Protect your account from fraud
Criminals are always finding new, more sophisticated ways to steal financial information. At Leeds Building Society, we take the threat of fraud very seriously. Here are 7 steps you can take to protect your accounts.
1. Keep us up to date
If you change your name, address, telephone number or email address, let us know. We need to be able to contact you if there are any problems with your account.
2. Check your account regularly
Check your passbooks and statements frequently. If you see anything unusual or unexpected, or find that any account documents are missing, contact us as soon as possible.
Where you may have been the victim of identity theft, we will need to carry out a full investigation, and in some circumstances we may need to contact the police. The investigation will run much more smoothly if you cooperate fully.
3. Keep your documentation safe
Identity thieves can use your account information to their advantage. You should always:
- Take care when disposing of information about your accounts. People who commit fraud use methods like ‘bin raiding’ to get this type of information
- Shred printed material
4. Write cheques clearly and add detail
The way you write a cheque can help to prevent fraud. Always draw a line through blank space so that nobody can add numbers or names to the cheque.
If you aren’t paying a cheque directly – if you’re sending it by post, for example – make sure you write the recipient’s name clearly, and add extra details such as an account or reference number.
If you are paying the cheque to a large organisation, such as Leeds Building Society, don’t just write the name of the organisation on the payee line. Add details such as reference numbers and specific names.
5. Tell us if you suspect someone has access to your private information
Let us know as soon as you can if you think someone knows your password or security information.
The best way to tell us is by phone; it’s quicker and more immediate.
6. Keep your online banking secure
There are several steps you can take to keep your online banking safe and secure:
- Use up-to-date security software – firewall, antivirus, antispyware etc.
- Keep your password and PIN secret
- Watch out for fraudulent emails claiming to be from Leeds Building Society. We will never contact you to ask for personal information or card details.
7. Learn to spot phishing emails
A phishing email tricks you into parting with personal information by pretending to be from a trustworthy source, such as a bank or building society. Most phishing emails include a link to a website that looks and feels like a legitimate one. Once you follow the link, you might be prompted to fill in personal details, like passwords, personal data, and financial information.
In some instances, you can tell if you have been directed to a phishing website by checking the website address. Leeds Building Society secure pages will always start https://online.leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk/ or https://www.leedsbs-secure.co.uk/. You should always check the address of any web page that asks you to fill in personal information.
Legitimate Leeds Building Society emails will never ask for your account details, whether by email or via a website. If you receive an email claiming to be from Leeds Building Society that asks you to fill in account details, it may be a phishing email.
Leeds Building Society will never send you an email with a link to our login page. If you receive such an email, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t respond to every message we receive, but we will do our best to shut down any phishing sites we find.
There’s no guaranteed way to identify a phishing email, but there are several things you can check if you suspect an email may not be trustworthy.
First, hover over the link (but don’t click it). Depending on which email client you use, the actual website the link leads to should be displayed in the bottom corner of your screen. If the actual website isn’t the same as the email claims it is, it could be a phishing email.
Other tell-tale signs include poor spelling and grammar, an unrealistically good offer, a request for lots of personal information, an insistence that you urgently click the link or a request for money. However, not all phishing emails will show these signs. A phishing email can have perfect spelling and grammar, for example.
Another way to avoid phishing websites is to visit the website directly, either by typing leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk into the address bar or clicking on a bookmark.
Marketing and regulatory emails from Leeds Building Society will always be from the email address email@example.com. All of our emails will greet you personally with your title and surname. Again, we will never ask you for the security details of your account, either by email or via a website.
Online identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the United Kingdom. CIFAS, the UK's fraud prevention service, has produced a video highlighting how easily potential fraudsters can access a wealth of personal information online. It encourages us all to think carefully about how much we share, and how it could be used against us.