Fraudsters can try to steal a person's identity to help them carry out scams.
Use this guide to help keep yours safe.
Your identity is unique to you. But if it falls into the wrong hands, it could cost you money.
Fraudsters use all kinds of tricks to find your personal or banking details.
If a fraudster gets hold of your details they can try to use your bank account to steal your money. Or they could try to scam you at a later date.
Tips to keep your identity safe
Before you put anything on social media, think how it could be used against you. Fraudsters like to search profiles to find things they can use.
Your banking and personal details should be kept private and off social media. Even sharing them with friends could put them at risk.
Fraudsters can send an email or text to try to steal your details.
Scam messages come out of the blue and pretend to be from a person or company you now. They're usually about money and often have a link to click or a number to call.
If you don’t know who sent an email or text, or you didn’t expect to get one, don’t reply until you’ve made sure it’s genuine. Call the sender on a number you trust, not one from a message.
To be safe, only click on a link if you know and trust the sender. The same can be said for a download.
A scam message wants you to click on a link or call and give away details. And a link or download could put a virus on your device.
If a fraudster gets your details, they may try to scam you with a phone call.
Only a fraudster would call to tell you to move money to another account.
If you get a call like this, hang up.
You can always call a company to find out if it was genuine. But use a number you trust, not one from a call.
Fraudsters can look all over the place to try to find personal or banking details. What you throw away could be gold to them.
To cut down on paper, get bank and credit statements online.
If you don’t want to go paper free, file your personal and banking details away. Or destroy them.
To find out if credit checks have been made in your name, sign up to a trusted credit agency. They can tell you about your rating and find out if anything odd has taken place.
At first, it can be hard to tell if your identity has been stolen. But if you think it has, contact us right away and we’ll make sure your bank account is safe.
If a website you use gets broken into, contact them to find out if you’re details have been stolen. The site should let you know. But if they don't, contact them to find out.
If your details are stolen from a site, make sure your account hasn't been used. Even if everything is ok, change your passwords and security questions.
And if your details are on any other sites, tell them about the theft.
You can also contact Action Fraud to report a crime or get general advice. Action Fraud help banks and other companies combat fraud.
And register with CIFAS. They can help to protect you and stop fraudsters from using your details to apply for products or services in your name.
Tell-tale signs of identity theft
Keep an eye out for these things. They may warn you that your identity has been stolen and help to limit the damage.
Letters may arrive that you know nothing about. Even credit cards that you didn’t apply for.
If you get unwanted mail, or think it has been stolen or re-directed, contact Royal Mail.
Your credit score could be good, but you get turned down for credit.
Make sure you know all the items that show up on a credit check.
You could get calls from debt collectors or companies about things you didn’t buy.
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.