11 golden rules to keep you safe from common frauds

by Leeds Building Society

With the potential threat of online fraud becoming more prominent in our daily lives we've put together some golden rules that could help protect you from scams like phishing, vishing and smishing. Not sure what these are? Our fraud jargon buster will help you understand what these scams really mean.

11 golden rules to protect yourself from common fraud

1. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Be cautious of a subject line that is alarming and may use excessive punctuation.

2. Look out for poor spelling and grammar. It’s a tell-tale sign of something phishy, but be aware modern phishing looks a lot better than it used to!

3. Be suspicious of requests for lots of personal information.

4. Is there a deadline or countdown? Fraudsters will often use pressure to try and get you to act fast.

5. Check the sender's email address; if the website displayed isn’t in the name of the alleged email sender, it could be a phishing email.

6. If you receive an email from an unknown sender, don’t action it without verifying the sender.

7. Delete any suspect emails or text messages. Don’t forward it on to anyone as this can add some credibility and encourage the recipient to follow instructions.

8. To check the person who called you or who sent you an email from an organisation  is genuine, call them back on a verified number from the organisation's website or telephone directory.

9. If you believe you have received a fake email, phone call or text message, contact the genuine party to notify them.

10. Be careful if you have to allow anyone remote access to your PC or device. You must be certain the request is coming from a trusted source.

11. If you believe your Society accounts or your personal information are at risk, contact us immediately.

Fraud jargon busting 

Do you know your phishing from your vishing or smishing? We admit these terms sound funny but if you fall victim to one of these frauds it’s no laughing matter.

Here’s what you need to know…


Phishing is where a fraudster will send an email which appears to be from a legitimate company, attempting to obtain personal details from you.

These phishing emails often contain a link directing you to a website which’ll ask you to re-verify your details.

But beware, this will usually be a fake website but it’ll look real and could also trigger the unknowing download of a virus to your PC or device.

If the fraudster gets hold of your password and personal details they can use this information to commit further crimes. Scary stuff right?


This is very similar to phishing but takes place over the phone. Instead of getting you to go to a website the fraudster may request personal details from you directly or ask you to transfer money to an account. 


Like vishing fraudsters contact you by phone but instead of a phone call it is done using text messages where you are usually asked to follow a link or call a telephone number.


Again this is another form of phishing but this scam takes places on Twitter and often involves getting users to hand over their usernames or passwords.

Action to take

If you think you have been the victim of fraud you should report this to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/.

If you suspect fraudulent activity on your account with us please report it to us immediately on 0113 225 7777.

Take Five

There's also lots of advice on the Take Five website. Take Five is a national campaign led by Financial Fraud Action UK which offers straight-forward and impartial advice on financial fraud prevention.

Do you think you're too smart to be scammed? Take this test to find out.


This information does not constitute legal or financial advice given by Leeds Building Society. No reliance should be placed on this guide and you must make your own decisions, we recommend that you seek independent advice if you have any questions or queries.