Search the site

Home > Support Centre > Protecting yourself and your personal data > Spotting a scam

Spotting a scam

Take Five a national campaign set up to offer impartial advice on how to prevent fraud has outlined the following general advice that can help prevent you from becoming a victim of financial fraud:

  • A bank, building society or other trusted organisations will never contact you out of the blue to ask for personal financial information or to move money to another account.
  • Never click on links from unexpected emails or texts as this could give fraudsters access to your personal or financial details.
  • Always question unexpected approaches in case its fraudulent. If you’re unsure whether the approach is genuine or not, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.
  • Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and address or even your mother’s maiden name), it doesn’t mean they are genuine.
  • A genuine bank, building society or other trusted organisations will never rush you into making financial transaction and they would never ask you to transfer money into another account.
  • If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. Even if someone appears trustworthy, they may not be who they claim to be.
  • Have the confidence to say no if you’re unsure. it’s okay to stop the discussion if you do not feel in control of it.

Here are some of the different types of scams to look out for

Phone Scams (Vishing)

Fraud over the phone – or Vishing – is when a fraudster calls claiming they’re from your bank or some other trusted organisation. It is easy for them to convince you too, since they can both fake the telephone number on the screen and do their research to find out some of your basic bank and personal details. Remember though, a genuine bank or building society will never ask you for personal or financial details like your PIN number or full banking password (even by tapping it into your phone keypad).

5 things to look out for on a scam phone call:

  1. The caller doesn’t give you time to think, tries to stop you speaking to a family member or friend or is insistent and makes you feel uncomfortable.
  2. The caller asks you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons.
  3. They phone to ask for your 4-digit card PIN or your online banking password. Even if they ask you to give it to them by tapping into the telephone keypad rather than saying the numbers out loud, this is a scam.
  4. They ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping.
  5. They may say that you are a victim of fraud and offer to send a courier to your home to collect your cash, PIN, payment card or cheque book.

Text Scams (Smishing)

A text might not be from who you think – Smishing is when criminals pretend a message is from your bank, building society or another organisation you trust. They will usually tell you there has been fraud on your account and will ask you to deal with it by calling a number or visiting a fake website to update your personal details. Please take a moment to stop and think and realise this is the fraud

5 signs a text message might not be genuine:

  1. The caller doesn’t give you time to think, tries to stop you speaking to a family member or friend or is insistent and makes you feel uncomfortable.
  2. The caller asks you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons.
  3. They phone to ask for your 4-digit card PIN or your online banking password. Even if they ask you to give it to them by tapping into the telephone keypad rather than saying the numbers out loud, this is a scam.
  4. They ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping.
  5. They may say that you are a victim of fraud and offer to send a courier to your home to collect your cash, PIN, payment card or cheque book.

Email Scams (Phishing)

Criminals don’t just try and contact you by phone and text, they also ‘phish’, contacting you by email too. So always be suspicious of unsolicited emails that are supposedly from your bank or some other trusted organisation because the address can easily be faked. Never automatically click on any links they contain either, not before stopping to check if they seem genuine first.

7 ways to spot an email you’ve been sent is a scam:

  1. The sender’s address doesn’t match the website address of the organisation it says it’s from. Roll your mouse pointer over the sender’s name to reveal its true address.
  2. The email doesn’t use your proper name – using something like “Dear customer” instead.
  3. There’s a sense of urgency, asking you to act immediately.
  4. There’s a prominent website link which may seem like the proper address, but with one character different.
  5. There’s a request for personal information.
  6. There are spelling and grammatical errors.
  7. The entire text of the email is within an image rather than the usual text format and the image contains an embedded hyperlink to a bogus site. Again roll your mouse pointer over the link to reveal its true destination.

For more information on the types of scams and how to protect yourself from fraudulent activities visit https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/

If you receive an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from Loughborough Building Society and feel that it’s fraudulent, please get in touch with us on 01509 631960 and we’ll be able to confirm for you whether the call was genuine or not.

If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud get in touch with Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.