1. How to protect yourself from fraud

How to protect yourself from fraud

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As you may have noticed in news reports, there has been a large increase in the amount of fraud seen by the banking industry over the last couple of years. Fraudsters have become ever more sophisticated and cunning in the way that they work.

You may have heard the term ‘social engineering’. This is a toolkit of psychological techniques which helps a fraudster dupe their victim into providing sensitive information, ultimately for their own financial gain. 

‘Smishing’ can be one approach fraudsters use to target huge numbers of people with fake text messages,  pretending to be from courier companies, BT, Royal Mail and other trusted organisations such as banks. They send a link saying that a small fee needs to paid to deliver a parcel or that there’s a query to do with a payment on an account. The fraudster is relying on the fact that we’re busy people, we’ll open a text message to see who it’s from and won’t necessarily check before we click on a link. If you receive an unexpected text message, particularly one asking you to click on a link, make sure that you take a good look at the link provided before you click on it. Does it look like it has come from the company? Do not click on links in text messages. Instead search for a customer service number independently and call the company if you’re concerned. 

Fraudsters are adept at using the latest software to “spoof” phone numbers so that calls and texts appear to come from banks, the police, or other trusted organisations. If you receive an unexpected call from someone appearing to be from the Handelsbanken Customer Support number or the Handelsbanken Fraud Team, for example, and the caller asks you for ANY of your online banking details or asks you to log in to online banking to ‘cancel a payment due to fraudulent concerns’, please stop and hang up. Once you’ve hung up, contact either your branch or our Customer Support team, using a number that you’ve found independently and not the number given to you during the call or the number you may have read in an email. If possible use a different phone line if you received the call on a landline, as fraudsters can keep the line open meaning you may think you’re calling the bank, when in fact you are still connected to the criminal. 

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Stay alert – we will NEVER ask you:

  • For ANY of your online banking details (including any part of your log-on card numbers, PINs or passwords either verbally or by asking you to type them into your telephone keypad) 
  • To verbally state or tap in a “response code”, or provide you with a “challenge code”
  • To log in to online banking to ‘cancel a payment due to fraudulent concerns’, or ask you to ‘execute a payment that is on hold’, by inputting a code in to your card reader
  • For your debit/charge card information, or details to authenticate a card transaction 
  • For remote access to your device under the pretence that access is needed to reverse or stop an alleged fraudulent payment
  • To verify a caller by directing you to our website to confirm our number is genuine, or call you on your mobile and point you to our number displayed to indicate that the call is genuine. (Remember, even if the number appears to be genuine, fraudsters can falsify this)
  • To bypass your own internal controls
  • Not to discuss a call with your branch, or object to you confirming that a communication from us is genuine – it’s good to be sure
  • To transfer, withdraw or hand money over for 'safe-keeping', on the basis that staff within your branch are being investigated.

If you think you’ve been scammed please let your account manager or our customer support team know immediately. Please don’t feel embarrassed as scams often use highly sophisticated techniques, and if you contact us immediately, this will give us more time to try and get your money back for you.

To find out more about security and fraud prevention please visit handelsbanken.co.uk/security.