Impersonation Scams

Is it really your bank on the phone? We’ve all received SMS messages and phone calls from a fraudster pretending to be someone we trust. Almost £100 million was lost to impersonation scams in the last year alone.

What’s an impersonation scam?


Fraudsters might pretend to be your bank, HMRC, the police, BT or another trusted institution. They contact you via telephone, SMS or email and attempt to convince you to send money to an account that they control. 

Just because the number matches a number you trust, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s them contacting you. Fraudsters are able to ‘spoof’ those organisations’ telephone numbers, so when you receive the call or SMS you believe it’s legitimate. It’s important to be aware  that ‘spoofing’ is easily done.

What’s a ‘safe account’?


No legitimate organisation will ever make you send your money elsewhere to keep it safe. But a common tactic used by scammers is to convince you to move your money to a ‘safe account’. By telling you your funds are under threat, the fraudsters try to create a sense of urgency. Yet no matter how much they seem to know about your account, you should just hang up and call the bank on the number found on the back of your card.

How can I avoid impersonation scams


The following top tips will help protect you:

  1. Your bank or the police will never ask you to send money to a safe account

  2. Never automatically assume a phone call or SMS that appears to come from a number you trust is legitimate

  3. Always contact your bank directly using an email or number you know works. For example, the one on the back of your card. You can also google the organisation but make sure it’s the legitimate website with the correct URL. 

  4. Forward any suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk, and any scam texts to your mobile network provider by forwarding them to 7726

I’ve lost money to someone pretending to be my bank or another organisation.

Can refundfix help get my money back?

Last year saw nearly a 100% increase in impersonation scams, so you’re not alone. These scams can be very convincing! However, all is not lost, and refundfix might be able to help get your money back — just fill in our claim form to start the process. Alternatively, if you’d like you can manage your case yourself, for free! We provide more information here on how to do this.