Common FraudsKnow what to look out for to keep yourself safe online.
Online banking is a safe way to manage your money, but you need to be on your guard against internet fraudsters. These are some of the most common fraudulent activities:
Spoof websites and emails ('Phishing')
Fraudsters create authentic-looking fake websites and emails. Their purpose is to tempt you to enter personal information, such as passwords and memorable information. The fraudsters will use this information to access your bank accounts.
Throughout this year, some of our customers have received fraudulent emails asking them to confirm their banking details. We will never ask for your internet or telephone banking user ID, password or memorable information by email.
If you get an email asking you for banking details:
- don't provide any information
- don't click on any links in the email
- delete the email from your inbox
If you think your account information has been compromised, call us immediately:
- From the UK: 0845 3000 116
- Outside the UK: +44 20 7649 9437
Fund transfer email scams
These scam emails ask you to receive funds, and then transfer the funds on to another account or overseas. The sender will offer you a commission in return.
If you do take part, you will not receive any commission – and you will automatically become involved in subsequent Police investigations.
Lottery prize email scams
These scam emails tell you that you have won a substantial amount of money in a lottery draw. If you reply, the sender then asks you for bank account details and other personal information so they can transfer the money to you. They may also ask you to pay a handling fee.
These emails are fake. You will lose any money you pay, and your personal information may be used in other fraud.
Advance fee scams ('419 Fraud')
These scam letters and emails offer you a generous reward for helping to move a large amount of money, usually in US dollars. The sender may claim the money comes from all kinds of sources – such as corporate profits, accumulated bribes, unspent Government funds or unclaimed legacies from a deceased person.
They will ask you to pay a fee, tax or bribe to complete the deal – this is the advance fee. You will lose the advance fee and your banking details may be used in other fraud.
Virus hoax emails
Many emailed warnings about viruses are hoaxes, designed to cause concern and disrupt businesses. Such warnings may be genuine, so don't take them lightly, but always check the story out by visiting an anti-virus website before forwarding them to friends and colleagues.
Suspicious phone calls
A number of customers have received telephone calls from individuals claiming to be from a credit card scheme (i.e. Visa or MasterCard). The caller then persuades the customer to give information about their credit card, including the security code found on the back of the card.
Lloyds TSB and Visa/Mastercard do not contact credit card customers directly or ask for any security information regarding cards.
If you receive a telephone call like this, do not give the caller any card security information.
Security technical FAQs
Understand the software that keeps you safe online.
Staying secure online involves a few simple pieces of computer software. These FAQs explain the software and other common terms you'll come across.
What does anti-virus software do?
Anti-virus software detects and eliminates viruses from your computer. If you use anti-virus software, you should regularly download updates from the company that made the program ndash; often you can set these to download automatically. This will help protect your computer from the latest virus threats.
What is a firewall?
A personal firewall is a piece of software that provides a barrier between your computer and the internet. A firewall will prevent unauthorised access to your computer. Firewalls will not necessarily protect your computer from viruses – you also need recognised anti-virus software.
What is a certificate?
Websites that let you sign in securely (such as internet banking sites) have to provide a security certificate – this is your reassurance that the site is genuine. If the site does not have a security certificate, your browser will not let you sign in securely.
What is a cookie?
A cookie is a tag or marker that a website saves onto your hard disk so that it can remember something about you at a later time. Typically a cookie contains information about your preferences.
For example, some websites let you choose a city as your "home", then offer you tailored information about that city. These websites will put a cookie on your hard disk so they can remember this information for next time you visit.
What is encryption?
Encryption means using a code to change data into a form that can't be understood. When information is encrypted it can be sent securely online, because it can only be read with a particular decryption code. Decryption is the process of converting encrypted data back into its original form, so it can be understood.
What is a Secure Socket Layer (SSL)?
SSL is a common method of encryption that allows you to send and receive information securely over the internet. Many websites use SSL to secure customer information such as banking details.
Normally you will not be aware of SSL – it works automatically when your web browser accesses a secure web site. You can tell if you're in a secure website by looking the address bar of your browser – the address will begin with "https:" rather than "http:". If you use Internet Explorer, you'll also see a closed padlock at the bottom right-hand side of your browser window.