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Saturday, 30 May 2015

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Beware the banking scams

Earlier this month, it was reported in national media that six people had been arrested over a scam which police believe compromised the security of more than 20,000 bank accounts and credit cards in the UK.

Safety first: The FSA website can provide advice on avoiding internet scams

Large numbers of unsolicited ‘phishing’ emails claiming to be from one of a wide range of UK banks were sent to people trying to trick them into clicking on a link which directed them to a fake website. Both the email and the fake website were designed to look like they belonged to a real bank.

Unfortunately, many people did just that and proceeded to enter their passwords and other personal details into the fake websites, which were then allegedly captured and used to move money out of their accounts. Police said the scam had tried to steal £1.14m from thousands of online bank accounts, successfully obtaining £358,000.

This comes after the UK Card Association announced earlier this year that internet banking fraud rose in 2009 by 14 per cent.

As well as the banks and building societies themselves, who take many steps to ensure that your use of their internet banking service is safe and secure, you have a major responsibility to be vigilant and protect yourself from fraud.

A significant proportion of online fraud, and all of the fraud particular to the type of scam mentioned above, could easily be prevented by following three very basic rules: install and maintain up to date anti-virus software on your computer. Secondly, never, under any circumstances whatsoever, disclose your personal details in response to an email claiming to be from your bank. Believe me, it won’t be from them and will be a scam; and, three, be suspicious if there is a change in the way you ordinarily log on to your online accounts.

This is only a start, but one which would make significant inroads into protecting you and your money, and slashing internet banking fraud if followed. For maximum security and protection against fraud, it is essential that you take all necessary precautions to ensure that your personal computer is secure and that your personal details are kept safe.

If you haven’t done so already, you will undoubtedly find it beneficial to pay a visit to each of the following sites to help you develop a greater understanding of how to protect yourself against the risks involved in using the web: www.banksafeonline.org.uk, a great website run on behalf of the UK’s financial institutions, and www.moneymadeclear.fsa.gov.uk, the consumer website of the Financial Services Authority.

Anybody who believes their account has been compromised is advised to contact their bank or building society and the police.

  • Cumberland Building Society is not responsible for the content of the above external websites.
  • Visit the website at www.cumberland.co.uk for more information.


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