Guard against phishing

Stealing bank and credit card details online

Most people would have heard of the term 'phishing' but may be unsure of what it relates to.

It's one of those terms that have increasingly crept into usage in the new digital age, and it refers to a method of fraudulently obtaining confidential information from people in an attempt to benefit financially.

What is phishing?

The scam of phishing, so called because it entails putting out a lure or an invitation to 'hook' unsuspecting credit card holders, may come in the form of letters, emails or phone calls.

Credit card fraud has increased exponentially around the world and criminals are becoming ever more inventive in a bid to gain access to financial details. It's estimated that billions of people globally have been affected by such scams.

A common phishing scam starts with an email message that says AOL, eBay, PayPal or any other well-known service with financial capability has encountered an error with the user's account. The email will contain a link that directs the user's Web browser to a Web site that, to all intents and purposes, appears authentic. Once you're on the fake site, you're invited to enter your logon name, password and credit card number - that's all they need to hijack your account.

There's no reason for alarm, however. It's not difficult to protect yourself against this practice, but it takes a certain amount of discipline.

  • Never open an email if you don't know the source. It doesn't matter how tempting the subject line is, don't click on something if you don't recognise the sender. Make it clear to anyone who has access to your computer to follow this rule closely.
  • Never give your details out over the phone if someone calls claiming to be from your bank. Ask the caller for their name and contact details and call the bank to verify their details.
  • Upgrade your Web browser to safeguard your details. Be aware though that this is not a fail proof tactic and nothing can replace your own diligence.
  • Buy good virus protection software and make sure that it's upgraded on a regular basis.
  • When it comes to your credit card, be organised, be alert and be aware of the dangers. Read up on the latest scams to hit the internet and always question any form of communication about your card, no matter how safe the source appears. If anything appears suspicious, call the institution concerned before answering the communication.

For more information go to

This site, the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) is the global pan-industrial and law enforcement association focused on eliminating the fraud and identity theft that result from phishing, pharming and email spoofing of all types.

Please note: Tesco Bank are not responsible for the content of any external website.


Tesco Bank will never send you an email asking for personal information or requesting you log in to our website to validate your login details. Therefore, if you think you have received a fraudulent email, before deleting it, please send us a copy. Click on the "Forward" button to attach it to a new email and send it to Please do not add any personal details before sending to us.

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