don't become another victim

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Most clients think it will never happen to them, until it does. If a fraudster tries to attack your account or targets you with a scam, are you prepared? If not, you could become another victim and the consequences can be devastating, especially if you're personally liable for the entire loss.

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If you’ve been targeted by a fraudster or to report anything suspicious call us straight away on 020 7770 0011


Unfortunately, fraudsters are taking advantage of the current situation and are using the coronavirus outbreak to try and trick people and businesses into parting with their money or sensitive information.

You can learn more about the common scams we’re seeing below. Please remain vigilant and contact us straight away if you think you’ve been targeted.


Fraudsters are sending out coronavirus-themed phishing emails to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing sensitive personal and financial details.

Emails purporting to be from medical or government research organisations should be treated with caution.


Vishing is fraudulent contact made by phone. 

Be alert to bogus calls linked to coronavirus as these could be from fraudsters who claim they’re from organisations such as the Bank, the Police, an official health organisation or a company that you trust.


Fraudsters are targeting those who are ill or self-isolating by offering to do their shopping. The fraudster will ask for their victim’s card and PIN to enable them to purchase the groceries but will use this to access the victim’s account. Of course, the groceries will never arrive.


We already use sophisticated technology and work hard to identify unusual activity to help keep your money safe. As part of our commitment to protecting your account, we’re also going to be introducing some additional security measures.

For example, we’re increasing security when making payments via Coutts 24 and prompting you to stop and think before making payments within Coutts Online. We’ve also recently introduced complete Face ID technology and Fingerprint authentication across our digital services and have increased security when logging into Coutts Mobile.

However, if you’re also on the lookout and know how to keep your money safe, together we can reduce fraud and stop scams.

    • Think twice before you make payments and ALWAYS make sure you trust the recipient.
    • ALWAYS read our warnings when making payments through Coutts Online and Coutts Mobile.
    • ALWAYS check your bank statements for strange payments.
    • If you’re making an investment, ALWAYS check the firm is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority
    • NEVER give out your PIN or Coutts Online login details – anyone who asks for these is a fraudster.
    • NEVER agree to move your money to a ‘safe account’ – anyone asking you to do so is a fraudster.
    • NEVER give your debit or credit card to anyone claiming to be from the Bank or Police – we’ll never send a courier for these.
    • NEVER click on a link within an email to a ‘Coutts Online’ login page. We’ll never include such links in our emails.
    • ONLY allow remote access to your devices if you have initiated the access  – never allow anyone to access your devices as a result of an unsolicited email, text or phone call.
    • HANG UP if you’re concerned a caller isn’t who they claim to be. You won’t offend a genuine caller and calling back from a different phone to a trusted number guarantees your security.
    • Don’t be TRICKED into thinking a number displayed on your phone or email address in your inbox is genuine – fraudsters can SPOOF phone numbers and email addresses so they look real.
    • LISTEN to your INSTINCTS – if something doesn’t feel or sound right, don’t give away your personal information.
    • Carry out a SECOND CHECK via a different communication method to verify whether something is genuine before giving out information or sending funds.
    • NOTHING is as urgent as it seems – only a scammer will PRESSURE you into making a payment
    • AVOID paying for goods with payments direct from your account – use trusted methods like a Coutts Silk Card, PayPal, Google Pay or Amazon Pay.
    • THINK twice when you receive a link via email, text or social media – make sure it’s from someone genuine and if you’ve ANY doubts, don’t click on it as it could download malware.
    • To help you identify whether an email from us is GENUINE, we’ll always include two pieces of identifiable information such as your salutation, your private banker’s name or your ‘person key’ (which starts with 66 and can be found in the bottom right hand corner of most of our emails).
    • Young people are increasingly being approached by ‘friends’ to pay money in and out of their account. MAKE SURE any children and grandchildren are aware of the dangers of being targeted as money mules.


  • Be wary about personal information you or your family post on social media and ensure you check all privacy settings.
  • Create passwords using three random words and use numbers and special characters so it’s easy to remember but hard to guess.
  • Have a unique password for every website you use.
  • Install reputable security software on your devices and check it regularly to stop criminals being able to use ‘malware’ to steal your personal details and access your online transactions.
  • Keep your devices up-to-date and be aware of the security risks of using Coutts Online with Windows 7, as Microsoft no longer support security updates for this version of Windows.  
  • Back up your data regularly using an external device or cloud storage service.
  • Secure your devices with a screen lock.

‘Spoofing’ phone numbers and email addresses so they appear genuine is one of the most common methods used by fraudsters to trick their victims.


You can ask us to set up a ‘challenge word’ of your choice which you can then ask anyone calling you who claims to be from the Bank to confirm. If they’re unable to provide the correct answer, you’ll know it’s a fraudster.

Please contact your banker or call Coutts 24 on 020 7957 2424 or Coutts Businessline on 020 7770 0070 to arrange for this to be done.


We need to hold up to date contact details for you so we can:

  • call you straight away if we see any suspicious activity on your account
  • text you one time passcodes for any online purchases made with your Coutts debit or credit cards

You can check and update your mobile number:

  • via the ‘services’ section within Coutts Online
  • by calling Coutts 24 on 020 7957 2424 or Coutts Businessline on 020 7770 0070
  • by calling your banker


Scammers may use a variety of sophisticated techniques to try and trick you into parting with your money and anyone can be caught out.


According to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, nearly a third of all fraud or scams are committed over the phone. However criminals use all kinds of techniques to reach their victims.

This type of scam is called phishing. The sender attempts to trick you into giving out information like your bank account or credit card numbers and passwords.

This type of scam is called vishing. Someone may call you to ask for a payment or personal information like your bank details or PIN. Sometimes these scammers will know something about you and seem quite plausible.

This type of scam is called smishing. Scammers will either text you asking for your bank details or encourage you to click on a link or call a phone number.

Criminals may catch you out with phoney promotional deals or competitions through social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. You’ll be asked to click on a link and enter details. Scammers also use social media profiles to gather information about you and use it to sound more convincing.

Popular Scams to watch out for

There are many different types of scams, here are some of the most common.

Impersonation Scams

Fraudsters will try all sorts of impersonation scams to try and extort money from their victims.


Scammers pose as an organisation that you’re due to pay and tell you there’s been a change of bank account details. Instead of paying your bill, the money then goes direct to the criminal’s account.


Scammers fake romantic intentions and try to extort money.

Advance Fee Scams

Scammers promise a share of a large sum of money, in return for up-front payments.

Purchase SCAMS

Scammers offer goods at ‘too good to be true’ prices.

Courier Card Scams

Scammers pose as a courier sent from the Bank or Police to trick you into handing over your debit or credit card and PIN.


Scammers pay for goods or services using a fraudulent cheque which is made out for a higher amount than the actual value. The fraudster is then reimbursed for the alleged excess amount before the cheque is returned unpaid.

Investment SCAMS

Scammers ask you to send money for what appears to be a legitimate investment with a high rate of return.



Scammers make unexpected offers like free pension reviews and pressure you into making a quick decision about changing your pension arrangements.



Clients are reporting money being stolen after they've responded to emails allegedly being sent from parcel delivery companies, like DPD or Royal Mail.

These fake emails are being sent by criminals pretending that additional information is needed to arrange a delivery. The aim is to trick you into clicking on a link and parting with your personal information. Once the criminals have this, they’ll call you pretending to be from the Bank's fraud team and try and persuade you to move your money to a 'safe account' or give away your card reader codes.

Many variations of this scam exist. If you think you may have given away your details to a scammer, please contact us immediately on 020 7957 2424 - we can help.


Art market participants need to be aware of the risk of criminal proceeds being laundering through the art market, as well as their obligations under the

updated Money Laundering Regulations 2017.

Please read our factsheet here



Fraud is big business and unfortunately an ever-increasing number of people are being tricked into parting with their money through a variety of sophisticated scams.

If the worst should happen and you think you’ve been a victim of fraud or a scam, please contact us as soon as possible. We’ll do all we can to try and recover the money you’ve lost.


Call us straight away on 020 7770 0011 if you:

  • want to report anything suspicious
  • think you’ve been the victim of a scam
  • are concerned someone is trying to scam you
  • believe any sensitive details may have been shared

If you receive a suspicious email or text, please forward the email to or the text to 88355 as soon as possible so that we can investigate.

If you have responded or clicked any links, please call us immediately.


We already use sophisticated technology and work hard to identify unusual activity to help keep your money safe. However, if you’re also on the lookout and know how to keep your money safe, together we can reduce fraud and stop scams.


We’ve made significant investment in our systems to help prevent fraud.

70% of calls made to Coutts 24 are already protected by voice biometrics.