High Street banks have issued a warning to millions of customers across the UK in a bid to cut fraud – both online and over the phone.

Making people more aware of the threats is seen as an essential part of the warning campaign, with the British Bankers’ Association working in conjunction with the police.

Eight key areas have been identified as being things that banks will never do, and customers should be aware to not respond in these instances, regardless of how official any emails of phone calls may seem.

Anthony Brown, chief executive of the BBA, described fraud as a “devastating experience” and said it was why the campaign is necessary.

“The more people know about fraud, the less likely they are to become victims,” he said.

Raising awareness of potential fraud

In a bid to raise awareness of potential fraudulent activity, it is important to be aware of what banks will never ask or do:

  • A bank will never ask for your full PIN or online banking password – either over the phone or via email.
  • Nor will they send an individual to your home to collect money, bank cards or anything else for that matter.
  • Your bank will also never ask for any confidential information – both banking and personal – via either email or over the phone.
  • Similarly a bank will not send an email with links to online banking that then requires an individual to enter their online log-in details – this should be done by accessing the official banking website and checking it is secure by looking for https before the web address.
  • Banks will not ask an account holder to authorise the transfer of funds to a new account or to hand over cash.
  • Neither will they call to advise a person on buying diamonds, land, or other commodities –where possible calls offering such items should be logged and reported.
  • Test transactions are not done by banks and any request to take part in an online test transaction should be ignored.
  • Finally, banks do not provide banking services through any mobile apps that are not their own official ones – links and details for these apps are readily available and can be checked on the app pages themselves if anyone is still unsure of their validity.

These eight factors were the ones identified by the BBA as playing a key role in tackling fraudulent activity.

Money management alternatives

Prepaid cards are not directly linked to bank accounts, so the threat of fraudulent activity is reduced when they are used.

Additional security, including chip and PIN features, can also be put onto the cards while only the funds on the card could be accessed in the event of fraud – meaning any other accounts would be safe.

These types of cards can be used in a similar fashion to a debit or credit card, except that they lack a credit facility so it is not possible to rack up excessive debt.