Suspicious emails and text messages

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You’ve received an email or a text message that seems to be from a company you know well, like Scottish Widows Bank. It’s urging you to act, asking for personal information. It might claim there is something wrong with your account. Or that your details need to be updated.

Fraudsters use a scam called phishing for email, and smishing for texts. They copy emails and texts from real companies to try to steal your data or send your computer a virus.

Find out how to protect yourself, and tell a scam email or text message from a real one.

Suspicious E-mails

Is the email asking for financial and personal info?

Fraudsters pretend to be well-known companies like Scottish Widows Bank, Visa, Apple or HMRC: be wary even if you think you recognise the sender. Genuine companies never ask for Internet Banking log on details or card details in an email. Don’t reply, and don’t click on any links or attachments.

Do you know who really sent the email?

If in doubt, phone the company on a trusted number or visit their website by typing their web address directly into the address bar. Don't click on a link or copy and paste from the email itself.

Is the email trying to scare you into action?

Emails from reputable companies should sound reasonable and calm. Phishing emails often contain threats of account suspension or immediate risk of fraud. If you’re not sure about an email that looks like it’s from us you can always phone us.

Suspicious Text Messages

Is the text message asking for financial and personal info?

Fraudsters pretend to be well-known companies: be wary even if you think you recognise the sender. Genuine companies never ask for Internet Banking log on details or card details in a text. Don’t reply, and don’t click on any links or attachments.
Do you know who really sent the text message?

If in doubt, phone the company on a trusted number or visit their website by typing their web address directly into the address bar. Don't click on a link or copy and paste from the message itself.

Is the text message trying to scare you into action?

Does it sound reasonable and calm, like a message from a reputable company? Phishing text messages often contain threats of account suspension or immediate risk of fraud. If you’re not sure you can always phone us.