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How to keep yourself safe from scammers

Written by: Mettle editorial
3 min read

Fraudsters are constantly coming up with new ways to convince people to part with their hard-earned money. We’ve got some tips to help protect yourself against common scams.

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Using Confirmation of Payee to protect you

At Mettle, we’re always looking at how we can keep your information and money safe. One of the ways we do this is through Confirmation of Payee (CoP) – a name checking service. There are four possible CoP responses that NatWest outlines – it’s a match, it’s a close match, it’s not a match, and unavailable/unable to check.

Using CoP allows us to check whether the account name matches the account details of any new payee created. If they are incorrect, we let you know so you can speak to the payee directly to confirm. 

This is where research about the payee, whether an individual or a  business, is important, because a negative CoP match suggests that the business or person you are sending money to could be a fraudster. Doing research about the company online and double checking the account details about the company to make sure they’re legitimate, can all help in keeping your money safe. If you’re ever not sure, don’t make the payment.

This is also because it can be difficult to get your money back if you send money to the wrong account due to an error on your side or because someone has accidentally given you the wrong account details. Checking the details with the payee if you get a response you’re not expecting before sending the payment is important. 

Helping to prevent fraud

Having CoP in place also helps to prevent fraud such as certain types of Authorised Push Payment scams. This is where a fraudster may try and trick you through phishing or spoofing techniques by, for example, pretending to be your bank asking you to move funds to another account to ‘secure’ them.

Phishing is the practice of manipulating and exploiting people to gain access to your systems, information or money. It could involve your typical phishing emails, where they trick you into giving up your information or clicking on bad links; phone calls from someone claiming to be your bank or even a message on social media from a ‘friend’ in need.

CoP can help protect you from these types of scams by showing you when the name of the person you think you are paying does not match with the account details you’ve been given. 

If Mettle ever needs to contact you

Here at Mettle, we want to ensure that all of our customers know what we’ll do if we ever need to contact you. And most importantly, the information we’ll never ask you to provide. 

We’ve outlined the different ways we’ll contact you and the information we ask for in this article. If you get contacted in a different way or asked to provide any additional or different information, then it’s most probably a scam.

If this happens, or if you’re unsure it’s really us contacting you, you should hang up and call us back on a different phone – as fraudsters sometimes stay on the line pretending to be the bank – using the number on the back of your Mettle card.

Take five to protect yourself from fraud 

Fraudsters are good at putting you under pressure so that you don’t have time to think. To help you in situations like this, the banking industry body, UK Finance, has launched their ‘Take Five to Stop Fraud’ campaign to help you spot scams and keep yourself and hard-earned money safe. 

They advise: 

Stop – Take a moment to stop and think before giving out your personal information or payment details

Challenge – Could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests you think seem suspicious 

Protect If you believe you’ve been targeted by scammers, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at If you’re in Scotland, please report it to Police Scotland directly by calling 101.

Double-check before transferring any money – it could be a scam!

Fraudsters place urgency on moving your money to keep it secure. If you are a victim of a scam where you have moved money out of your account, it can be extremely difficult or at times impossible to recover your money. 

There are a number of different ways that fraudsters might ask you to transfer money out of your account. NatWest has an extensive list of scams but regardless of the scam type, make sure you always double-check the business or person before moving any of your money. And at Mettle, we will never call you and ask you for money

Be vigilant when buying on social media and online marketplaces

Be vigilant when buying on social media and online marketplaces and make sure to always do your research on the sellers. Fraudsters usually ask you to pay for something upfront, and more often than not via a bank transfer. 

When possible, use a debit or credit card – it’s a safer way to pay and gives you more protection. 

Fake messages that appear to be from a trusted source are used to steal your personal information through phishing attacks

If in doubt, don't click on any links or download files. You can always search for the company requesting information and log in to their services in the way you normally would.

Fraudsters can also impersonate companies through text messages. They might tell you a payment hasn't been received in the hope of tricking you into giving away your personal and security information.

This can also happen over the phone. A scammer can call pretending to be from a bank and encourage you to give your personal details, such as your card details, PIN number or online verification codes.

Don’t give anyone your full details

Scammers are really convincing and can claim to be from your bank, someone else’s bank, the police or another organisation. If someone is asking for information like login details, passcodes, remote access to your device or to verify payments – don’t give them any information, it’s a scam.

Fraudsters are always finding new and creative ways to get at your hard-earned money. Being vigilant online is increasingly important. If you’re ever in doubt remember to stop – whether hanging up the call or not responding to the text or email – and check the information is correct, or contact your bank to make sure.  

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At Mettle, our aim is to give everyone the financial confidence to work for themselves, and that’s no different with our content. We want to give small business owners, freelancers and sole traders the tips, tricks and industry updates they need to run their businesses.