Stop. Think. Things your bank will never ask you to do

Bank statement and cards

Moving money around from our bank accounts has become a lot safer over the last few years, but there are things your bank will never ask you to do to make those transfers safe.

As a matter of routine, they now ask us to confirm, re-confirm and double-check everything before we pay any bills, and that’s only after their system has checked the payee name, account number and sort code all match-up.

Making life safer for us always means that the criminals trying to get hold of our money have to change the way they do things – and they have.

You’ll also have noticed since 2022 that whenever you buy something online, your bank sends a code to your phone or email that it asks you to enter as part of the payment process in order to prove that it’s you trying to make the payment. Those codes are called One-Time Passcodes (OTPs).

Criminals realised that if they can get hold of your OTP, they can route your payment where they want it to go instead.

So, stop. Think.

There are still, however, certain things your bank will never ask you to do.

If you are contacted out-of-the-blue by someone who appears to be calling from your bank:

  • First of all, never be pressured into taking immediate action on your account.
  • Instead, hang-up the phone and either look-up the phone number of your bank online (via their genuine website) and call them, or go into your local branch, and pick-up the query from there.

Remember – your real bank will never ask you, either over the phone or in person, to share:

  • Verification codes or OTPs you receive via text or email.
  • Your long card number or the three digits on the back of your card (or the 4 digits on the front for Amex).
  • Your password or login details.

Also, they will never need you to:

  • Move your money into a different account to “keep it safe”.
  • Scan QR codes sent to you via email or a chat app.
  • Download any software onto your phone or PC.

If anyone ever asks you to do or share any of those things, they will not be from your bank.

You should not keep the call going or respond to them in any way.

Instead, first of all, contact your bank to report the incident, and second, report it to Action Fraud (0330 123 2040) as they help keep us all informed as to the latest tactics cyber criminals are employing.

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