Is this text really from my bank?

Every now and again our banks need to contact us to check if something that they have spotted on our account is real or fraud and although we welcome this vigilance, they don’t necessarily make it easy to spot if it’s a genuine text or a fraudster.

A great example of this is from HSBC who have a section on their website to help their customers to spot frauds, however good the intention is it probably highlights more issues than it solve

Genuine text messages from HSBC

Fraudulent text messages NOT from HSBC

The key points, which HSBC don’t highlight, is that they may text and either:

1. Ask you to reply Yes or No to some questions about transactions that they want to check

2. Or that they would like you to call them to check a transaction or possible fraud

There is no problem with that, but where they make it difficult for customers is that they may ask you to call any one of the 10 different telephone numbers listed below. That’s far too many to expect people to check.

03456 031832 (+441126260049)

03456 081878 (+441470697094)

03456 008891 (+441470697005)

03456 008050 (+441470697093)

03452 669337 (+441470697107)

03456 039984 (+441126362224)

03456 052324 (+441226322011)

03456 070269 (+441126260049)

03456 100135

03455 873523

HSBC should be commended for trying to help their customers, we also checked several other major banks and even finding their scam avoidance information took some work and in general it was not as specific as the HSBC section.


1) Don’t Call – the number on the text, it is convenient but it’s risky, you are better off calling the number at the back of your debit card or Google your banks fraud telephone number

2) Don’t Click – On any link in the message, always go independently to your online account to see if there are any actions required

3) Personal means private! – Do not divulge personal details unless you are certain who you are sharing it with, and certainly not PIN numbers! An unsolicited email or text will NEVER ask you to provide personal or financial information in a text

4) Report it – to your mobile provider by forwarding the text to 7726 and to your bank by sea

5) ID Protection – If you’re worried about identity fraud and would like to protect your identity contact CIFAS

6) Still Unsure? – Join Reassura 0800 888 6400 and one of our fraud advisor’s will help you to stay safe

To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool.