’re able to access large sums of money.

What to do:

As well as following all the tips at the top of the page,

  • Check the contact details of anyone who gets in touch against the Financial Conduct Authority's Register to make sure you’re dealing with the genuine firm
  • Don’t give out any of your personal, investment or pension details.

If you have an insurance policy or protection cover

These scams usually involve a call from someone pretending to be an insurance provider, offering the same cover you have now for a lower premium. These calls can sound convincing, but make sure you check it’s legitimate before handing over any financial information or money.

For equity release (lifetime mortgages) scams 

Some comparison sites ask you for your contact details when you get an equity release quote. Then sometimes they sell them onto marketing agencies, who bombard you with calls and emails. Those marketing agencies might not be Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulated.

You can check the FCA’s Register to see if you’re dealing with a regulated business. If they’re not regulated, you can report them to the FCA. If they keep contacting you when you’ve asked them to stop, just block their email address and phone number.

Stay a step ahead of scams

You can find out more about how fraudsters are taking advantage of people to scam them on the Government’s website and Financial Conduct Authority’s specialist web page.

Help if you’ve been scammed

If the worst has happened and you’ve been stung by fraud you can contact Action Fraud police for advice or to make a report by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting their website or by calling the police directly by dialling 101.