Email fraud

Scam emails are currently one of the most common reported fraud types. Scammers use email to trick you into giving them your personal information. They may try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or bank details.

Fake emails often (but not always) display some of the following characteristics:

  • The sender’s email address doesn’t tally with the trusted organisation’s website address
  • The email is sent from a completely different address or a free web mail address
  • The email does not use your proper name, but uses a non-specific greeting like “dear customer”
  • A sense of urgency; for example the threat that unless you act immediately your account may be closed
  • A prominent website link. These can be forged or seem very similar to the proper address, but even a single character’s difference means a different website
  • A request for personal information such as user name, password or bank details
  • The email contains spelling and grammatical errors
  • You weren't expecting to get an email from the company that appears to have sent it
  • The entire text of the email is contained within an image rather than the usual text format
  • The image contains an embedded hyperlink to a bogus site

What should you do if you’ve received a scam email?

  • Do not click on any links in the scam email
  • Do not reply to the email or contact the senders in any way
  • If you have clicked on a link in the email, do not supply any information on the website that may open
  • Do not open any attachments that arrive with the email

If you suspect you’ve been a victims of fraud report it to your bank and call Action Fraud. Don’t feel embarrassed, it can happen to anyone.

Received an email which you’re not quite sure about? Forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) at report@phishing.gov.uk