Is your Bank legitimate?

Garreg Ddu

Staff member
Many scams rely on the lack of knowlege by the law-abiding people that they target. The more information about fake banks and similar institutions we can provide the better the chance that an innocent person will not have their real bank details or identity stolen by the criminals.

If you receive what appears to be an offer of banking or financial services, or find a web-site of what purports to be a bank or similar, and don't know if the institution is genuine and legitimate, then you can find every legal bank and similar service by checking with the regulator in the origin country. The site

has a link to every bank regulation authority in every country, world wide.

If you go to this site you can scroll down the page to find the country you want information for; click on the link at the left side which is the country name and you will get a page of details about the country, its central bank and other demographic and similar information. Clicking on the regulator's name next to the country name will ask you to "log in" which most people will not be able to do as they will not have a subscription to the Bankers Almanac, but if you copy the name of the country and the regulator and paste into Google, you will get the home web-site of the regulator: for example:

Uruguay | Banco Central del Uruguay

if posted into Google gives the first returned answer as:

Banco Central del Uruguay

which then has a link to Registro de Instituciones where you can track down any regulated bank.

If you can't find the name of a "Bank" in the regulator's index, IT IS A FAKE

If you can't find a real address for the bank, then it is probably a fake, as every legitimate bank will publish its head office address and contact details. Again, check any address in Google and see what else comes up. You may be suprised to find all kinds of other "institutions" sharing the address and there may be links to other fraud and scam reporting sites. Have a look at the Google Map and Satellite links - a major finacial instution won't have its head office in the middle of a housing estate! If "Street View" is available have a look at ground level. (We once found a Swiss "Bank" which had as its address a "Postal Drop Office" in Los Angeles!)

If an email comes from a "free" service or a service which does not have the same name as the bank, then it is probably a fake.

If you have any doubts or questions about a "Bank" or similar financial institution then please post a question at Is This a Scam? and we will try to get you an answer as soon as possible. Please remember to come back and check for a reply!