Mortgage scams

Fraudsters can target people buying a house to try to steal their deposit.

If you ever need to move large amounts of money, follow this guide to avoid a scam.

Fraudsters can send scam emails that pretend to be someone else, like a solicitor.

A scam email can include an invoice or make changes to payment details. And the message may try to rush you to pay up.

Tips to avoid mortgage scams

  • If you ever have to pay an invoice, always double-check it first.

    Call the person or company you need to pay to confirm the name, sort code and account number. Use a phone number you trust, not one from an email or invoice.

  • Before you pay a large amount of money, send a few pounds first. Then call to make sure the payee got it before paying the rest. Use a phone number you trust, not one from an email or invoice.

  • Scam emails often arrive out of the blue. When you get an email, check the sender’s address – does it look normal? Fraudsters add letters or words to genuine addresses to try to convince you it’s real.

    Also read a message carefully to look for spelling mistakes or errors with grammar.

    If you’re not sure about a message, don’t reply. Call the sender to make sure it’s genuine. Use a number you trust, not one from an email.

  • To stop people breaking into any of your online accounts, use a strong password for each one.

    Create a strong password by choosing three random words. To make it even harder to guess, add numbers or special characters. The longer the password, the stronger it is.

    And remember to keep your passwords safe by not sharing or writing them down.

    Learn more about how to protect your passwords

  • Your devices can hold a lot of personal data. To help keep them secure, make sure the device is updated as soon as updates are available.

    If you use public or free Wi-Fi, be careful of sites that want payment or banking details. It's safer to use your mobile phone network to shop or bank online.

    Learn more about how to protect your devices

  • Take Five

    You can get straight forward, impartial advice on how to avoid scams from Take Five.

    Action Fraud

    You can report a crime or get general advice from Action Fraud. They help banks and other companies combat fraud.

    Get Safe Online

    They offer advice on how to keep yourself and your devices safe from fraud.

    UK Finance

    UK Finance is there to support customers and to help make sure it's safe to bank.

    Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)

    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.

    Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

    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.

    Cyber Aware

    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.

Think you’ve fallen for a scam?

You should contact us right away if you think you’ve been scammed. We can then guide you on what to do next.

Contact us now

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.