We take every step possible to keep your finances and personal details safe. However, you play an important role too. Together we can make life really difficult for would-be criminals.
More than ever banks are seeing an increase in incidents where criminals are using ingenious ways of persuading customers to part with their personal and/or security details, their Debit Cards and ultimately their money.
Prevention through awareness is the best way to avoid becoming a victim of a scam. The following information is designed to inform you of the types of threats you may encounter, along with some simple steps that can be taken to protect yourself.
If you think you have responded to a scam email or given your details to the wrong people, call us on 0800 092 3300.
As you would expect, we are always keen to hear about the latest scams - so please forward anything suspicious to email@example.com.
Be assured that we do investigate every report we receive, although we can’t guarantee a response to each email forwarded.
The banking industry has seen an increase in customers and businesses receiving cold calls from scammers who say that they're from telecommunication or computer companies or (for businesses in particular) an IT department. The caller offers:
These callers will ask you to log on to your Internet Banking and then attempt to remotely access the computer to 'help' you with the problem.
However, the remote access allows them to release malicious software and gain access to personal data. The fraudsters may also ask for banking, card, security or other personal details in an attempt to get access to your Internet Banking.
If you think you've been a victim of a fraud or a scam, are concerned you may have allowed access to your computer or have potentially downloaded malware, call us immediately on: 0800 092 3300.
Here are some simple rules to follow:
If you think you might have downloaded malware from a scam site or allowed a cybercriminal to access your computer, call us immediately on 0800 092 3300.
Banks are seeing an increase in incidents where criminals are persuading customers to hand over their credit and debit cards or to transfer funds from their account.
This scam usually involves a call or text message purporting to be from Cater Allen, the Police or another financial institution.
The caller may:
If you're asked to call a number that you are unsure of, or receive a suspicious call or text, ring Cater Allen using the number on the back of your card. If you are suspicious or feel vulnerable, don't be afraid to terminate the call, say no to requests for information or ask for advice from someone you trust.
If you are concerned that you have divulged your security details, contact us immediately on 0800 092 3300.
For further information visit Fighting Fraud Action UK.
Phishing, when criminals try to trick people into revealing their financial information using email, has been around for a while. Now there's a new type of fraud: SMS (text) phishing, otherwise known as smishing.
Fraudsters send texts saying that they’re from your bank, and that they need you to update your personal details or speak with you urgently. The text normally contains either a telephone number to call or a link to a counterfeit website that asks you to enter personal details or download a file to update your records.
If you do give your personal details, you might provide a fraudster with everything they need to take money from your account.
We want to hear about the latest scams so that we can provide information about them to our other customers. If you receive a suspicious text please send it to us. Simply forward the text message and write firstname.lastname@example.org where you’d normally enter the phone number.
Phishing involves criminals purporting to be from Cater Allen, or other financial institutions, sending unsolicited emails to lure unsuspecting people into handing over their personal details. The email normally contains a link to a counterfeit website that requests you to enter a range of personal details.
By entering your personal details on these sites, you are providing a fraudster details necessary to access your account.
As you would expect, we are keen to hear about the latest scams, so please forward anything suspicious to email@example.com.
We investigate every report we receive, although we can’t guarantee a response to each forwarded email.
For more information on protecting yourself online visit www.getsafeonline.org.
People recruited by criminals to launder money are known as 'money mules'.
Criminals look to dupe innocent, vulnerable people into laundering money on their behalf by offering what looks like a legitimate job, often advertised on the internet or in the newspapers.
The job involves receiving money into your account and withdrawing those funds and sending the money on, while retaining a proportion of the funds as your commission.
Effectively anyone with a bank account can be targeted, however the following groups could be considered at higher risk:
For further advice please visit Fighting Fraud Action UK.
Investment scams are commonly known as boiler room fraud due to the intense, high pressured sales techniques employed by the fraudsters in order to convince you to invest in worthless and/or non-existent shares.
Contact is usually made out of the blue by an individual who appears professional and may offer investments in a variety of commodities such as land purchase, carbon credits or vintage wine to name a few. The share offer is supposed to provide the investor an excellent return in a short time frame.
For further information please visit Action Fraud.
With computers and devices, a Trojan is a programme that is designed to conduct a hidden act. An example may be fake anti-virus software that installs malware on your PC, laptop or portable device.
Malware is used by fraudsters to get information from your device or to read information that you input, such as passwords and log on details.
It is difficult to tell if a Trojan is on your device. They are designed to carry out their illegal operations without interfering with the device's normal running.
If you have used any online banking services recently, contact your bank(s) so they can make sure that your account has not been compromised and take steps to protect your finances.
Telephone number spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies how their phone number appears on the Caller ID or text message to disguise their identity. Fraudsters are increasingly targeting consumers over the phone and by text message; posing as bank staff, police officers and other officials or companies in a position of trust. The fraudster tries to persuade their victim that their accounts are at risk and that they must move their money to a new account (which will normally belong to the fraudster).
If the victim questions giving out personal details or moving their money, the fraudster tells them to check the caller ID of the phone number they’re calling from, which they have masked, or ‘spoofed’ to look like your bank’s phone number.
Information like your card PIN and One Time Passcode (OTP) are personal to you and shouldn’t be shared with anyone – not even your bank. Cater Allen or the police will never ask you for PINs, passcodes in full or to surrender your card. We will only ever ask you for part of the details, for example the first and fifth letters of the password.
For more information on spoofing please visit Action Fraud.
People aged 55 or over can take more money out of their pension with fewer conditions attached to the withdrawals. As a result, fraudsters are getting in touch by email, phone, text or even in person, asking people to withdraw from their pension and put the money into fraudulent accounts, which they claim will earn extra income and sometimes ‘bonus payments’ for the victim.
Unsolicited approaches about releasing money from your pension pot before you're 55 (you cannot release money if you’re younger than 55)
Unsolicited approaches about investing money from your pension pot under the new rules
Being asked for personal details such as phone number or financial information, over the phone
Being offered 'cash back' or a 'savings advance' from your pension
Being promised high returns on investments or joining up bonuses
Being asked to move money quickly - fraudsters sometimes offer to use an express courier service for documents to be signed
Never give personal or financial information to a cold caller
Check the credentials of the company and any advisers – who should be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority
Ask for a statement showing how your pension will be paid at retirement, and question who will look after your money until then
Speak to an adviser that is not associated with the deal you’ve been offered, for unbiased advice
Never be rushed into agreeing to a pension transfer
You can find more information about pension scams at The Pensions Regulator website.
The Pensions Regulator has also published a booklet about pension scams.
Remember, if an opportunity sounds too good to be true, it usually is.