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How to avoid being tricked by scams

Are you ready for whatever fraudsters have up their sleeves?

Understanding the art of deception


We've teamed up with professional magician Troy von Scheibner to see what fraud scams have in common with a magician’s tricks.

As a professional magician, Troy's aim is to entertain using a specialist set of skills. However, these techniques can also be used by fraudsters to trick people.

Fraudsters are playing mind games on us, designed to gain our trust and pressure us into handing over personal and financial information. But, by understanding how their tricks work, we can make sure we don’t get caught out. Check out the video to see what happened when we hit the streets with Troy.

How to spot fraudsters' tricks

  • Someone contacts you out of the blue, by call, text or email
  • They claim to be from a trusted organisation, like your bank, utility provider or the police
  • They can sound genuine, as they may already have gathered information about you online or if you’ve responded to a fraudulent SMS
  • They often put you under pressure to do something without you having time to think it through properly
  • Calls, texts and emails may appear genuine, but their actions and requests are not

Stay alert, stay safe

Remember, there are things we will never ask for, such as:

  • the transfer of funds to a different account for 'safekeeping‘

  • one-time passcodes either generated securely or sent by email or text

  • online banking details

  • your card’s 4-digit PIN

  • your credit or debit cards, cheque books or cash

Please contact us immediately if you think you've been a victim of a scam.

Stop, challenge, protect

There are many different types of scams out there.

Most of them start with someone contacting you out of the blue, often claiming to be from a trusted organisation.

Here’s what to do if you’re contacted unexpectedly by phone, email or text message:

  • Stop -  if it’s unexpected, be suspicious. Take a moment to stop and think before parting with your personal or financial information.
  • Challenge - could it be fake? It’s OK to reject, refuse or ignore any requests, or simply say ‘No’.
  • Protect - don’t click on unfamiliar links or call numbers in texts or emails. Instead, check they’re genuine by going to the official website.

If you’re worried you’ve been scammed already, get in touch with us here:

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We’re working hard to protect you against fraud – but there are lots of ways you can help to protect yourself too. For more information on other types of fraud, how to protect yourself and what HSBC is doing to protect you, visit our fraud guide.

Learn about fraud and scams


New scams emerge all the time. Stay in the loop with our frequently updated list.


Find out more about other types of fraud, how to protect yourself and what HSBC is doing to protect you.


Don't get caught out by a scam. Find out how to spot them and what you can do to avoid them.

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