27 December 2017

Take Five to Stop Fraud

The bad news is that the threat of financial fraud is growing. That's despite the fact that total losses from bank fraud in the UK fell by 8% in the first half of 2017 compared to last year.

In total, there were nearly a million cases of financial fraud. New data from UK Finance shows that losses fell to £366.4m, down from £400.4m, and banks managed to stop 67% of all fraud attempts.

In particular, card fraud dropped by 11% with over £500m of attempted fraud stopped.

Not as many people use cheques these days, so it's not surprising that cheque fraud fell 28% in 2016 to a record low.

But remote banking fraud – when criminals use an internet, phone or mobile banking account to make an unauthorised transaction – went up by 3% to £73.8m.

Ways to protect yourself

These days, fraudsters increasingly use personal and financial information stolen from customers via online data hacks and malware. They also impersonate banking staff to directly target their victims.

As part of the Take Five to Stop Fraud (This link will open in a new window) campaign, we want to help you understand the most common scams so you can protect yourself.

Armed with a bit of knowledge, you'll be able to recognise the signs of a scam and challenge phoney requests for your personal or financial details. Criminals see these as the weakest link in your security.

'My money? My info? I don't think so'

If you get asked about your finances by phone, email or text, keep the phrase, 'My money? My info? I don't think so' at the forefront of your mind, along with this advice:

  • A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account.

  • Only give out personal or financial details to use a service that you’re expecting to contact you, that you’ve given your consent to and that you trust.

  • Don't be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your details. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

  • Always question uninvited approaches, in case it's a scam.

Be aware that scammers often use phones, emails or texts to pretend to represent a trusted organisation to convince people to part with personal and financial information, They can cite fake reasons for needing this, including the idea that your account details need to be 'updated' or 'verified', or that a refund is due.

Once stolen information is in their hands criminals can use it to either access customer accounts to withdraw money or make card payments. They'll even try to persuade customers to transfer money directly to them.

So, anytime you feel doubtful, just remember: "My money? My info? I don't think so." Real bank staff won't mind if you hang up the phone and call back to make sure you're safe.

Find out more

To find out more about financial fraud, what you can do to prevent it and how Nationwide can help, visit the Nationwide Security Centre.

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