Top tips for protecting yourself against fraud
Fraud crime is on the increase, but you needn’t be a victim if you are alert to the risk and take steps to protect yourself. Here are our top tips:
Keep your details safe
- Keep your passwords, PINs, cards, documents and personal information secure
- Be suspicious of any unsolicited letters, emails, texts etc that ask you for your personal details or offer prizes or money in return for an initial payment. Whilst they may look legitimate, always check with the company concerned to check that they’re genuine.
- Install firewalls, anti-virus software and anti-spyware software on your computer and keep them up to date. Go to Protecting your computer for more information.
- Let us know if you move house (even if it's only temporary) and also advise any other banks and credit card companies you deal with, as well as utility providers. Use the Royal Mail redirection service to prevent mail going to your old address. You should also inform your providers if you change your work, home or mobile telephone numbers.
- Shred any correspondence that contains that contains personal details before throwing it away.
- Never download software, open attachments or follow links that you’ve been sent by email unless you’re sure they are safe. These are tricks commonly used by fraudsters to install Trojans or spyware. If in doubt, delete the email. Also be alert to other scams that fraudsters may use to access your details. Go to Common security scams for more information.
- Be aware of e-mail spoofing which is the forgery of an e-mail sender so that the message appears to have originated from someone you know, or from somewhere other than the actual source. Distributors of spam and fraudsters often use spoofing in an attempt to get recipients to open, respond to or download attachments which may access your details or install Trojans or spyware.
- Check your bank and credit card statements carefully. Contact Customer Service straight away if you notice anything unusual. We recommend that you stop receiving statements by post and check your statements online, to reduce the risk of criminals intercepting your post.
Be vigilant and up to date
- Check your personal credit file regularly. This will help you spot any fraudulent activity that may have been conducted in your name. Callcredit, Equifax and Experian all offer credit reports.
- Keep your computer and mobile software up to date. This will ensure your operating systems, applications virus-checkers, firewalls etc are all performing as well as possible.
- Be vigilant when using cash machines. Move to another machine if someone is behaving suspiciously or attempts to distract you, never leave receipts behind, and check for signs of tampering as this could mean the machine has been illegally fitted with a device for skimming your card details.
Contact us immediately if you think you may be the victim of fraud.
For further information on how to protect yourself against fraud visit Get Safe Online.