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It’s vital that you keep your personal information private and so we’ve put together some simple guidelines to help you to keep it that way.

There are several ways that fraudulent individuals or organisations may attempt to gain access to your personal information. Here we tell you where your information may be vulnerable and outline some of the methods fraudsters may use to gain access to your personal information.

Vishing is a phone scam where you can be coaxed into revealing personal and/or financial information. It involves a fraudster calling and posing as someone from a bank, building society, the police or another organisation such as a telephone or internet provider.

When you question the person on the line, you may be advised by the scammer to call your bank or the police to verify their legitimacy. This is where the scam gets more sophisticated as the call doesn’t disconnect and you continue to talk to the fraudster while thinking you are talking to your own bank or the police. At this point, they will ask for key information that leads to them being able to access your account such as credit or debit card details (including PIN), bank account details and personal data such as full name, date of birth or address.

It is vital that you never disclose your banking details or personal data over the phone. Cambridge & Counties Bank will never ask for this information unless you call us directly.

Variations on this scam, referred to as a Courier Scam, involve the victim being persuaded by people posing at police to withdraw money from a branch or cash machine to pay to a so-called courier.

Phishing is an email scam. In an instance of phishing you receive an email which appears to be from a reputable company such as your bank or credit card company. They can look very similar to a genuine email but phishing emails try to trick people into visiting a bogus website. They usually do this by asking you to verify or update your details via the link and disclose personal or financial information, which they then use for fraudulent purposes.

Smishing works on exactly the same principle as phishing yet the mode of communication is via text message rather than email. Often the messages will attempt to alarm you, claiming that you need to act urgently or face serious consequences. For more information, please read our section about phishing.

Malware, a shortened version of the term malicious software, is a computer virus that can be installed on your computer remotely. Malware can sometimes install on your computer if you visit untrustworthy websites, click links in spam emails or download a pirated computer file. Malware is designed to enable fraudsters to steal your personal or financial information or perform unauthorised actions on your computer.

A common type of malware is called Trojan. This can install a keystroke logger on your computer which records the letters and numbers you type on your keyboard. Once Trojan is installed, the keystroke logger can record your login information when you access an online bank account.

Other Trojan malware can create a bogus pop-up web-page 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 web-pages, meaning they are able to insert extra fields into an online banking website, tricking you into giving a fraudster personal information.

Ransomware is a type of malware that severely restricts access to a computer, device or file until a ransom is paid by the user. This class of malware is a criminal moneymaking scheme that can be installed through deceptive links in an email message, instant message or website. It has the ability to lock a computer screen or encrypt important predetermined files with a password.

How ransomware works

There are different types of ransomware but with each, a window will appear on your computer, asking you to do something before you can use your machine.

Ransomware can target any PC users including home computers, a company network, servers used by a government agency or health-care provider. It can prevent you from accessing Microsoft Windows, encrypt files so you can’t use them and stop certain applications from running (such as your web browser).

Protect your computer against ransomware

  • Install and use an up-to-date antivirus solution
  • Make sure your software is up-to-date
  • Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments or emails from people you don’t know or companies you don’t do business with
  • Ensure you have smart screen (in Internet Explorer) turned on
  • Have a pop-up blocker running in your web browser
  • Regularly backup your files

Identity theft is unauthorised use of an individual’s personal data, bank details and similar personal information. Fraudsters then use this to get official identification, bank accounts, or charge purchases to victims’ accounts.

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 or communication relating to Cambridge & Counties Bank you can report it by sending it to [email protected] or calling 0344 225 3939

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. If you are in any doubt please feel free to arrange to call us back on a number you recognise to be Cambridge & Counties Bank.
  • 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 unwanted information from Cambridge & Counties Bank.
  • Never share your password or other security information with anyone else.
  • Ensure you download the latest updates for your internet browser and operating systems.
  • Use reputable internet security software.

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 login pages
  • Ask for your memorable information or password to your Online Account Access

CCB have adopted the UK Government’s recommended Cyber Essentials security framework and have achieved the Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation certifying that we have robust controls in place to meet regulatory requirements and mitigate the risk posed by cyber criminals click here to see our certification.