Protect yourself from scams

Learn about the different types of scam

Scammers get more sophisticated every day, so it’s important to be alert. We’ve put together some examples of the most common scams, to help keep you protected.

Why you need to stay alert

Scammers do everything they can to appear legitimate. Learning about the different types of scam can help you to protect yourself when you get a phone call, or an official-looking letter, email, or text message. We'll help you question any correspondence you receive, so you don't fall for a scam.

Think you’ve been targeted?

If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, please contact us as soon as you can.


If you get an email or text that looks suspicious, please forward it, along with any attachments if possible, to [email protected].

Types of scams to watch out for

These are among the most common tricks currently used by scammers but they constantly come up with new ways to contact you, so be vigilant.

Impersonation scams

When someone pretends to be the police, a bank, a friend or business, to convince you to send them money. 

Investment scams

When you’re invited to invest in things that are worthless, or don’t exist.

Purchase scams

When fake or non-existent items are advertised for sale.

Advance fee scams

When fake companies ask for an upfront fee and then don’t provide the service you’ve paid for.

Invoice scams

When account details on an invoice are changed, or emails are intercepted, so the money is wrongly paid into the scammer’s account.

Romance scams

When someone pretends to be interested in a romantic relationship with you. They gain your trust and then ask for money.

Pension scams

A scammer says they can make you money, and convinces you take a lump sum out of your pension – then steals it.

Doorstop scams

A rogue trader knocks on your door and pretends your house needs work – then overcharges you for it and often doesn't finish the job.

Bereavement scams

A scammer contacts you after someone has died, and says you owe money to pay off a debt or to access a payout.  

Phishing, smishing, and vishing

You receive an email, text message, or call claiming to be from a well-known company or organisation such as a bank or the police.

Our quick tips to get you started

Be sceptical and vigilant

Be especially careful of texts and emails containing links and attachments. 

How to protect yourself

Talk to someone you trust

Always speak to a trusted friend or family member if you're unexpectedly asked for money. Remember – if you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable talking about the situation, it could be a sign that something’s not right. Consider consulting a qualified financial adviser before investing your money.

Ask questions and do research

Read reviews of the sites or companies you’re thinking about dealing with. Don’t rush into making any payments. Check their web address too, to make sure the site is genuine – check there aren’t subtle misspellings in the web address and make sure there’s a padlock symbol shown next to the address in your browser. 

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

Beware of suspiciously good bargains – especially on social media. 

Protection update

APP scams

We’ve signed up to the Contingent Reimbursement Model, a code that aims to offer you better protection from Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams.

An APP scam is a payment made by you, through Faster Payments or CHAPS, where you intend to transfer funds to somebody, but are instead deceived into transferring the funds to someone else; or you transfer funds for what you believe is a genuine purpose, and this turns out to be fraudulent.  

As we continue to do everything we can to protect you, it's also important for you to protect yourself – our guides show you the steps you can take.

Online payments

The way you pay online is changing, to help protect you from fraud. 

New rules on payment services mean you’ll sometimes be asked to prove it really is you when making some online purchases.  

There are three ways you’ll be asked to confirm it’s you

  • The Barclays app (make a few taps on your screen)
  • Text message (type in a code sent to your mobile)
  • PINsentry card reader (use it with your card to generate a code)

The quickest and easiest way to confirm is by using the Barclays app. Find out how the changes could affect you.

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Protect yourself from fraud

Learn about the different types of fraud

More and more people are being targeted by fraudsters, so it’s important to be alert. Knowing about the different types of fraud can help you protect yourself and your money.

Take Five to stop fraud

National awareness campaign

Take Five is led by UK Finance and backed by the Government and other organisations. If you receive a phone call, text or email you think might be fake, it urges you to stop – take five – and challenge what you’re told.

Think you’ve been a victim?

How to report fraud or a scam

Get in touch with us right away if you think you may have paid a scammer, or you’ve seen suspicious activity on your account. Here, you’ll find the numbers you need, the next steps to take, and what we’ll do to help.

Master your Moneyverse

…and make money work for you

We’ve all got our own personal relationship with money – the way we spend it, save it, (try to) look after it and use it to help reach our goals and shape our dreams. This is your Moneyverse. It’s as unique as you are and we can help you become its master.