Common scams

Social Engineering

This is where a criminal will persuade you to provide your personal or financial information to them. There are several different types of social engineering but the main ones are:


Phishing - A criminal contacts you by email and tries to gain your personal details. They might do this by asking you to click a link or download an attachment.


Smishing - This is similar to phishing, but the criminal contacts you by text message.


Vishing - A criminal contacts you by telephone. They could ask you to call them back whilst they remain on the line. When you redial you are reconnected directly back to the criminal. Always dial back from a different phone line if possible, if not wait 5 to 10 minutes. If it is a genuine call the company won’t mind waiting.


To protect yourself:

  • If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Take the time to stop and think about a request.
  • Do not open emails, attachments or click on links from an email or text message that you’re not expecting.
  • Vanquis will never ask you to click on a link to verify a transaction. We will only ask you to reply with a ‘Y’ or ‘N’.
  • If you are unsure, call the company on the number found on their website or the back of your card. Don’t use Google or social media to find the phone number.


To report a suspicious email or text message pretending to be Vanquis, send the details to Please don’t send any account information or other enquiries to this address as we can’t discuss these through this method. Visit our contact us page to find out how to contact our customer service team.


Scam texts can be sent to 7726 and scam emails to

Impersonation Scam

A criminal convinces you to provide personal and/or financial details by claiming to be from an organisation you trust. This could include the police, your bank, a utility company or government department such as HMRC.


Here are some top tips to protect you:

  • Never share your PIN or one time passcode with anyone.
  • A reputable company will not threaten you in order to gain your card details.
  • Never purchase vouchers to pay a bill or send voucher codes to people you do not know.

Purchase Scam

Criminals trick consumers into paying for goods and services that don’t exist. These are often advertised on auction sites or social media with images taken from genuine sellers to convince you that they are the real deal.


Here are some top tips to protect you:

  • Research the company and read reviews before making a purchase.
  • Never share your one-time passcode with anyone.
  • Be cautious of adverts on social media as they may not always be real.

Voucher/Gift Card Scam

This may happen when unsuspecting victims are approached by criminals and persuaded to pay bills, fees or debts using gift cards or vouchers.


Here are some top tips to protect you:

  • Never make a payment using a gift card unless you are purchasing through the retailer’s website or in-store.
  • If you are contacted by a trusted person or organisation requesting to buy gift vouchers, use a different contact method to verify the request.

Romance Scams

This is where criminals create fake profiles and use them to attempt to build a relationship with you. They gain your trust and then appeal to your compassionate side to ask for money.


Here are some top tips to protect you:

  • Do not send money or share your bank account details with someone you haven’t met.
  • Never hand over copies of personal documents such as your passport or driving licence.
  • Never invest your own money on their behalf or using their advice.

Remote Access Scam

A criminal may call you pretending to be a technical support from a reputable IT firm. They may highlight you are receiving a range of error messages or simply that your internet connection is slow.


Here are some top tips to protect you:

  • Never provide an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer or telephone. They may try to do this by asking you to download a piece of software or application to your phone or computer.
  • Never provide your personal details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number is from a trusted source. A trusted source would be the number listed on the company’s website for example.
  • Ensure you have updated antivirus software and a good firewall.

Holiday Scams

This could be a range of things from fake adverts for holidays or caravans, to fake refunds or too good to be true offers.


Here are some top tips to protect you:

  • Take the time to check reviews and search for the property on different websites to check it exists.
  • Before you go abroad make sure your contact details are up to date with your bank as they may contact you to check if the transactions are genuine.
  • Regularly check your statements to check for unusual transactions.

Investment scams

This is when a criminal tricks you into making an investment for something that is worthless or doesn’t exist. Here’s a list of the types of investment scams:


Binary - This is a form of fixed-odds betting where criminals offer high returns.


Advance - This scam involves being told you have won a lottery you did not enter or an unexpected inheritance. They will usually ask for a fee upfront for administration costs. Genuine lotteries won’t ask for a fee to release your winnings.


Cryptocurrency - Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that uses cryptography to generate ‘tokens’ and verify the transfer of these tokens between people. Criminals try to lure you in with adverts offering quick, easy money. They want to obtain your money or personal information.


Before you make any investments you should:

  • Visit the FCA ScamSmart site.
  • Check the company on the FCA Register.
  • Check the FCA list of unauthorised businesses.
  • Be cautious of anyone approaching you with exclusive investment opportunities. If you are being pressurised to act quickly, this could be a scam.
  • Don’t rely on personal testimonies or celebrity endorsements as they could be fake.


To find out about more scams you can look at: