Do you know how to spot a scam email or text?
We’ll show you how so you know what to do to stay safe.
Fraudsters can send emails and texts to try to scam you. Their goal is to steal your details and money.
Scam messages often include a link to a fake site or a number to call a bogus company.
We’ll never send a message with a direct link for you to log in or to give personal or banking details.
If you get a message like this, don’t reply and delete it.
Below, we list some tell-tale signs of a scam message and what you should do if you get one.
Tips to avoid scam messages
Even if you know who sent a message, be careful with one that arrives out of the blue.
Don’t reply until you check that it’s genuine. Call the sender on a number you trust, not one from an email or text.
If you need to visit a website to check, type the web address directly into the address bar at the top of your screen.
Only click on a link in a message after you’ve made sure it’s genuine. The same goes for downloading any attachment.
Fraudsters use links and downloads to try to take you to a fake site or to put a computer virus on your device.
Rule number one - If you’re not sure about an email or text message:
- don’t reply
- don’t click on anything
- just delete it
Scam emails can be badly written. They may look odd, have spelling mistakes and a messy layout. So read an email carefully to spot these errors.
A genuine message will be written in a reasonable and calm way.
Scam messages can use warnings, threats of fraud or problems with your account to try to make you act without thinking.
Don’t rush. Take your time to check and do the right thing.
If we send you an email, it will always greet you by title and surname, as in Dear Mrs Smith.
And we always include part of your main account number, or part of your postcode if you don't have an account number yet.
You can call us to make sure a message is genuine. Use the number on the back of your bank card and we can check an email or text.
If you get an email that seems like a scam, forward it to our fraud team at email@example.com
All our email addresses end with bankofscotland.co.uk.
There should never be another word in between bankofscotland and .co.uk.
This is a genuine email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a scam email: email@example.com
Make sure an email has a genuine address.
If you get an invoice or bill by email to pay for a job or service, confirm the payment details first.
Call the person or business on a number you trust, not one from an invoice or email.
Fraudsters can send fake invoices or changes to payment details.
If you pay the wrong account, it’s very hard to get your money back.
You can get straight forward, impartial advice on how to avoid scams from Take Five.
You can report a crime or get general advice from Action Fraud. They help banks and other companies combat fraud.
They offer advice on how to keep yourself and your devices safe from fraud.
UK Finance is there to support customers and to help make sure it's safe to bank.
The PRA is part of the Bank of England. Their role is to make sure banks act safely and reduce the chance of them losing money.
The FCA is there to make sure banks work well so customers are protected and get a fair deal.
CIFAS can help to protect your identity. They can stop fraudsters from using your details to apply for things in your name.
This is a government site that gives advice on how to stay safe online.
This is part of the FCA site. You can use it to check on an investment or pension deals to help you avoid scams.
Bank of Scotland does not control the content of any of the websites linked to on this page.
Bank of Scotland will never ask you to:
- Share your account details like user ID, password and memorable information.
- Tell us your Personal Security Number (PSN) for Telephone Banking.
- Tell us your PIN code or card expiry date.
- Move money to another account.
Bank of Scotland plc. Registered in Scotland No. SC327000. Registered Office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 169628.