Bank Scams

Scottish consumers have reported several common scam calls, emails and texts through which scammers try to obtain bank details:

  • A cold call supposedly from your bank’s fraud department saying that your account has been compromised and that you will need to transfer funds to another account
  • An email supposedly from your bank saying that your recent account activity violates their service agreement and that your account is temporarily on hold until a verification process is performed. You are asked to click on a link in the email to verify the activity
  • An automated call supposedly from your bank, saying that a payment of hundreds of pounds has been transferred overseas from your account. You are sometimes asked to press 1 to speak to an advisor or to verify a transaction
  • A text message saying that a request to add a new payee has been set up. You are asked to click on a link to authorise or cancel this request.
  • A text message saying that you have successfully paired a new payee or that you have authorised a payment to a particular person. Again, you are asked to click on a link to authorise or cancel the request.

These messages appear to come from a number of different banks and often use number spoofing to clone the bank’s genuine phone number.

Reported Scam

An elderly consumer received several calls purporting to be from Santander’s fraud department. The caller convinced them that suspicious activity had recently taken place on their account and that they should transfer £19,000 to another account (named by the caller) for safety. The consumer was advised that, if bank staff challenged the transfer, they should say that the money was going to their nephew to fund house repairs. After making the transfer, the consumer was asked to transfer even more money. Bank staff became suspicious and prevented this second transfer.

What to do:

  • Do not press 1 or follow any other instructions given in an automated message.
  • If you are speaking to a person, don’t give them any personal information or bank details, even if they seem to know some of your details already
  • Don’t click on any buttons or links in unsolicited emails or text messages, even if they look official
  • Contact your bank immediately if you think you may have made a payment to a scammer or if you are worried that a fraudulent transaction has been made from your account. Use the phone number on your bank statement or a publicly listed number (don’t use a number given to you by a cold caller). To ensure that you are disconnected from the cold caller, phone another number such as 123 before phoning your bank or call them from another phone
  • Report bank scams to Advice Direct Scotland. You can also report scam emails to the NCSC
  • If you have been the victim of fraud, report this to Police Scotland on 101

Report scam calls and texts to
Advice Direct Scotland

Report scam emails to the National Cyber Security Centre’s
Suspicious Email Reporting Service