Competition scams

Fraudsters can use competitions and quizzes as part of a scam.

Find out how these scams work and the simple steps you can take to stay safe.

It’s fun to do a competition or quiz online. But not when it’s a scam to steal your details.

Often, this kind of scam wants you to click on a link. So think before you click. Do you trust it?

Tips to avoid competition scams

  • A scam link can take you to a fake site or a pop-up where you’re asked to enter personal details. Fraudsters can use your details to try to scam you in the future.

    Only click on a link or a pop-up from a person or source you trust. Even if it comes from a friend, it could still hide a scam.

    If you have to visit a site, check that it’s genuine first. Look carefully at the web address to make sure it’s spelt correctly. If you’re not sure, type it directly into the browser bar at the top of your screen.

    Look for the closed padlock image. This lets you know that the link to the site is secure. You can find it in the browser bar.

    A secure site will also have https:// at the start of its address.

    But remember, these do not mean a site is genuine.

  • Never give a quiz or competition your bank account details.

    If it asks for your address or contact details, think - do you trust it?

    You can set up a new email address to take part. This will stop scam emails coming to your main account.

    Be careful if you’re asked to sign in to your social media. This can give away personal details that could be used to steal your identity.

    Keep your passwords private. Fraudsters can try to use your quiz answers to log on to your accounts.

  • If a message or call asks you to send money for a prize you’ve won in a competition or quiz, it’s a scam. You never have to send money to get a genuine prize.

  • Use an anti-virus on all your devices. This should tell you when a site is safe to visit, or a file is safe to open.

    Make sure your operating system, browser and software are up-to-date.

  • 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?

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

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