Five things your bank will never ask you to do

Harriet Meyer / 17 September 2015 ( 02 November 2016 )

Can you tell the difference between a genuine request from your bank and a scam? Read our guide to things a bank will never ask you to do but a criminal might.



Fraudsters use every opportunity available to get your personal details – including pretending to be your bank, whether by telephone, internet, or email.

These tricks can seem convincing and, if you don’t have your wits about you, the worst scenario could see your account emptied.

Here are five things that your bank will never ask you to do – but fraudsters might:

Worried you have been targeted by a scammer? Check your bank statements and credit report (free 30-day trial here*) for unusual activity. 

1. Ask you for your full PIN or passwords

Sometimes your bank might have good reason to contact you – to check for suspected fraudulent activity on your account, or a change of address, for example.

However, it won’t ever ask you for your full PIN or online passwords. It has plenty of other means of checking your identity without resorting to these details.

Any form of communication where you’re asked for these details should be treated as highly suspicious, and reported to your bank.

Read our guide to scams that steal your identity

2. Hand over cards or cash to someone sent to your home

After getting hold of your PIN and other details from you on the phone, fraudsters may follow this up by sending someone to collect the card or cash relating to the account.

Never hand over your card to a stranger on the doorstep. This may sound obvious, but fraudsters can spin a good yarn about your account being in danger to prompt you to do so.

How to protect yourself from bogus callers

3. Ask you to text or email your account details

Beware of this common tactic. Even if an email appears to be an official one from your bank, ignore it. If you’re in doubt, call your bank and report the email.

Also remember that if you use mobile banking, your bank won’t offer its services through any apps aside from its official one – so follow the official link to download it.

Not sure if that email could be a scam? Read our guide.

4. Ask for your bank details by sending a link to a website

This is a common ‘phishing’ scam. You receive an email with a link to a website that asks for your online banking details. Avoid clicking on any link that appears to be in an email from your bank.

Again, call and report this, as your bank would never make such a request.

5. Ask for a transfer of funds to a ‘safe’ account

Another less common tactic is to imply that your account is at risk from a criminal. In this case, you may be asked to make a transfer to a ‘safe account’ – the fraudster’s.

For more information on common scams go to the British Bankers’ Association (BBA).

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.