Fraud can happen to anyone. As October is Cyber Security Awareness month, we thought we would share some information about fraud.

How to identify a fraudster:

• They try to gain trust by claiming to be from a well-known business or impersonate a known contact
• Will suggest their own verification procedures, including redirecting you to websites they have created or calling numbers they provide to you
• Know how to tap into your emotions to get what they want
• Create a sense of urgency to get you to make hasty decisions without much thought.

Five signs of a fraud/scam email or text

1. Fraudsters make messages look real
Even if you’ve previously received a legitimate text or email from the same number or email address, remember that fraudsters can ‘spoof’ real phone numbers and email addresses to make it look genuine.

2. The format is in a different style from previous texts or emails
Be wary of how previous messages from the sender looked. There would be no links that would potentially go to malicious websites. This leads on to our next sign.

3. It has a malicious link
Even if the text or email looks real, don’t click on any links within them. If it’s a financial institution, always type the name of that institution into the address bar of your browser or log into your financial provider’s app to check for any messages that may have come through.

4. It’s not secure
Most genuine sites that contain sensitive information will use https, not http. However, don’t rely on this alone – some scam sites use https too.

5. It has a sense of urgency
Fraudsters try to create a sense of urgency within the message for example: “Your account has been suspended and requires verification. Please follow the link now. http://verifycreditunion.co.uk.” Don’t rush – take your time and think about what the message is telling you to do and consider whether it’s real. If you are still not sure, get in touch with the person/business who contacted you to find out if there were any issues. Sometimes they may not be aware of the situation and could have been a victim of fraud as well.

How to protect yourself from fraud and theft:

• Memorise your security details and securely destroy anything that contains these details, once you’ve memorised it
• Always set or change your security details to something that can’t be guessed easily
• Never write down or record your security details
• Never allow anyone else to use your security details
• Always monitor your accounts and see if there are any unusual transactions or activity that you don’t recognise
• Inform us straight away if you suspect or discover that someone has your security details, your information has been misused, or in doubt of communication received from us. Please get in touch with us by calling our customer experience team on 020 8756 3866 or email admin@m4mcu.org
• If someone gets you to share your sensitive details via suspicious communication, such as usernames, passwords or account details you can report it to the police.

Be safe with us

At M for Money Credit Union, we would like to reassure you that your data is safe with us. Here are some of the ways that we do this:

• We are constantly upgrading our fraud protection software and changing our operation to make your details secure from fraudsters
• We now use R Post for electronic signatures that are fully safe and protected
• We have security checks for ID, physical and email address as well as mobile phone numbers.

Example of how we handled a fraud case
Recently, one of our members had their email account hacked and the hacker tried to order an expensive watch using credit union funds. Fortunately, due to our safe and secure systems in place, they didn’t get anything and were reported to the police.

If you suspect unusual activity to your M for Money account or receive suspicious communication, please get in touch with us on 020 8756 3866 or email admin@m4mcu.org