Myth - Bank staff might ask you for your PIN number or online banking password to check who you are when they call you.
Truth - Bank staff will never ask for your 4-digit card PIN number or online banking password when speaking with you over the phone. They would never ask you to tap them into the telephone keypad either.
Myth - When someone phones me, the caller number displayed must be genuine.
Truth - Numbers can easily be 'spoofed' to mislead the person answering the call, never trust the number you see on your telephone's display. And like telephone numbers, text messages can also be spoofed to look like they are coming from elsewhere- even if the text appears in the same chain as previous messages!
Myth - It’s ok to let people put money in my bank account even if I don’t know them and don’t really understand why they are transferring me the money.
Truth - Whether you do so in return for payment or out of a sense of duty, this is clearly a no-no. In letting someone else use your account, you might be laundering the proceeds of crime or aiding other crimes- thereby leaving yourself open to face prosecution.
Myth - Public wi-fi is secure and provides a safe forum in which I can do my online banking, shopping etc.
Truth - Any data sent through public Wi-Fi can easily be intercepted. If you are using a mobile device over public wi-fi, you are risking the security of your personal information, digital identity, and your money. Risks are even greater if your device or computer is not protected by an effective security system.
Myth - It is always safe to make charitable donations to street collectors or via charity mailing
Truth - Most collections are genuine but check before giving to make sure your money goes to genuine, registered charities
Further advice on safer giving can be found on the Charity Commission website
Myth - Downloading digital content illegally is harmless.
Truth - This type of crime is far from victimless and has serious repercussions. Doing so can result in money being used to fund the activities of serious organised crime groups and also has an adverse impact on creative industries and the UK economy.
Legitimate, high quality, content is easy to find, but if you want reassurance head to The content map to find out some of the options available.
Myth - Changing details on my insurance policy or making an inflated insurance claim is not really fraud as everyone does it, I won’t get caught and Insurers can afford it anyway.
Truth - Insurance fraud is a crime that is taken seriously by both insurers and police. The cost of fraud does not affect just insurers, but members of the public also. The chances of being caught are high and the impact on people’s lives notable, at the worst end of the spectrum innocent members of the public can be injured or even killed in deliberate collisions caused by fraudsters.
Myth - Money Transfer Systems are always safe ways of making payments
Truth - This is only the case if you personally know and can verify the person that you are sending the money to; you should never use these services to send money or payment to somebody you do not know, as once the cash is collected, the recipient is untraceable and the money is not refundable.
Myth - If I have anti-virus installed on my device (PC, Mobile, Tablet) I am fully protected from viruses
Truth – Not true - whilst anti-virus provides a very strong layer of protection to your device it can still be by-passed by sophisticated viruses aka malware. Users should still keep a cautious mind when confronted with unusual requests for personal information from a pop up or on any website they visit.
Myth - I can always trust the people I meet on online dating sites as they will have been vetted before being allowed to join.
Truth - Always be cautious about the people you meet online, especially if they start asking for money to help a family member, to visit you or pay medical bills etc. Never send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone you don’t know and trust.
Myth - It doesn’t really matter what information I post on social media sites as only my friends can read it
Truth - By getting your privacy settings wrong or accepting people you don’t know as friends, you may be giving fraudsters valuable information about you and your habits. Personal details can be used to guess passwords, habits and vulnerabilities so you need to check your social media settings regularly. All personal information is valuable and fraudsters are very good at filling in the missing information.
Myth - There’s nothing in my personal emails that anyone would care about.
Truth - Hackers can use your email to gain access to all your personal accounts. Make your password stronger with three random words.
Myth - If a company has a registered website then it must be legitimate.
Truth - It takes just minutes to set up a website in any name you want and at minimal cost which means fraudsters can set-up as website just as easily as anyone else.