At HSBC we work hard to help you stay one step ahead of fraudsters.
On this page we’ll regularly keep you updated about the latest types of scam.
November 2020: Black Friday
Black Friday is popular with shoppers looking for a bargain - but it’s also used by fraudsters as an opportunity to steal money.
To protect yourself, make sure you use safe websites when shopping online and use secure ways to pay, such as your debit or credit card.
Here are some more tips to guard against scams on Black Friday, which falls on 27 November this year:
- research the retailer online - check for reviews and that the website address is spelt correctly
- be wary of requests to pay by bank transfer
- check the returns and cancellations policy
- avoid any arrangements with a stranger asking for an upfront payment
Remember, if a deal looks too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.
September 2020: Scam calls
We're seeing an increase in cases of scam calls from criminals pretending to be from trusted organisations.
They're phoning out of the blue and asking for urgent action to be taken. Common examples are:
- cancelling your broadband service
- renewing a subscription service
- a suspicious transaction on your card or bank account
The fraudsters then ask you to press 1 and provide your account details.
If this happens to you, do not press 1 - end the call and contact the organisation using details you know are correct.
This type of fraud is sometimes called 'vishing'. Criminals sometimes make the call seem more authentic by using 'number spoofing'. This makes their phone number look like one you know and trust.
You can find out more about vishing by downloading our scams leaflet (PDF, 33KB).
September 2020: Money mules
If you’re starting university or a new job, you could be targeted by criminals asking you to move money for them.
Students are often approached to act in this way as a ‘money mule’ as they might be strapped for cash.
Don’t be tempted.
Allowing money to be transferred through your bank account in exchange for payment is a crime. It might seem a harmless way to earn easy money - but it's feeding larger organised crime.
The fraudsters can seem genuine and you may have first seen the opportunity on a legitimate job site.
But once you start, you may be threatened or forced to continue.
Remember, acting as a money mule can get you into serious trouble:
- you’ll have problems applying for credit in the future
- your bank accounts will be closed
- you could even go to prison for up to 14 years
Find out more in our fraud prevention guide.
August 2020: Payment scams
Beware of criminals phoning and asking you to move money. If someone calls you and asks you to move money, don’t. Even if it's to another account you already hold.
Remember: we'll never ask you to send money to a 'safe account' or to another bank.
If you get a call like this, even if they say they’re from HSBC, don’t make the payment. Call us using the number on the back of your card.
We'll never ask you to send money to a 'safe account', or to another bank. Criminals will.
Find out more about Authorised Push Payment scams.
July 2020: HSBC smishing scam
Bogus text messages are being sent to HSBC customers saying a new payment has been made through our mobile banking app on their phone.
Customers are then asked to validate their bank details through a website given in the text message.
Do not access the site or provide any information, please only to log on to online banking through hsbc.co.uk.
If you’ve fallen victim to this scam, contact us using the the number on the back of your card.
If you’ve received a text from us, you can verify it here.
July 2020: ‘Green bonds’ scam
Watch out for a new scam where fraudsters pretend to be looking for investors in fake ‘green bonds’.
Green bonds are an investment opportunity supporting the low-carbon economy.
In this scam, criminals are cold-calling people claiming to be from Moneyfacts.co.uk.
They say HSBC has asked them to find 10,000 new investors for our green bonds. Victims are asked to book an appointment with a colleague, who can outline the investment further.
Typically, the fraudsters claim the investment would be for £10,000 in a green HSBC investment bond – they often call it a special purpose vehicle. The criminals then offer to pass the would-be investor directly onto HSBC to make their deposit.
This is not how our bonds work – we only process such investments with a personal appointment.
Don’t trust unexpected calls and always contact HSBC by a method you know to be genuine.
Find out more about HSBC’s genuine green bonds.
June 2020: Coronavirus fraud
Find out more about the latest coronavirus scams we're hearing about.
Criminals are using the coronavirus outbreak as an opportunity to try to steal money.
They're posing as organisations such as banks, government, the World Health Organisation or other health service providers, and pretending to offer things like a safe haven for your money or medical guidance. They’ll then try to trick you into giving personal or financial information.
These claims are made in fake emails, phone calls, texts and social posts using coronavirus as a cover story. Remember, HSBC will never ask you for any PINs or passwords or to move money to a safe account.
If you think you've been targeted by a coronavirus scam, report it to Action Fraud.
April 2020: SIM swap and number porting scams
March 2020: Flybe scams
Criminals are exploiting holidaymakers following the collapse of the airline Flybe.
They're trying to scam people into revealing personal and financial information.
They do this by:
- pretending to be an employee of the affected company
- asking for your bank account details to process refunds quicker
- offering alternative airline flights for an extra cost
- pretending to help with the aftermath of the collapse
So be wary of emails, texts, letters, social media messages or phone calls offering help in reclaiming your refund from Flybe.
If you're not sure about someone who's contacted you, visit the Take Five to Stop Fraud website.
Remember, HSBC will never ask for your telephone security number or information from your Secure Key.
If you think you may have given information to a criminal, call us immediately on 03457 404 404 - this number can be checked against the number on the back of your card.
If you've been affected by the Flybe collapse, you can find out how to raise a dispute here.
March 2020: Tax year scams
The end of the tax year is seen by fraudsters as an opportunity to make ‘social engineering’ attacks.
These can be:
- scam emails
- scam texts
- bogus phone calls
Watch out for messages pretending to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) saying you've received a tax rebate and asking for your account details.
To spot a scam, look for these tell-tale signs:
- poor spelling and grammar
- requests for confidential information such as online banking details, passwords or PINs
- offers of money or rewards, like lottery prizes
- warnings your account may be shut down unless you take some type of action
If you get a suspicious email or text, don’t reply or click on a link and don't open any attachments.
If you think you’re being targeted by a bogus phone call, don’t be afraid to hang up.
Find out more about how to avoid tax year scams.
February 2020: Fake HSBC Bonds
Beware of a new scam offering what appear to be HSBC Bonds including a ‘Green Bond’ and an ‘Ethical Bond’.
These are not genuine products.
Fraudsters have been targeting both HSBC and non-HSBC customers by email and phone. There are also some convincing web pages. Under no circumstances should you send personal details, nor should you transfer any money to an HSBC account for an HSBC ‘Bond’. This is not how our bonds work - we only process such investments with a personal appointment.
If you have any concerns about any contact you receive, please get in touch with us before you take any action. Either pop into your local branch or call us on 03457 404 404.