We strive to ensure that our member’s information is kept safe and secure through up-to-date computer systems and continual monitoring. With online scams on the increase, even more so since the pandemic, it is key to recognise and prevent fraud, by being vigilant when receiving requests from third parties.
To be clear, we will never:
- Ask you to disclose your PIN number or other passwords for your accounts
- Encourage you to move funds from your own account into a different ‘safe’ account
- Encourage you to order and pay for UK cash via the phone or internet
- Charge up-front fees for repayment holidays
- Make home visits to collect mortgage arrears on your doorstep
- Demand an immediate payment of mortgage arrears over the phone
- Demand payment of mortgage arrears via email providing you with a link through which to make payments
Individuals who approach you stating that they are Hinckley & Rugby Building Society employees and pressurise you in the ways outlined above are criminals.
To help avoid becoming a victim of cyber-crime, we have put together a list of five steps you can take to improve your security online.
Weak passwords can be hacked in seconds. The longer and more unusual your password is, the harder it is for cyber criminals to hack you.
The best way to make a strong password is to use a sequence of three random words which you will remember, and add some numbers, capital letters and special characters to make it even stronger.
An example of this is %GreenEggTree455 – this password is strong, because it includes random words, numbers, special characters and capital letters. Starting with your most important accounts, make sure your passwords are unique.
Your email account is the gateway to your other passwords, and if this gets hacked, all of your other passwords can be reset by a cyber-criminal. You can reset your password to create a new, stronger one using our tips.
Use these guides to reset your password on:
Most of us now have smartphones and tablets which we use to help manage our day-to-day life, so, as they hold a lot of our personal information, it is vital that they are protected too. You can create a password for your device using the device settings. Newer devices have the option to enable fingerprint access and facial recognition to unlock your device. If you do have an older model, you can still add a password to protect your device when it’s not in use.
Two-factor authentication, otherwise known as 2FA, is when you are asked to enter another piece of information along with your password to log in. This could be a code from a text message, a fingerprint on your phone and in some cases, a physical device like a USB key. 2FA reduces the risk of being hacked even if cyber criminals have your password, as they’re not likely to have access to the second form of authentication required to access your accounts.
Banking websites already have 2FA enabled – to keep your information safe, turn on 2FA for your other sensitive accounts too, including your emails and on social media where you may have personal information stored. Use these guides to turn on 2FA for:
Cyber criminals are always looking to exploit weaknesses in software and applications to access your private data, and this is why software and hardware companies are constantly updating their systems to close these loopholes and make your devices more secure.
Using the latest version of software dramatically reduces the risk of your data being compromised.
Ideally, set your phone, tablet or smart device to update automatically, so you don’t have to worry about it. In most cases, you can turn on automatic updates in your device settings.
If your device uses the Windows operating system, and you are still using Windows 7, you will no longer be receiving updates, including security updates. This leaves your device vulnerable to viruses, spyware and other malicious software. You should upgrade to the latest version of Windows to remain secure.
Back up any valuable data, including photos, to an external location such as a hard drive or USB key. This way, you’ll have access to your data if your computer breaks, is stolen, or is hacked.
You can find further information on how to keep safe online on the National Cyber Security Centre’s website.
Take Five is a national fraud awareness campaign from UK Finance. One of its aims is to encourage people to stop, challenge and protect:
- Stop – before you give any money or information away, think
- Challenge – is it legitimate, or could it be a scam? You have the right to refuse and ignore any requests
- Protect – if you think you’ve been scammed, contact your bank to let them know what’s happened and report it to Action Fraud
You can find more information on how to recognise and prevent cyber crime and fraud on Take Five’s website.
Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber crime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Learn more about fraud prevention and how to report a scam on Action Fraud’s website.
Mortgage fraud prevention
Protecting your home from property fraud
Fraudsters can and do target properties for fraud, effectively ‘stealing’ your home by taking the legal title to it. This is most commonly done by pretending to be you and either selling or mortgaging your property without your knowledge.
For information on how you can protect your property from fraud, please visit www.landregistry.gov.uk/public/property-fraud
Have you been a victim of fraud?
If you suspect that you have been a victim of financial fraud, further advice and information is available at www.fca.org.uk/consumers
Savings fraud prevention
What you can do to protect your savings accounts
Please see page 8 of the Society’s Savings Account Terms and Conditions booklet for more information on actions you can take to protect yourself against fraud.
Scams and swindles warning
People are increasingly being targeted by firms and individuals who use cold calling techniques to get your money. There are various types of scams currently being used by fraudsters.
If you make a payment to a firm which is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), you will not be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Scheme or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if things go wrong you could lose your money. All firms authorised by the FCA are listed on the FCA Register.
For more information on investment, other common scams and, what you can do to protect yourself please visit the following websites: