What to do if you’ve shared personal information

Fraudsters often use ‘phishing’ scams – fake emails, messages or phone calls – asking you to update your account details or passwords. If you do, they can use those details to pretend to be you, access your other online accounts or make fraudulent payments.

As soon as you suspect you’ve shared sensitive information with a fraudster, you need to let the relevant people know and take steps to secure your accounts.

Shared bank details? Tell your bank

If you’ve given a fraudster your bank details, contact your bank immediately and explain what’s happened – even if no money has been taken from your bank account yet. They will help you to protect your account, for example by cancelling your card or showing you how to change your security details.

Shared a password? Change it immediately

If you think anyone has got hold of a password or PIN, change it immediately. You should be able to do this in the account settings or account security section of your online account.

If you use the same password for any other accounts or sites, you will need to change all of them.

If your passwords are made up of words and numbers that might be easy to guess, consider these top tips for improving password security, including choosing longer, stronger passwords and storing them in a password manager.

Be on your guard for further fraud

If you’ve shared this information because of phishing, there’s a chance you’ll be targeted again. This is because fraudsters add victims’ details to lists that they then sell on to other criminals. In the months after a phishing attack, be extra wary of anyone asking you to share confidential information such as bank details, passwords, one-time passwords (OTPs) and PINs.

No official organisation, from your bank to HM Revenue and Customs, will ever contact you out of the blue asking you to share or update confidential personal or financial details. They will not ask for your full password, OTP or PIN – and you should never share these with anyone.

How else can we help?

What to do if you’ve lost money

Find out if you’ll be able to recover any money you’ve lost to fraud.

Support after fraud

Find out how to get support to deal with the practical and emotional impact of fraud.