Take Five is a national campaign that offers straightforward and impartial advice to help you protect yourself from preventable financial fraud. This includes email deception and phone-based scams as well as online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations.
You may already know the dos and don'ts of financial fraud – that you shouldn't be asked out of the blue for your PIN or full password, or ever made to feel pressured into moving money to another account. The trouble is, in the heat of the moment, it's easy to forget this.
After all, trusting people on their word is something everyone tends to do instinctively. If someone says they're from your bank or a trusted organisation, why wouldn’t you believe them?
Stop and Think
1. Requests to move money: A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account. Only give out your personal or financial details to use a service that you have given your consent to, that you trust and that you are expecting to be contacted by.
2. Clicking on links/files: Don't be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.
3. Personal information: Always question uninvited approaches in case it's a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.
If we notice an unusual transaction we'll text you, and you can reply with a "yes" or "no" to let us know if it's a genuine purchase or not.
This avoids your card being blocked unnecessarily, and also helps us stop fraud as quickly as possible.
If you receive an SMS from us, please don't ignore it. If you'd prefer to call us back rather than replying by text, then please call the number on the back of your card as soon as possible. If your mobile number changes, let us know as soon as possible by calling us or by updating your online account.
MasterCard SecureCode protects your Partnership Card when making online purchases.
While previously this service asked you to enter a password, we will now ask you to enter a unique code which we'll send you by text as your purchase is going through. By entering the code we text to you into the MasterCard online check-out, we can verify that it's really you making the purchase.
We won't always require a code for your online purchases.
If you want to make purchases online then it's important that we have your correct mobile phone number(s) registered on your Partnership Card account, for both the primary and any additional cardholders.
We won't hold you responsible for unauthorised transactions made in store, over the phone or online (including contactless transactions). However, you need to make sure that you let us know immediately if your card is lost, stolen or you suspect someone is using your card number, PIN or passwords fraudulently.
Here are a few simple things you can do to help us ensure your account remains secure.
Keep your contact details up to date
If we see a suspicious transaction, we may need to contact you by SMS/text message or by telephone. Please ensure that you keep us updated with your latest contact details by updating your online account, or by calling us.
If you call, you’ll be asked to confirm your memorable word, plus some security questions to confirm your identity. This process helps to protect you and your information. Please keep your information secure and ensure it’s not disclosed to anyone else.
If you move house (even if it's only temporary), tell your bank, credit card and utility providers. Use the Royal Mail Redirection service and consider registering with the mail preference service at www.mpsonline.org.uk to prevent mail going to your old address. Also tell your providers if you change your work, home or mobile telephone numbers.
Tell us immediately if you think your account has been compromised
Let us know as soon as possible if your card (or any additional card on your account) is lost, stolen or you suspect someone is using your card number, PIN or passwords fraudulently. You can call on 0800 015 0914 day or night, or if you’re calling from abroad on +44 121 214 5732.
Make sure you check your statement for transactions you don’t recognise and let us know immediately if you suspect fraud. If you register for an online account, you’ll have access to your recent transactions and can check them more frequently.
2. Keep your card secure
Keep your card safe at all times. Don’t let it out of your sight when using it in shops or restaurants. Fraudsters can make a copy in minutes.
Don’t disclose your PIN to anyone. We’ll never ask you to disclose your PIN.
When you get a replacement card, destroy your old card – especially the chip and magnetic stripe – and dispose of the remains in separate dustbins.
You should also shred any receipts and paperwork you don’t need to keep rather than just throwing them away.
3. Stay safe online
Ensure your anti-virus software is up to date. This helps stop counterfeit emails reaching your inbox and protects against fraudsters taking over your computer.
Don’t reply to emails that ask you to provide personal information or verify your account. We’ll never request sensitive information from you in any unsecured communications such as email.
Watch out for counterfeit websites or emails that look similar to ones you’d normally trust. Information you give on a phishing site could be used by criminals to access your account or fraudulently use your identity.
4. How to protect yourself from scams
Financial Fraud Action UK Ltd (FFA UK) is responsible for leading the collective fight against fraud in the UK payments industry. As part of their ‘Take 5’ campaign they advise you to stop and think:
Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full banking password
Don’t assume an email, text or phone call is authentic
Don’t be rushed – a genuine organisation won’t mind waiting
Listen to your instincts – you know if something doesn’t feel right
Stay in control – don’t panic and make a decision you’ll regret
Here are some common scams:
Fraud over the phone – or ‘vishing’ – is when a fraudster calls claiming they’re from your bank or some other trusted organisation. It’s easy for them to convince you too, since they can both fake the telephone number on the screen, and with a bit of research find out some of your basic bank and personal details.
Remember though, a genuine bank will never ask you for personal or financial details like your PIN number or full banking password (or ask you to tap it into your phone keypad).
5 things to look out for on a scam phone call:
The caller doesn’t give you time to think, tries to stop you speaking to a family member or friend or is insistent and makes you feel uncomfortable.
The caller asks you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons.
They phone to ask for your 4-digit card PIN or your online banking password. Even if they ask you to give it to them by tapping into the telephone keypad rather than saying the numbers out loud, this is a scam.
They ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safekeeping.
They may say that you are a victim of fraud and offer to send a courier to your home to collect your cash, PIN, payment card or chequebook.
Text message scams
A text might not be from who you think – ‘Smishing’ is when criminals pretend a message is from your bank or another organisation you trust. They’ll usually tell you there has been fraud on your account and will ask you to deal with it by calling a number or visiting a fake website to update your personal details. Please take a moment to stop and think, and you’ll quickly realise this is the fraud.
3 signs a text message might not be genuine:
It asks you to provide sensitive personal or financial information, passwords, or to make transactions by following a link in the message.
It asks you to call a certain phone number, but that number is unknown to you. In this case, call your bank directly on a number that you trust – such as the number on the back of your card – to check that message is authentic.
The sender uses an urgent tone, pressurising you to ‘act now’.
Criminals don’t just try and contact you by phone and text, they also ‘phish’ – contacting you by email, too. So always be suspicious of unsolicited emails that are supposedly from your bank or some other trusted organisation because the address can easily be faked. Never automatically click on any links emails may contain either, at least not before stopping to check if they seem genuine first.
Seven ways to spot an email you’ve been sent is a scam:
The sender’s address doesn’t match the website address of the organisation it says it’s from. Roll your mouse-pointer over the sender’s name to reveal its true address.
The email doesn’t use your proper name – using something like “Dear customer” instead.
There’s a sense of urgency, asking you to act immediately.
There’s a prominent website link that seems like the proper address, but with one character different.
There’s a request for personal information.
There are spelling and grammatical errors.
The entire text of the email is within an image rather than the usual text format, and the image contains an embedded hyperlink to a bogus site. Again, roll your mouse-pointer over the link to reveal its true destination.
Online fraud covers everything from online shopping to online banking, but one thing can help prevent both: take the time to install the built-in security measures most browsers and many banks offer.
Using these tools can help protect you whether the criminals are trying to dupe you with fake pop-ups in your online banking window, sending you ‘scam alert’ messages hiding malware, or faking retailer websites to make you input your financial details.