Steps to help protect yourself from online scams and fraudsters
We take your online security very seriously and are committed to keeping your data and your money safe.
Every day, millions of us share information online – to pay bills, shop, and keep in touch with friends. We should all take steps to keep our information secure, so to help you do this we’ve put together these handy tips for protecting yourself online.
COVID-19 online security update
Unfortunately, fraudsters are using the uncertainty of the pandemic to launch new online scams aimed at getting people to part with their money. Often targeting those who are more vulnerable or susceptible to being scammed, fraudsters are getting ever more sophisticated.
We’ve put together a list of helpful resources, which you can use in addition to our existing tips, to help you keep your money safe. We would urge all members to be extra vigilant for scams.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has put together a list of common COVID-19 scams to look out for. Visit the FCA website
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) provides information for individuals, businesses, and other organisations on all aspects of cyber security. Topics include protecting your data, how to report a cyber crime, what to do if your passwords or banking details have been stolen, and how to use video conferencing securely. Visit the NCSC website
Take Five to Stop Fraud is a campaign urging the public to stop and think before making financial transactions. They have lots of useful examples of COVID-19 specific online, phone and doorstep scams, as well as useful advice on how to avoid these. Visit the Take-Five website
If you want to test your knowledge of phishing scams, Google has created this 5-minute quiz to let you know what to look out for. Take the quiz
Install good antivirus software on all devices you use to access the internet
This type of software checks for malicious computer programmes and viruses and will warn you against opening suspicious looking files. It’s important to keep your antivirus software up to date to make sure you’re protected against the most recent viruses. Also, always use the latest version of your web browser (i.e. Google Chrome or Internet Explorer), which will incorporate the latest security features.
Before entering any personal details, make sure you’re using a secure website
Here are some ways to check if a website is secure:
Look for ‘https’ at the start of the website address – the ‘s’ stands for secure
Make sure there is a closed padlock symbol in the browser window (next to the https website address)
The address bar (or part of it) may be green, which is an extra sign that you’re using a safe website
Check the website you are using doesn’t have misspellings or bad grammar in its addresses. This could indicate a copycat of the legitimate website.
Look out for phishing, vishing and smishing scams
Phishing is when fraudsters send emails made to look like they come from a genuine financial company. Vishing and smishing are the phone and text equivalents. These scams will ask for confirmation of your personal details and can look and sound very authentic, often linking to convincing looking websites.
If you ever receive an unexpected email, text or call like this, don’t click on any links or open attachments, and never enter give out your personal details. Contact the genuine company directly to query the email, text or call. Use a separate internet browser to search for their official website and customer support contact details.
General good practice
Never share your PIN, passwords or other confidential information
When creating a password, stay away from words and dates that might be easy for a fraudster to find out (such as mother’s maiden name or your date of birth). It’s best to use a mix of random numbers, special characters and letters in upper and lower case
Always look for a company’s contact details on their website. Reputable companies will have a postal address and contact phone number displayed
Never open a suspicious looking email or email attachment. For example, an email from an unknown sender, one that has an oddly worded subject heading, or an attachment that you aren’t expecting (even if the email is from an address you recognise).
We’re committed to working with members, local organisations, and employers to increase financial awareness in the wider community.
For more hints and tips check out our Financial Wellbeing Hub, which includes articles and guides covering everything from budgeting to getting onto the property ladder.
If you have any questions or would like help with any of our services, please contact us on 0141 274 9933.
Please check first that you are eligible to apply:
You are aged 18 or over
You have a UK bank account in your own or joint names
You are a permanent UK resident
You have never been bankrupt or had a Court Decree
To complete your application you will need:
Your current employer's address details
Details of monthly income and outgoings
Bank or building society details (sort code and account number)
To enable us to make a decision on your loan application we will contact Credit Referencing & Fraud Prevention Agencies. This will register a search against your credit record and if your application is successful we will share the information we hold for you with these agencies. Further details are available in our Privacy Notice
It is important that you read the Privacy Notice document above. If there is anything that you do not understand, please contact us.
Please be aware that the longer you take to pay back a loan, the more you will pay back in interest. If you go for a shorter term your monthly repayment might go up, but you'll save in interest and pay back your loan faster.