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How to Spot Fake SWIFT/BIC Codes: A Step-by-Step Guide

August 12, 2022
5 min read
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SWIFT/BIC codes are crucial for secure international financial transactions. But in the age of cyber threats, it's vital to be able to spot a fake SWIFT/BIC code. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of identifying red flags and ensuring the authenticity of SWIFT/BIC codes. Don't leave your financial transactions to chance; arm yourself with the knowledge to protect your investments.

Understanding SWIFT/BIC Codes

Before we dive into spotting fake SWIFT/BIC codes, let's grasp what these codes are. SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) and BIC (Bank Identifier Code) are unique identification codes for financial institutions, serving as a critical part of international financial transactions. SWIFT/BIC codes ensure that funds are routed accurately and securely.

If you want to explore the intricacies of SWIFT/BIC codes, check out our detailed article on The Anatomy of a SWIFT/BIC Code: Exploring Its Components.

Step 1: Verify the Length

One of the initial signs of a fake SWIFT/BIC code is an incorrect length. Genuine SWIFT/BIC codes should consist of either 8 or 11 alphanumeric characters. If you encounter a code with a different length, it's a red flag.

Step 2: Check the Structure

A valid SWIFT/BIC code follows a specific structure:

1-4Bank code (letters)
5-6Country code (letters)
7-8Location code (letters or digits)
9-11Branch code (optional, letters or digits)

If you spot a code that deviates from this structure, exercise caution.

Step 3: Validate the Bank Code

The bank code is a crucial part of a SWIFT/BIC code. You can verify the authenticity of the bank code using publicly available sources. A mismatch between the bank's name and the code is a warning sign.

For a comprehensive guide on validating SWIFT/BIC codes, check out How to Validate SWIFT/BIC Codes: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Step 4: Utilize a Trusted SWIFT/BIC Generator

If you're unsure about a SWIFT/BIC code's validity, you can use a trusted SWIFT/BIC generator. These tools can provide you with valid fake SWIFT/BIC codes for testing or other purposes. For a reliable generator, explore our Free Dummy SWIFT/BIC Code Generator.

Step 5: Cross-Check with Official Sources

Always cross-check the SWIFT/BIC code with the official SWIFT registry or the bank's website. Legitimate SWIFT/BIC codes can be verified through these authoritative sources.

Step 6: Be Wary of Requests for Personal Information

A valid SWIFT/BIC code should not be used to solicit personal information or payments. Be cautious when someone requests your SWIFT/BIC code for such purposes. It could be a fraudulent attempt.


With this step-by-step guide, you are better equipped to spot a fake SWIFT/BIC code. Ensuring the authenticity of SWIFT/BIC codes is crucial for the security of international financial transactions. Protect your investments and financial data by being vigilant and knowledgeable.

For more insights into SWIFT/BIC codes, explore our article on 10 Interesting Facts About SWIFT/BIC Codes or learn about SWIFT/BIC Codes vs. IBAN: What's the Difference? in the world of international finance.

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