Spotting unusual transactions

How to spot unusual transactions and what to do if you find one

The sooner you spot fraud, the faster your bank can act to protect you.

Whether it’s credit card transactions and charges or bank transactions that you don’t recognise, here, we show you how to spot and report them.

Check statements carefully

Most people will make quite a lot of payments and transactions in a normal month, so it can be easy for an unusual transaction to slip through unnoticed. It’s really important to check your statements regularly and if you see an unauthorised  transaction, report it to your bank straight away.

Statement codes and references

Every transaction on your statement will be listed next to a code – so you can work out how each payment was made. For example, if it says ‘ATM’ that refers to a cash machine. Think; did you use a cash machine on that day, at that time?

This is our list of the codes you’ll find next to the transactions on your statements. Whenever you think you’ve found an unusual transaction, use this table to find out how the payment/withdrawal was made. If you come across a code you can’t identify, always speak to your bank.

Keep an eye out, on and offline

If you get paper bank statements, make sure you’ve received all of them. Missing bank statements could be a sign that a fraudster has managed to get your post or had it sent to another address. This is easier in a block of flats or shared accommodation.

You might also receive a paper bill for something you didn’t buy, or from a company you don’t use. If this happens, report it immediately.  

Common retailer trading names

Sometimes companies trade under different names. This means something you bought might show up on your statement with a different name to the one you’re expecting. It can be frightening as it can look a lot like fraud.

We’ve put together a list of companies and their trading names. Check your unrecognised transaction against these.

Something else we can help you with?