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What are impersonation scams?

Impersonation scams involve criminals pretending to be a trusted organisation such as a bank or government agency in order to gain money or personal information from you.



What to look out for


  • Requests for personal informations - Scammers may ask for personal or financial details to gain access to your money.
  • Attempts to cause panic - You may be rushed or pressured in an attempt to make you panic and give away money or critical information.
  • Requests to move money - Scammers may ask you to move money to another account for 'safe-keeping'.
  • Requests to approve payments - Never approve a payment that you did not make yourself.

How to stay safe


  • The Financial Conduct Authority has a list of firms and individuals and the permissions they have to carry out financial activities. You can use this to check whether the person or company that has contacted you is genuine.
  • If you receive a call from a company you recognise, but you are unsure if it is genuine, hang up immediately and call the number on the company's website.
  • Never give out personal or financial details over the phone.
  • Read our guide on how to stay safe online.


Impersonation scams come in many forms. Read our guides to romance scams and refund scams to learn more. Alternatively, see our full guide to security and fraud to keep yourself fully informed and protected.

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