What to look out for

You see a complete bargain online that may seem legitimate - maybe that new​ piece of tech you've had your eye on.​

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The seller asks you to pay by bank transfer outside of the website, rather than with a secure method like PayPal, credit or debit card.​

You send them the money, but you never hear from them again, and your shiny new gadget never arrives: it's a purchase scam.

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Ask yourself

Even the most knowledgeable person can be tricked into a purchase scam.

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Take a moment to ask yourself:​


- Why a bank transfer?​

- Why is it so cheap?​

- Can I trust this seller or website?​

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Remember

Always pay through a reputable website or app and take extra care in the rush of seasonal sales

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​If something doesn’t feel right, walk away – the deal that looks too good to be true, probably is.​

​For bigger purchases (like cars), make sure you see what you’re buying in person before you hand over any money.

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Check we've got your mobile number, so we can alert you to recent scams, and reach you if we notice unusual activity on your accounts.
​If a criminal convinces you to make a bank transfer, it can be difficult or impossible to recover your money.​

We're committed to helping you stay safe from fraud

Criminals plan carefully and use sophisticated methods to catch you off guard.
With the right information we can help you protect yourself and your money. Lets fight fraud. Together.

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Remember, we'll never ask you to: 


- log directly into the Internet Bank via a link in an email, text or social media message

- transfer your money to a safe account

- use, re-enable or re-sync your card reader over the phone

- update your details directly from a link in an email or text

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And we'll always: 


- include the last four digits of your card number if we email, text or message you querying a suspicious transaction on your card

Learn more about the telltale signs of common scams...

How it works

Criminals advertise goods, holidays,​ or cars on websites that seem legitimate. They ask for payment by​ bank transfer outside of the website.​ Once they receive your money, they disappear – and you never get what you paid for.

Ask yourself

- Why a bank transfer?​

​- Why is it so cheap?

- Can I trust this seller or website?

Remember

Criminals will try to steer you away from the website to make the payment.​ Always pay through a reputable​ website or app.​ If a criminal convinces you to make​ a bank transfer, it can be difficult or​ impossible to recover your money.

How it works

Criminals phone out of the blue, impersonating a trusted organisation. They request remote access to your computer to fix a supposed problem with your PC or internet.

After you allow them access, they say you’re due compensation for the inconvenience. While still connected to your computer, they ask you to log into your online banking.

Using your details, they move money from your savings to make it look like the compensation has been paid into your current account. Then they say they've compensated you too much, and ask you to transfer them the difference. When you do, you unknowingly send them your own savings.

Ask yourself

- Is there really a problem?

- Is this caller who they say they are?

- Why do I need to pay the money back right now?

Remember

Genuine computer and internet service companies don't make these calls. Never log onto your Internet Bank account while allowing someone remote access to your computer. If a criminal convinces you to make a bank transfer, it can be difficult or impossible to recover your money.

How it works

A criminal builds an online relationship with you to gain your trust. Then they start asking for money, for supposed travel costs to see you or perhaps for medical fees for a relative they claim is ill. They eventually disappear with your money.

Ask yourself

- Do I really know this person?

- Are their intentions genuine?

- Is it safe to send them money?

Remember

Keep your conversations inside dating apps or websites. Never send money or handle it for someone you haven’t met in person. If a criminal convinces you to make a bank transfer, it can be difficult or impossible to recover your money.

How it works

Criminals phone out the blue, pretending to be from a legitimate organisation like the police, the Financial Conduct Authority, your building society or bank.

They convince you that your money is at risk, and you need to move it to a safe account right away. When you do, you realise you can’t access it, and your money is gone.

Ask yourself

- Is my money really at risk?

- Is this caller who they say they are?

- Why don’t they just freeze my account?

Remember

Legitimate organisations never ask you to move your money, or rush you into a decision. If a call doesn't feel right, hang up. Then phone your bank or building society on the number from their website & use a different line if you can. If a criminal convinces you to make a bank transfer, it can be difficult or impossible to recover your money.

How it works

Criminals posing as tradespeople knock on your door. They say they’re working in the area and have noticed urgent work that needs doing to your property.

They may overcharge you for unnecessary work, or convince you to pay in full for partially completed work, and never return to finish it.

Ask yourself

- Is this a legitimate company?

- Why haven't they given me a written quote?

- Why do I have to make a decision right now?

Remember

Don't feel rushed into a decision by someone at the door. Take your time, do your research. Get second opinions and quotes from several trusted companies before you commit to having any work done.

How it works

Criminals phone you impersonating your bank, building society, or the police. They win your trust and trick you into revealing your PIN. They say they need your debit or credit card as part of a supposed investigation.

They might also ask you to withdraw a large sum of money or buy expensive items, which they claim are needed as evidence for the investigation. They arrange for a courier to pick these things up along with your card - which is never returned to you.

Ask yourself

- Is this caller who they say they are?

- Why do they need my details and my card?

Remember

No one from the police, a bank or a building society will ask you to give out your security details, withdraw money or buy things for an investigation. If a call doesn’t feel right, hang up. Then phone your bank or building society on the number from the website – use a different line if you can.

How it works

Criminals get in touch to try and sell you investments in emerging markets (diamonds, alternative energy or wine for example). They claim you'll see fantastic returns.

They may look legitimate, with a convincing website and might even pay small returns to start with. Ultimately, it becomes clear that the investment doesn't exist and that the criminals have disappeared with your money.

Ask yourself

- Why has this company called me out of the blue?

- How do I know this investment is real?

Remember

Genuine investment companies don't cold call potential investors. Don't be pressured into making a quick investment decision - always get independent advice. Check the warning list on the FCA Scamsmart website. If a criminal convinces you to make a bank transfer, it can be difficult or impossible to recover your money.

How it works

You get an email that appears to be genuine, from a legitimate business you’ve dealt with before, often solicitors and tradesman. It advises you to make a payment using new bank details.

In fact, the email was sent by criminals who have hacked the account. If you make a payment, they pocket your money – and the legitimate business is none the wiser.

Ask yourself

- Why am I being asked to put money in a different account?

Remember

Fake email invoices can be really convincing. Use the business’s original contact details to double check that the request is genuine. If a criminal convinces you to make a bank transfer, it can be difficult or impossible to recover your money.

How it works

You see what looks like a genuine advert offering a chance to earn easy cash by moving money through your bank account. If you answer it, criminals use you as a middle man (a ‘money mule’) to handle funds earned through criminal activity.

Even without fully knowing what’s going on, taking part can result in you being branded untrustworthy by banks or building societies, having your accounts frozen, or even being prosecuted.

Ask yourself

- Why are they asking me to transfer money on their behalf?

Remember

Always be suspicious of a promise of easy or free money. A trustworthy company will never ask you to use your own bank account to move money. Be especially careful of adverts from overseas, as it can be hard to check they’re legitimate. If a criminal convinces you to make a bank transfer, it can be difficult or impossible to recover your money.

Current account fraud enquiries

0800 464 30 51 (UK)
+44 1793 65 67 89 (Abroad)

Useful information

Monday to Friday: 8am - 8pm
Saturday: 8am - 6pm
Sunday: 10am - 3pm

Credit card fraud enquiries

0800 055 66 11 (UK)
+44 2476 43 89 97 (Abroad)

Useful information

Monday to Friday: 8am - 8pm
Saturday: 8am - 8pm
Sunday: 9am - 5pm

Report it

Help us stop fraud. Report suspicious emails, texts and messages by emailing: phishing@nationwide.co.uk

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Take Five to Stop Fraud

Nationwide supports the industry awareness campaign Take Five. They offers straight-forward and impartial advice to help everyone in the UK protect themselves against financial fraud.

Visit the Take Five website