Published on: 9 March 2022


What are 'safe account' scams?

‘Safe account’ scams are when scammers steal your money by getting you to move it to another bank account that they control.

They do this by calling people out of the blue and pretending to be from trustworthy organisations like your building society or bank, the police, or even the Financial Conduct Authority. They claim your money is at risk – your account has been compromised or there’s been a security breach – and that you need to urgently move it to an account they’ve set up for you for safe keeping.

The worst part is it’s you who moves the money, not them. So, when the money is sent to one of these accounts, it may be impossible to recover it. It’s often too late, the money is gone.


How to stop 'safe account' scammers

  • Stop and ask yourself a few quick questions.
    Why would my money be at risk? Has the caller given me any proof they are who they say they are? Why are they not just freezing my account? You'll soon see the scammer’s story doesn't add up.

  • Know that legitimate organisations would never ask you to move your money to another account.
    Your money is safe in your bank account. We monitor all our members’ accounts for fraud 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If we spot something unusual on your account, we’ll block your card to stop any card payments and send you a fraud alert message by text or automated voice call. This is part of our Digital Banking Promise to our members to help keep their money safe and secure. 

  • Remember you can always hang up the phone and call us.
    If a call doesn’t feel right, hang up. You're not being rude. You're being safe and sensible. Put the phone down on them and call us using the number on the back of your card or our website. We’ll be happy to help and confirm whether it was us who called.

How we can help

If you’re making a payment from your Nationwide current account to someone else in the UK and you're not sure about it, you can talk to us about it first. This can be a payment in branch, on our Banking app or Internet Bank, or through Open Banking. This is our Scam Checker Service. Some payments are excluded.

Stop. Challenge. Protect

We're proud to be supporting the industry fraud awareness campaign Take Five, which encourages you to perfect the art of saying NO to fraudsters by taking five minutes to Stop, Challenge, Protect.

Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police so it can be difficult to spot scam texts, emails and phone calls. However, there are things we can all do to protect ourselves.

Always remember to challenge if someone contacts you asking for your personal or financial information – be direct and say NO. Saying NO can feel uncomfortable but it’s OK to reject, refuse or ignore requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

About this page

The content displayed on our recent news and articles page is for information purposes only, and is accurate at the time of publication. The information will not be maintained, and so we cannot guarantee that at any given time the information will be up to date or complete. Please verify any information you take before relying on it.

Nationwide is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites. Nationwide does not make any recommendation or endorse any advertising, products, services or other content on such external websites. Views expressed on third party websites are those of the public and unless specifically stated, are not those of Nationwide.