The best way to prevent fraudsters and scammers from getting their hands on your hard-earned cash is to know how to protect yourself in the first place.
The tips below explain some of the things you can do to protect yourself and what to do if you become a victim.
Be careful with passwords and financial documents
Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts even though you may be tempted to - this decreases the chance of someone else being able to access several accounts belonging to you.
NEVER write passwords down or give your password, bank account details or PIN to anyone.
If your PIN can be guessed easily (e.g. 1234 or 0000) change it NOW!!!
You should try to change your passwords regularly and make sure they are complex and difficult to guess. A complex password includes a combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers and symbols.
Shred or burn all financial and personal information. Even a standard branded letter or envelope may show you have a relationship with an organisation.
Take care of your passbook and other account information, let us know immediately if your passbook is lost or stolen and advise us of any change in your personal contact details as soon as possible.
Monitor your account activity regularly
You should monitor all of your accounts regularly and if there is ever an unauthorised transaction on your account, contact your building society or bank straight away.
Let us know immediately if you do not receive any information from us that you are expecting.
If you are paying a cheque into your account, make the cheque payable to yourself and add your account number on the 'payee' line.
Looking after a vulnerable or elderly person
The vulnerable and elderly are often targeted and befriended by fraudsters and can often be the hardest hit. They may be afflicted by illness, such as dementia, and some lose their life savings, get into debt or suffer additional health problems if they fall for a scam.
If you care for a vulnerable or elderly person, there can be early warning signs such as receiving a lot of junk mail, phone calls from strangers or becoming secretive when discussing finances.
If you are concerned that a vulnerable or elderly person is being targeted for fraud, contact us or the police immediately.
Seven helpful hints to protect you against fraud
We take your privacy and security seriously. To help you stay protected, here are some simple tips and hints to help keep your personal information and account(s) secure:
- Take care of your passbook and other account information, let us know immediately if your passbook is lost and advise us of any change in your personal contact details as soon as possible.
- Check your accounts regularly and let us know if you do not receive any information that you are expecting to receive from us.
- Take care when getting rid of personal information and take simple steps such as shredding printed material.
- Never write down any security information, e.g. passwords or pin numbers or give these details to anyone.
- Don't respond to emails asking for account details as we will not contact you in this way. If you receive any email asking you to do this, please contact us immediately.
- Always log out properly from any online service and avoid using computers in public places.
- If you are paying a cheque into your account, make the cheque payable to yourself and add your account number on the 'payee' line.