Fraud & Security

Protect your business from telephone scams

What is vishing?

Telephone scams or `vishing` is contact made by phone encouraging you to give out personal details such as PINs, passwords or banking codes.

These calls often involve fraudsters claiming they’re from the bank, the police, or another official organisation or company that you trust.

They may have some information about your organisation already, such as a name, address or the name of a genuine member of bank staff, all to make the deception more plausible.

How to protect yourself

Calls often seem urgent, to get you to act quickly, giving you minimal time to think about whether the call is fraudulent. Some common examples are:

  • ‘There’s a problem with your account that requires urgent action.’
  • ‘There’s been some suspicious activity on your accounts; we need you to move your money to another account.’
  • ‘There’s malware on your computer.’

Treat all unsolicited calls with suspicion, and never be afraid to end a call, if you have any doubts.

  • If you receive a suspicious or unexpected call, verify the caller using an independently checked phone number such as a contact number from the company website. 
  • Don’t rely on the caller ID number that appears on your phone to verify the call, as this can be faked to look like the caller is calling from a safe or recognised number.
  • Fraudsters use techniques to hold your phone line open. When you try to dial out to verify the caller, the fraudster may stay on the line, play a fake dial tone and claim to be the person you're trying to contact. To avoid this, use a different phone line to verify the caller where possible. If not, try calling a friend or family member first to make sure your line is clear.

Never reveal the details of PINs, passwords or digital banking codes over the phone in any circumstances, even if the caller claims to be from the bank or a company you trust.

Remember, we’ll never ask you to key or authorise test payments, reverse and cancel transactions or download screen-sharing software.

Never be persuaded to download any software or visit a site because someone on the phone has told you to.

Actions you can take

  • Share this page with employees and colleagues, so they know what to look out for. Put training in place, so people in your business know how to recognise and handle suspicious calls and other threats.
  • If you’ve received a suspicious call and are worried you’ve given away personal information then contact us immediately.