Skip to main content

Impersonation scams

Criminals contact you pretending to be from your bank, the police or other trusted organisations.

Their goal is to convince you to send them money.

They'll make you panic to stop you from thinking about what you're being asked to do. They may tell you that you've been a victim of an attempted fraud, or give you details of false spend on your account. They'll try to convince you that your account is no longer secure, and you need to move your money.

Many criminals use something called 'spoofing'. This makes emails, calls or messages look like they're from a person or company you know. This is to hide the true identity of the contact. They want to make the contact believable, so you act without thinking.

Criminals make contact in many ways. Always be cautious and check that the request is genuine. See below for some examples of impersonation methods.

Telephone, text or email

Most of the time, the contact will be a company or person you're familiar with. Criminals want you to act quickly and will try to rush you. They'll try to pressure you into clicking a link, sharing your security details, or to move your money. 

Social media

Criminals contact you through messaging services like WhatsApp, LinkedIn, and any social media platform. They'll impersonate anyone to gain your trust. Fake profiles can be made to impersonate real people.

Protect yourself

  • Your bank, the police or any trusted company will never ask you to move money from your account. If you're asked to do this, it's a scam.
  • Your bank, the police or any trusted company will never ask you for help with an investigation. Don't take any action, and end all contact.
  • Always check the request is genuine with the real person. Call them on a known and trusted number, or check in person if you can.
  • Never reply to a message from an unknown or unconfirmed contact.
  • Never give anyone remote access to your computer or device during or after a cold call. When you give remote access the person can see everything you can.

Remember your bank will never ask you to share your log on details, or any other secure information.