Money management

Keeping your money safe over the festive period

Top tips to take care of your money this festive season

Since the pandemic struck, scams have been on the rise. Scammers love a bit of Christmas, and it's expected that they'll try to lure us in with too-good-to-be-true deals and fake delivery messages.

As part of our Seasonal scams campaign, we've created this article to help you find out about trending scams and what you can do to stay safe this festive season. 

Online shopping scams cost consumers £69m

Latest scams to watch out for

New scam alert

Purchase scams

If a deal looks too good to be true, it usually is. Fraudsters trick people into paying for goods and services that don’t exist, often advertised via auction sites or social media with images taken from genuine sellers’.

Missed delivery texts

The surge in online shopping during the pandemic and confusion over new customers and delivery fees have given fraudsters greater opportunity to impersonate courier firms and exploit customers.

Advance fee fraud

Have you ever received an email from a stranger in another country asking for financial help? In return, you're promised a large sum of money.  The fraud works by asking you to hand over your bank details and pay an 'advance fee' in order to complete the deal.

Cryptocurrency scams

Scammers are capitalising on the growing attention cryptocurrency is attracting by offering fake investments that don’t really exist or aren’t worth the money.

Data from Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, revealed that customers have lost £146,222,332 to cryptocurrency fraud so far this year. That's 30% more than the figure for the whole of 2020.

83% rise in phone and text scams

Online dating scams

There's been a dramatic increase in dating scams as a result of the pandemic. Whilst accounting for just 2% of all incidents reported to Action Fraud, online dating fraud was up 40% in the year to April 2021.

Romance fraud cost consumers £73.9m during this period, with Action Fraud receiving 7,754 reports.

What can you do to stay safe?

With so many new and complex ways for criminals to scam customers, it can be really difficult to keep up. We've listed out some ways to help you stay safe, and keep your hard-earned cash out of scammers' hands.

  1. 01

    Do your homework

    Do your research on the seller and check contact details on their website. Alarm bells should ring if there’s no phone number or no physical address. Be aware that some sites may use a .co.uk web address, even if they’re located abroad. If in doubt, don’t shop there.

  2. 02

    Keep your data safe

    Don’t give away any personal or secure information on websites you’re not sure about. If anyone ever asks for bank login details, passcodes, remote access to your device or asks you to move money from your account, don’t do it. It could be a scam.

  3. 03

    Beware of surprise emails

    Scammers love to catch people out with fake offers. So don’t open anything you didn’t sign up for and watch out for emails or texts offering free gifts. It's also worth checking the email address. While scam emails may look legitimate, they will often come from a generic address – such as Gmail or Hotmail – rather than a company-specific domain name.

  4. 04

    Don't rely on caller ID

    Scammers can use tools that manipulate your caller ID, so don't assume a call is legitimate because of the number. If you're unsure, call the company separately using contact details you’ve found yourself.

How the app can keep you safe

Our mobile app has a range of features to keep you secure and help manage your money. From biometic approval and card controls to secure payments and our new PayMe feature, we've got your back.

App available to customers aged 11+ using compatible iOS and Android devices and a UK or international mobile number in specific countries. Specific eligibility criteria apply to the individual features mentioned.

Stop. Challenge. Protect.

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

According to research conducted by Take Five, 1 in 5 people feel uncomfortable saying no to a stranger via email or text.

Are you scam-savvy?

Take Five to Stop Fraud

Criminals are coming up with more and more sophisticated ways to take your money, whether through online offers, emails or telephone calls. Lucky for you, Take Five can help you outsmart the scammers.

Check out the materials available from the Take Five website. We could help you spot a scam with our quiz and spread the word to your friends and family.

Is there anything else we can help you with?