What is bank impersonation fraud?

Bank impersonation fraud is when a fraudster impersonates someone from the bank in order to trick a victim into making payments to a fraudulent account.

What a fraudster might do:

  • A fraudster usually calls their victim, though may use email or another contact method. It’s likely they already know information about the victim, including their name and who they bank with.
  • While impersonating the bank staff member, the fraudster might tell the victim their account is under threat and they need to make payments to a “safe account” or set up payments in order to “block the funds”.
  • The fraudster might ask for details from the Digipass so they can access the account and make payments to the fraudulent account themselves.
  • The fraudster might ask the victim to download screen sharing software so they can view or control the victim’s computer. This can make it easier to take control of the account.
  • In any scenario, the fraudster will foster a feeling of panic in order to get the victim to comply with their requests as quickly as possible.
  • Fraudsters might also impersonate other well-known, trusted companies such as Microsoft, Apple, BT or HMRC.

What Triodos Bank will never do

  • We’ll never call you to tell you to log into internet banking or to make a payment to a “safe account”. If we believe your account to be under threat, we can block the account ourselves and do not need you to do anything from your end.
  • We’ll never ask you for your full Digipass number or your Digipass PIN.
  • We’ll never ask you to download any software onto your PC or mobile phone.

What you can do to protect yourself

  • Never give out your personal details to someone who has called you unexpectedly.
  • Never download any software onto your PC or mobile phone when asked by someone over the phone or by email – even if you think you are speaking to a trusted organisation.
  • Never give anyone your Digipass number or your Digipass PIN. Triodos will never ask for this information.
  • Do not let someone else use your Digipass – even a colleague or family member. Your Digipass is assigned to you as an individual and must only be used by yourself. If you leave your place of work, please let us know and we can arrange for your Digipass to be cancelled.
  • If you are unsure about someone who has called you claiming to be from the bank or another company, hang up and call back on the company’s published telephone number.

Related FAQs

Related how-to guides

How to check that an email from Triodos Bank is genuine

How to protect your business from fraud

How to report fraud

How to check that a website is genuine

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