As we approach the winter months there’s still a lot of uncertainty about the cost of living and what help, advice and information is available that can be relied on.

We’re detailing some things that we’re aware of at the moment that could cost you dearly in the coming months if you don’t Stop, Challenge, Protect.

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One-Time Passcodes

We are aware of criminals contacting people by telephone/text to advise that they work for your bank and need your one-time passcode for one of the following reasons:

  • Process a fraudulent claim
  • Process a refund on your account
  • Stop a payment going through
  • Recover funds on your account

Your bank will NEVER ask you for your one-time passcode, if you are asked for this by anyone, hang up as it is a scam.

Romance Scams

This is where criminals create fake profiles and use them to build a relationship with you to eventually ask you for money.

Here are some top tips to protect you:

  • Do not send money, invest or share your bank account details with someone you haven’t met.
  • Never purchase gift cards/vouchers at someone else’s request as this can be a sign of a scam.
  • Never hand over copies of personal documents such as your passport or driving licence.

Impersonation Scams

This is where criminals convince you to provide personal and/or financial details pretending to be from Vanquis, a friend, family member, the police, your bank, a utility company or government department such as HMRC.

Here are some top tips to protect you:

  • Never share your PIN or card details, a company will not threaten you for these.
  • Call friends or family members using another form of contact to check the request is genuine.
  • Call the company on a trusted number, like the one on their website or mobile app, not from social media or a Google Ad.

We are also aware of criminals impersonating energy providers and the government to trick consumers into sharing their card or account details. These criminals are asking consumers to click on links to apply for discounted energy bills under the Energy Bills Support Scheme. This is an automatic discount and you don’t need to apply for it.

Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you will let your guard down for a moment. Stop, think and challenge. It could protect you and your money.

Always ask yourself “could it be fake?” It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.

Only use trusted sources of information:

And don’t forget to report any suspicious texts or emails to Action Fraud either online or by telephone 0300 123 2040.

Take part in our climate change survey

Take part in our survey