New scam alert as fraudsters mirror emails and texts instructing customers to activate additional online banking security

Scammers are using the introduction of new higher level security measures for online banking to exploit busy people.

All the major banks are currently bolstering their online banking security by asking customers to use a new password or code.

In many cases this is being sent to customers via a text message or email and there are also plans to introduce security such as fingerprint checks or voice recognition.

However, whenever there’s a new level of security, a scam is sure to follow. Scams are emerging involving emails purporting to be from the likes of Santander, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland.

In these emails, fraudsters reference the legitimate new banking authentication procedures but claim that recipients must complete an online process in order to comply – which is not the case.

One such email, reported by Which, states “you are now required to confirm and verify your account information with us immediately. This will help us in safeguarding your account & personal information from unauthorised access in the future.”

The ‘required’ confirmation comes in the form of a link provided in the emails, which is of course how scammers intend to extract personal information from recipients.

The fraudsters, posing as legitimate organisations, say that completion of such will result in “full access to online banking services.”

Action Fraud has responded with advice, stating:  “You should always question uninvited approaches for your personal and financial details in case it’s a scam. If you are unsure, call your bank and check.”

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.

But even if you receive a seemingly convincing email from someone purporting to be your bank, there are tell-tale signs that it’s a scam. For example, the email address will look to be legitimate but, when you look close, the real sender’s email address is shown in brackets.

Never simply click on a link. Hover your cursor over it and look at the information.

Always be suspicious of unsolicited emails and texts and please remember that your mobile phone is actually a mobile computer  and is just as vulnerable as your laptop.