Customers pay for fish and chips with phishing scams Article icon


Santander UK is touring the country with a unique Phish & Chips van which offers free fish and chips to customers who correctly identify phishing emails or smishing texts.

The Phish & Chips roadshow kicks off a year-long campaign by the bank as it seeks to educate Britons on phishing scams and how to avoid them.

Analysis by Santander UK suggests as many as 600 million scam attempts were made in the UK over email, text or telephone in the UK over the past 12 months. Three in four Britons have been targeted by scammers in the past year, of whom 27 per cent believed the messages were genuine. More than five per cent fell victim to the scammers, and subsequently experienced having their identities stolen, funds taken from their accounts or fraudulent activities on their credit cards.

People aged between 25 and 34 are particularly targeted by scam communications, but it is 18 to 24 year olds who are most likely to fall for them. Scotland is the phisherman's favourite trawling ground, but Santander UK identified ten hot spots across the country where its customers appear more vulnerable to fall victim to scams. The Phish & Chips van has visited these spots, which include Leicester, Liverpool and Bristol, in an attempt to educate locals on the dangers of phishing.

Customers only have to show the Phish & Chips servers a suspected phishing email on their smartphone or tablet or a smishing text in exchange for a free portion of fish and chips. Vegetarians have an option of battered halloumi and chips. Customers who do not have an example have to take a short quiz in which they identify genuine or fraudulent emails and texts.

Andy Smith, head of media relations at Santander UK, said the key message to customers was never to click on a link in a message and enter online banking details. 'No bank will ever send you a message asking you to do so,' he explained.  

Other advice served up by Santander UK alongside the fish and chips is that customer should never share their passcode, PIN number or online banking password with anybody, not even a bank employee, and to never download software or let anybody log onto a computer remotely during or after a cold call.