Our Top Security Tips

Our tips for protecting yourself from scams and fraud

Never share a Santander password with another person, not even a Santander employee. 
Never download software or let anyone remotely log on to your computer or devices, either during or after a cold call. 
Never enter your Online Banking details after clicking a link in an email or text message. 
Never transfer or withdraw money out of your account if you’re instructed to do so for security reasons. 
Never set up new or change existing payment details without first verifying the request directly with the person or company you’re paying, preferably using existing contact details. 

These are just our top tips. You'll find more detail on keeping yourself secure, including fraud, scams and protecting yourself online on our security pages below.

In addition, we've created two leaflets containing useful information on how to stay safe: Fraud awareness and How to protect yourself against scams

 

Scams and Frauds

While fraud and scams are not new, advances in technology give criminals more ways to attempt to access your money. Getting to know the techniques they use can help you protect yourself and your money.

Fraud or scam?

In everyday use, the words fraud and scams are used interchangeably. However, we think it’s useful to use clear definitions.
Fraud happens to you, scams happen with you

Examples of fraud would be having your card skimmed, identity theft and computer malware which steals your details. In these cases, you're not aware of what the criminals are doing and haven't given your authorisation.

Examples of scams would be where a criminal attempts to convince you to send them money, give away access to your bank details or launder money. Scams actively involve you as the account owner and work though engineering a situation to make you believe it’s genuine, so you give your authorisation.

If you think you've been a victim of fraud, call us on +44 (0) 8000 84 28 88, if calling from a UK landline or mobile, or +44 (0) 1534 885 000(Jersey branch) or +44 (0) 1624 641 888(Isle of Man branch), if calling from overseas. Lines are open from 9am – 5pm UK time, Monday to Friday (except Wednesday when we open slightly later at 9.30am). Calls may be recorded or monitored.

Top tips for spotting a scam or fraud

If you do get a suspicious looking email or text, here's some important advice.

  • Look very carefully at emails or texts that come out of the blue supposedly from a bank or another trusted organisation.
  • An unsolicited text or email from your bank or other genuine organisation will never ask you to provide passwords, personal or financial information in a message.
  • Be extremely wary of links and attachments and never enter your banking details after clicking on a link. An email link may take you to a fake website which imitates Santander.
  • Watch out for language that says things such as ‘you must act’.
  • If you get an email or text from somebody asking you to change some payment details don’t do it without checking it out thoroughly first.
  • If in any doubt at all, don’t reply. Phone the organisation sending you the text or email on their official phone number which you can look up on their website.

Remember the following advice so that if someone contacts you pretending to be someone they're not, you can spot them easily.

  • Take time to think about what they are saying and hang up or end the conversation if you are unsure.
  • Don’t feel under pressure to act straight away – talk to family and get a second opinion if you feel uncomfortable. No genuine organisation will mind you doing this.
  • A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you unsolicited to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account.
  • Don’t give out personal or financial details unless it's to use a service that you've signed up to, and you’re sure that the request for your information is directly related to that service.
  • Never let somebody talk you into downloading software, or to log on to your computer or other devices, such as your mobile phone or a tablet, remotely during or after a cold call.
  • Never agree to transfer or hand over money to anybody without independently double-checking the details are genuine.

You can find an A-Z of fraud and scams on Action Fraud's website

If you think you've been a victim of fraud, call us on +44 (0) 8000 84 28 88, if calling from a UK landline or mobile, or +44 (0) 1534 885 000(Jersey branch) or +44 (0) 1624 641 888(Isle of Man branch), if calling from overseas. Lines are open from 9am – 5pm UK time, Monday to Friday (except Wednesday when we open slightly later at 9.30am). Calls may be recorded or monitored.

Common types of scams

Remote access scam

Remote access scams attempt to convince you to allow them access to your Online Banking. These are often cold calls from scammers who say that they're from telecommunication or computer companies or (for businesses in particular) an IT department or Technical Support.

The warning signs are:

  • a cold-caller says they can fix your slow computer or refund you money
  • an unexpected call from someone claiming to be from your IT department or Tech Support
  • the caller asks you to give permission for them to remotely access your computer
  • the caller asks for your banking or personal details

These callers will ask you to log on to your Online Banking, to check it's not been impacted by the fault, and then attempt to remotely access the computer to 'help' you with the problem.

Giving anyone remote access allows them to release malicious software and gain access to personal data.

Phishing - email scams

Email scams, or phishing, is one of the most popular ways for scammers to find victims. These days criminals will send out emails that can look very convincing. It might be that they pretend to be your bank or a utility company, or possibly pose as a builder or solicitor you use. They might also offer you too good to be true investment opportunities or even pretend to be someone you know.

Here are a few tell-tale signs to help you spot a phishing email:

  • the sender’s email address doesn’t match the website address of the organisation it says it’s from
  • the email is impersonal and doesn’t address you by your name e.g. it just says Dear Sir/Madam
  • there’s a sense of urgency, asking you to act immediately
  • there’s a request for personal information
  • there’s a website link which may seem like the proper company address, but on close inspection is slightly different from the real address
  • there are spelling or grammatical mistakes
Telephone or courier scam

This is where criminals persuade customers to hand over their credit and debit cards or to transfer funds from their account. This scam usually involves a call purporting to be from Santander International, the police or another financial institution.

The caller may:

  • suggest you call the number on the back of your card or 999 for verification (the scammer does not hang up and stays on the line while doing this)
  • want to arrange to have your debit and credit cards collected by a courier
  • ask you to key in your PIN using your telephone keypad
  • advise that another account has been set up to keep your money safe and urge you to transfer your money to the new account immediately
  • insist that it is necessary for you to act urgently to protect your funds
  • ask you to withdraw and handover cash along with your card as needed for forensic evidence
  • ask that you do NOT discuss the reason for withdrawal with branch staff

You can find an A-Z of fraud and scams on Action Fraud's website

If you think you've been a victim of fraud, call us on +44 (0) 8000 84 28 88, if calling from a UK landline or mobile, or +44 (0) 1534 885 000(Jersey branch) or +44 (0) 1624 641 888(Isle of Man branch), if calling from overseas. Lines are open from 9am – 5pm UK time, Monday to Friday (except Wednesday when we open slightly later at 9.30am). Calls may be recorded or monitored.

Common types of fraud

Online Shopping Fraud

Shopping and auction fraud involves fraudulent shopping scams that rely on the anonymity of the internet.

  • Protect yourself against online shopping fraud
  • The warning signs are:
    • Receiving goods late, or not at all
    • Receiving goods that are either less valuable than those advertised or significantly different from the original description
    • Failure to disclose relevant information about a product or the terms of sale
How to protect yourself

Here are a few tell-tale signs to help you spot a phishing email:

  • Make sure you’ve installed the latest software & app updates. Criminals use weaknesses in software to attack your devices and steal information, such as your payment details
  • Use a strong, separate password for your email account. Criminals can use your email to access other online accounts, such as those you use for online shopping
  • Don’t click on a link in an unexpected email or text
  • The volume of online shopping related phishing emails increases significantly during the holiday period. Remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is
  • Don’t pay for goods or services by bank transfer unless you know and trust the person. Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud
Identity theft

Identity theft affects over 100,000 people every year. With a few personal details, a criminal can open new bank accounts, get new credit cards, claim benefits and apply for official documents like a driving licence - all in your name, and all traceable to you.

The warning signs are:

  • 'lost' mail, for example your bank statements or credit card bills suddenly stop arriving
  • your rubbish bags have been tampered with
  • you start getting bills you don't recognise
  • strange Direct Debits or payments appear on your account

How to protect yourself:

  • shred sensitive information - never simply throw it away or recycle it
  • delete suspicious emails from organisations requesting personal information – remember, we'll never ask for such information by email
  • think twice before giving out personal information
  • if you move house, redirect your mail
  • use online bank statements instead of printed, posted ones
Contactless card fraud

Contactless payments are relatively new, and a quick and convenient way to pay especially if remembering a PIN or using a fiddly number pad is a problem.

Contactless card fraud can occur if your card is stolen or temporarily taken away from you, allowing criminals to tap it at payment terminals or skim the card details.

Santander International has controls in place to limit this but to keep yourself safe just make sure you keep hold of your card all the time. And if you do lose your card or have it stolen, report it to us as soon as possible.

You can find an A-Z of fraud and scams on Action Fraud's website

If you think you've been a victim of fraud, call us on +44 (0) 8000 84 28 88, if calling from a UK landline or mobile, or +44 (0) 1534 885 000(Jersey branch) or +44 (0) 1624 641 888(Isle of Man branch), if calling from overseas. Lines are open from 9am – 5pm UK time, Monday to Friday (except Wednesday when we open slightly later at 9.30am). Calls may be recorded or monitored.

 

 

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