Santander bank card ‘scam’ probably doesn’t exist

18 February 2021
What was claimed

There is a scam involving Santander customers being sent fake bank cards.

Our verdict

We can’t find any evidence that this scam exists.

Posts warning people about a possible scam involving Santander bank cards have been shared tens of thousands of times on Facebook.

The posts largely use the same text, which was being shared at least as early as October 2020

It claims that the original author received a new bank card “yesterday”, supposedly from Santander, despite having nine months left on their current card. After going into the bank to ask them to change it to a contactless card, they were told it was a fake card and that, had it been activated, they would have lost all their money.

The UK’s fraud reporting service, Action Fraud, told Full Fact it was not aware of any reports of Santander card scams.

Santander also told us it looked into the accuracy of this Facebook post and found no evidence to support its claim. 

Since switching its debit cards from Visa to Mastercard in 2018, Santander has been sending new debit cards to its customers. This was still happening at the time of writing.

But the bank told us it was not aware of any scams in which fake debit cards are being sent to customers.

Santander provided some advice on how customers can tell whether a new card sent to them is legitimate or not.

In advance of posting new debit cards, it said that it will email customers to make them aware. All new debit cards are issued ready to use, while credit cards do require activation either by phone or online.

It also said that new debit cards will bear the same sort code and account number as the old debit card, although they will have a different 16-digit number. The last four digits of this 16-digit number can be checked against those listed in online and mobile banking.

If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, you can report this to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as missing context because the scam does not appear to be real.

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