Your personal information is valuable, so protect it!
As we are sure you are aware, occasionally “fraudsters” try to gain access to your personal information. At Cambridge & Counties Bank, we don’t want to worry you unnecessarily but thought you may find some of the following information useful. Here are some of the ways that your personal information can be vulnerable and some of the various methods fraudsters use to gain access to your personal information.
This phone scam involves fraudsters targeting individuals to deceive them into revealing their personal or financial information.
‘Vishing’ involves a fraudster phoning a potential victim and posing as someone from a bank or building society, the police or another legitimate organisation such as a telephone or internet provider.
To give the scam credibility you may be invited to call your bank or the police. However, the fraudsters don’t disconnect the call and you dial a number and they answer the phone to you. They then attempt to obtain financial information which often includes credit or debit card details (including PIN), bank account details and personal information such as full name, date of birth or address.
This information is used by the fraudster to gain access to their victim’s finances. The fraudster sometimes even deceives the victim to transfer money themselves from their bank account to one which is accessible to the fraudster.
Variations on this scam, referred to as a “Courier Scam”, involve the victim being persuaded by “police” to withdraw money from a branch or cash machine to pay to a “courier”.
This scam involves a fraudster sending emails at random, often to thousands of people at a time. The email claims to come from a reputable company such as your bank or credit card company. Sometimes they look very similar to a genuine email but the address, footers, links etc. can be faked.
“Phishing” emails try to trick people into visiting a bogus website, usually by claiming you need to “verify” or “update” your details or “reactivate” an account. The criminal will attempt to get you to disclose personal or financial information, which they will then use for their own fraudulent purposes.
Sometimes a phishing email doesn’t include a link, but instead encourages you to fill in a form attached to the email and send it back to the fraudster.
This scam involves a fraudster sending text messages (also known as an SMS) at random to mobile phones. The text messages claim to come from a reputable organisation such as your bank or mobile phone company.
The “Smishing” message will try to trick you into clicking on a link to a bogus website or calling a phone number, usually by claiming you need to “verify” or “update” your details or “reactivate” an account. The criminal will then attempt to get you to disclose personal or financial information, which they will use for their own fraudulent purposes.
Often the messages will attempt to alarm you, claiming that you need to act urgently or face serious consequences.
Malware, a shortened version of ‘malicious software’, is a computer virus that can be installed on your computer without you realising. It is designed to enable fraudsters to steal your personal or financial information or perform unauthorised actions on your computer.
Malware can sometimes get on your computer if you visit untrustworthy websites, click links in spam emails or download a pirated computer file.
A common type of malware is called a ‘Trojan’. This can install a ‘keystroke logger’ on your computer which records the letters and numbers you type on your keyboard. Then, when you access an online bank account, the keystroke logger can record your login information.
Other Trojan malware can create a bogus pop-up webpage which appears in front of a genuine online banking login website, tricking you into entering your login details into a fraudulent website.
Other types of malware can alter webpages, meaning they are able to insert extra fields into an online banking website, tricking you into giving a fraudster personal information.
This is unauthorised use of an individual’s name, address, date of birth, bank details and similar personal information. Fraudsters then use this to get official identification, bank accounts, or charge purchases to victims’ accounts.
What can I do to avoid these types of fraud?
As a guideline remember to keep it SAFE
Suspect anything or anyone you don’t know – no matter what or who they claim to be.
Ask questions. Whatever a fraudster tries, you have the power to stay in control.
Find out for certain who you’re dealing with. Challenge anything that seems suspect.
End situations that make you uncomfortable. If you feel threatened, contact the police.
If you have any suspicions about an email you can report it by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Steps you can take to stay safe
- Keep contact details held with Cambridge & Counties Bank up to date
- The only telephone numbers that we’ll advise you to ring are 0344 225 3939 or 0344 225 3940
- Use a strong password, with a mix of upper and lowercase letters and numbers
- Avoid public computers when accessing your online account
- Shred old statements and utility bills
- Never share your PIN, password or other security information with anyone else, or write it down
- Ensure you download the latest updates for your internet browser (e.g. I.E.) and operating systems (e.g. Windows 7)
- Use Internet Security Software (e.g. McAfee/Norton)
- Stay safe when using social networking sites and ensure your details and movements are only shared with those you trust
At Cambridge & Counties Bank we will never:
- ask you to verify or update your details through a link
- send unsolicited emails containing a link to logon pages
- ask for your memorable information or password to your Online Account Access