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Staying safe online

Virgin Money is fully supportive of the Take Five to stop fraud campaign which is  Led by UK Finance, and backed by Her Majesty’s Government, the campaign is being delivered with and through a range of partners in the UK payments industry, financial services firms, law enforcement agencies, telecommunication providers, commercial, public and third sector organisations.

Watch a 30 second video for the Take five to stop and think about fraud campaign Link opens in a new window

Take Five is a national campaign that offers straight-forward and impartial advice to help everyone protect themselves from preventable financial fraud. This includes email deception and phone-based scams as well as online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations.

Its all about taking time to -

  1. Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
  2. Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  3. Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.

Take Five: Rules to keep you and your account safe and secure

  1. Never disclose security details, such as your PIN, full banking password or one time pass code to anyone even bank staff
    A genuine bank or organisation will never ask you for these in an email, on the phone or in writing. Before you share anything with anyone, stop. Then pause to consider what you’re being asked for and question why they need it. Unless you’re 100% sure who you’re talking to, don’t disclose any personal or financial details whatsoever.
  2. Don't assume an email, text or phone call is authentic
    Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and address or even your mother’s maiden name), it doesn’t mean they are genuine. Be mindful of who you trust – criminals may try and trick you into their confidence by telling you that you’ve been a victim of fraud. Criminals often use this to draw you into the conversation, to scare you into acting and revealing security details. Remember, criminals can also make any telephone number appear on your phone handset so even if you recognise it or it seems authentic, do not use it as verification they are genuine.
  3. Don’t be rushed – a genuine organisation won’t mind waiting
    Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot; they would never ask you to transfer money into another account for fraud reasons. Remember to stop and take time to carefully consider your actions. A genuine bank or some other trusted organisation won’t rush you or mind waiting if you want time to think.
  4. Listen to your instincts – you know if something doesn’t feel right
    If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. Criminals may lull you into a false sense of security when you are out and about or rely on your defences being down when you’re in the comfort of your own home. They may appear trustworthy, but they may not be who they claim to be.
  5. Stay in control – don’t panic and make a decision you’ll regret
    Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information. It’s easy to feel embarrassed when faced with unexpected or complex conversations. But it’s okay to stop the discussion if you do not feel in control of it.

Take Five: Rules to stay safe when shopping online

  1. Take Five before you buy. If you’re using a retailer for the first time, always take time to research them before you give them any of your details. Be prepared to ask questions before buying.
  2. Trust your instincts – if an offer looks too good to believe then there is usually a catch. Be suspicious of prices that are too good to be true.
  3. Be sure you know who you are dealing with. Always access the website you are planning to buy from by typing the address into your web browser, and be wary of clicking on links in unsolicited emails.
  4. Look for the padlock symbol in the address bar. It’s a good indication that they’re reputable.
  5. Only use retailers you trust, for example ones you know or have been recommended to you. If you’re buying an item made by a major brand, you can often find a list of authorised sellers on their official website.

How we're protecting you

We take your security seriously and have a range of measures in place to safeguard your details.


Online Service

  • Our Online Service is hosted on a secure encrypted server, to keep your personal information safe.
  • As an additional feature, we’ll automatically sign you out of our Online Service if you haven’t used it for a period of time. This increases security by limiting the time our Online Service is available, if you forget to sign out or leave your computer.
  • We limit the number of times you can try to sign in to your account with incorrect details, to make sure fraudsters can’t keep trying to guess your information.

Emails

We’ll only send you emails about Virgin Money products and services. The only time we’ll email you about your account will be if you have asked us to reset your password.


The green traffic light address bar

On most current browsers, when you access our Online Service, you’ll see the address bar starting ‘https://’ turn green. This shows our website has an extra level of security.


Last sign in time and date

Every time you sign into our online Service, we’ll show you the last time and date you signed in. Please take a moment to confirm this looks correct (including activities via a permitted third party provider). If it doesn't please contact us immediately anytime on 0800 012 1440 or +44 191 279 3244 if calling from abroad.

NumberCost
03 numbersSame as calls to 01 or 02 numbers and they are included in inclusive minutes and discount schemes in the same way.
084 numbersMaximum of 7p per minute, plus your phone company's access charge.
087 numbersMaximum of 13p per minute, plus your phone company's access charge.
0800 numbersFree from UK landlines and personal mobile phones.

How you can protect yourself

Here are our top tips to help you keep your personal and security information safe when you're browsing the internet or using our Online Service.


Personal security information

Passwords play an integral part in your account security. You should never give your account details or other security information to anyone unless they are a permitted third party provider. You should never disclose your online account passwords to anyone under any circumstances.


Use strong passwords

It’s important to choose a password that will be difficult for anyone to guess. When you’re choosing your password:

  • Don’t use your name, the names of close family, your date of birth, or your home phone number in your password
  • Avoid common words, such as ‘password’.
  • Combine some of your favourite things to create a longer password that’s easy to remember.
  • Replace normal letters in your password with special characters, for example, ‘wa$h!ng’ instead of ‘washing’.
  • Use a mix of upper and lower case characters, and numbers.

For more help in choosing a strong password, visit Get Safe Online - Password Link opens in a new window


Install personal security software

There are lots of software applications that you can install to protect you and your PC while you’re online.

For help in choosing the right personal security software for you, visit Get Safe Online - Protecting Your Computer Link opens in a new window


Keep your PC up to date

Keep your PC up to date with software patches, as these are often released to fix weaknesses that have been identified in existing software.

It’s also important to keep your operating system up to date and make sure you’re using the most recent version of your browser.


Secure your wireless network

If you’re using a wireless network (or Wi-Fi) at home, remember to secure your network using a strong password.

If you’re not sure how to do this, check the manufacturer’s website for your Wi-Fi router or contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP), if they supplied the equipment.

Learn about different types of fraud

Fraud over the phone – or Vishing – is when a fraudster calls claiming they’re from your bank or some other trusted organisation. It is easy for them to convince you too, since they can both fake the telephone number on the screen and do their research to 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 (even by tapping it into your phone keypad).

Every year, people fall victim to fraudsters who call claiming to be from a legitimate organisation such as a bank, service provider, utilities company or the police. During the call they will try to convince you to reveal financial information or transfer money into a third party account owned by the fraudster. This type of fraud is called ‘vishing’ and it’s becoming more sophisticated and widespread.

How it works

Examples of vishing include bogus callers claiming to be from:

  • Your bank, saying a fraudulent payment has been spotted on your card.
  • The police, saying someone has been arrested for using your details and cards.
  • Your service provider, saying you’re due a rebate or they’d like to refund an overpayment on your account.

To make you believe the call is genuine, they may ask you to call back using the phone number on the back of your bank or store card. However, the fraudster keeps the line open at their end so you are unknowingly connected straight back to them or their friends. They may then ask for your PIN number or ask you to key it into your phone’s handset. Once the fraudster has your PIN, bank details and/or online banking passwords, they have access to your money.

How to protect yourself against vishing

  • Be wary of all unsolicited calls and never reveal personal or financial information, including your PIN or bank details, to anyone.
  • Don’t be pressured into making important financial decisions over the phone. If an offer sounds too good to be true it probably is.
  • If you believe you have had one of these calls report it to Virgin Money. If you feel in immediate danger, call 999. Wait at least five minutes before making any calls, to make sure your line is disconnected from the fraudster.
  • Your bank will never ask you to check the number showing on your telephone display matches their registered telephone number. Don’t trust this display as the number showing can be altered by the caller.
  • Remember – the police and banks will never ring and ask you to verify your PIN, withdraw your cash, transfer your money to another 'safe' account or buy high value goods.

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 will 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 realise this is the fraud.

How it works

The texts encourage you to call a number or visit a website, often claiming the matter is urgent. However the telephone number or website is actually controlled by the fraudster, who then steals your security details to access your bank account and take money.

Another smishing scam involves fraudsters sending texts that say you’ll shortly receive a call from the organisation’s fraud department. The fraudster then calls and attempts to trick you into revealing your full security details.

To make the texts seem authentic, fraudsters use specialist software which alters the sender ID so the message shows the organisation’s name as the sender. This can mean the text comes up in an existing text message thread on your phone.

How to protect yourself against smishing

  • Be suspicious of any text message asking you to provide sensitive personal information, or passwords, or to make transactions.
  • Do not call the phone number a text message has been sent from, or any unknown or suspicious number given in the text message. Instead call your bank on a number you trust (like the one on the back of your card) to check the number and message is authentic.
  • If you believe you’ve received a suspicious text message from Virgin Money, report it to us.

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 they contain either, not before stopping to check if they seem genuine first.

Phishing emails are scams sent out by fraudsters, to get you to part with personal information or click a link to a web page that will install malicious software on your PC.

Phishing emails usually take the form of:

  • An email claiming to be from a company, often containing logos or images taken from the company’s website. They will include a link to what looks like the real company’s website, but is actually a fake site designed to capture your personal information or install malware on your PC.
  • This type of email could also contain an attachment which, if opened, could install malicious software on your PC.
  • An email containing a form which asks for your security information.
  • An email claiming you are a beneficiary of unexpected money. The email will ask you to provide your bank details and other personal information, so the money can be sent to you.

How to spot a phishing email

  • Impersonal greetings and probing questions – phishing emails are sent in bulk, so they’re not usually personalised and often ask for information that you’d expect the real company to know.
  • Bad spelling and poor formatting – phishing emails are usually sent from countries where English is not the first language. Look out for spelling errors, unusual sentence structure or generally poor formatting.
  • Unexpected emails – phishing emails come out the blue, so if you receive an email you’re not expecting, be careful about its content.
  • Suspicious email address – always check the email is from one of our legitimate email accounts.
    • @virginmoney.com
    • @emails.virginmoney.com
    • @creditcard.virginmoney.com
    • @savingsemails.virginmoney.com
    • @intermediary.virginmoney.com
    • @travel.virginmoney.com
    • @car.virginmoney.com
    • @bdml.co.uk
    • @360money.com
    • @prepaysolutions.com
    • @ifdsgroup.co.uk
    • @yourview.virginmoney.com

How to deal with a phishing email

If you think you’ve received a phishing email claiming to be from Virgin Money report it by forwarding it to us at report.phishing@virginmoney.com. You’re only at risk if you click on links in the email or provide the information requested. We can’t reply to every phishing email we receive, but we do investigate them to make sure fraudulent sites are closed down as quickly as possible.

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. These 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.

Fraudsters often use malicious software (malware) to steal your security details or take control of your computer. Malware can be installed without your consent or knowledge, usually when you open phishing emails (scam emails) or visit fraudulent or infected websites, including links from social media sites.

How to protect yourself against malware

  • Don’t reply to, or open links in, unsolicited emails.
  • Only use reputable websites.
  • Don’t install any software unless you’re absolutely sure where it came from and what it does.
  • Use internet security software on your PC and keep its virus database up to date.

Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal information, without your knowledge or consent, to carry out fraudulent activity. They may use your details to open new accounts or apply for loans or credit cards in your name.

What fraudsters look for

The type of information fraudsters look for includes:

  • Name and address
  • Date of birth
  • Passport and driving licence details
  • Birth certificate
  • Bank account details

Identity theft – warning signs

Here are some warning signs that may indicate potential identity theft:

  • Receiving bills, invoices or receipts for goods or services you haven’t requested.
  • Letters from debt collection agencies for debt that you don’t recognise.
  • Letters confirming or rejecting applications for credit that you haven’t applied for.
  • Delivery of mail order goods that you didn’t order.
  • No post at all – fraudsters may have redirected your mail to another address.

How to avoid identity theft

You can minimise the risk of identity theft by following these tips:

  • Don’t leave personal papers lying around and don’t carry valuable personal information.
  • Always check your bank and credit card statements for any suspicious transactions.
  • Make sure you dispose of any old, unwanted paper statements in a secure way, for example by shredding.
  • If you receive an unusual request for information by email or over the phone, don’t provide it unless you can confirm the request is genuine.
  • Be careful what information you share on social media or when accessing your personal or financial information on a public computer.
  • Check your credit report with agencies such as Experian  link opens in a new window Link opens in a new window. This will show any false applications made in your name.

What to do if your identity has been stolen

If you suspect you’ve been a victim of identity theft or you’ve noticed any suspicious transactions on your account, please contact us immediately on 0345 607 6991.

We are here from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm on Saturday and 10am to 3pm on Sunday.

Investment fraud, sometimes known as ‘share sales fraud’ or ‘boiler room fraud’, involves the use of high pressure sales techniques to convince you to invest in worthless or bogus stocks and shares.

Share sale fraud (or ‘boiler room fraud’) uses high pressure, cold call sales techniques to tempt you into investing in worthless or bogus stocks and shares.

Most fraudsters using this technique operate from outside the UK, but they may use UK telephone numbers and addresses to disguise themselves.

If you invest in these funds you won’t be able to claim compensation in the UK, as the funds are not UK-based and are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.

How to spot share sale fraud

To help you spot this type of scam, here are some warning signs to look out for:

  • Cold calls, often from overseas – fraudsters use this technique to try and catch out inexperienced investors. Hang up and ignore future phone calls.
  • High pressure sales pitches – persistent, and sometimes abusive or threatening techniques are used to try to intimidate you. Don’t be pressured into something you’re not sure about.
  • ‘Unique’ investment opportunities – fraudsters will often offer opportunities to ‘get in on the ground floor’ by providing access to shares in small, unquoted companies. Always be on guard if you are asked to keep the offer secret
  • Upfront fees – some fraudsters will ask you to pay an upfront fee for taxes or as security. Never provide your bank account details, or debit or credit card information unless you’re certain you are dealing with a legitimate firm.
  • Not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority – all stockbrokers and investment firms must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to do business in the UK. Always get the company’s FCA number and check it against the FCA website link opens in a new window Link opens in a new window

Protect yourself from share sale fraud

  • Always take professional and independent financial advice before considering an investment.
  • Ask questions to make sure you fully understand what you’re investing in.
  • Compare the market to see if the opportunity is valid.
  • Know who you’re dealing with - look up the company with the FCA link opens in a new window Link opens in a new window and Companies House link opens in a new window Link opens in a new window
  • Take your time to make an informed choice, never be rushed into a quick decision.
  • Don’t believe everything you are told.
  • Don’t buy investments from firms not regulated by the FCA.
  • Don’t invest in a complex scheme that’s hard to understand or relies on a ‘secret’ strategy.
  • Don’t pay any money upfront until you’ve checked out the company you’re dealing with.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Dealing with suspected share sale fraud

If you think you’ve been a victim of share sale fraud, you should:

  • Break off all contact with the fraudster straightaway.
  • Tell your bank immediately if you have given your bank account information.
  • Keep any written communication with the fraudster, as this may help you give evidence to the authorities.
  • Be aware that you may be a target for other types of fraud, as fraudsters often share details.
  • Report the fraud to Action Fraud link opens in a new window Link opens in a new window

It’s not hard for criminals to investigate business invoice details (even down to payment dates) and then pose as regular suppliers. If a supplier contacts you to make a formal request for bank account details to be changed, always verify with that supplier using their on-file details. It’s important that everyone inside a business is warned of the dangers of invoice fraud, and that everyone knows to always check invoices to identify potentially fraudulent transactions as soon as possible.

If you believe you have been the victim of Invoice Fraud and have issued a payment, please contact us immediately on 0800 012 1440 or 0345 600 6103 outside of office hours. Alternatively you can contact us via email at report.fraud@virginmoney.com.

If you receive an email from your CEO or some other senior member of staff asking you make an urgent payment outside of normal procedures, don’t automatically follow their lead. It’s become very easy for fraudsters to manipulate the characteristics of an email, including the sender address, so that it looks genuine, but when you transfer the money, it goes straight to an account controlled by a criminal. Keep an eye out for any emails that might be written in a different style to usual, and always check any unusual payment requests directly, ideally in person or by telephone, to confirm the instruction is genuine.

If you believe you have been the victim of CEO Spoofing and have issued a payment, please contact us immediately on 0800 012 1440 or 0345 600 6103 outside of office hours. Alternatively you can contact us via email at report.fraud@virginmoney.com.

A money mule is a person who transfers illegally obtained money between different payment accounts, very often in different countries, on behalf of others. The money usually comes from different types of cybercrime e.g. phishing and malware attack, as well as other kinds of fraud such as romance scams and holiday fraud (booking fraud).

If you have been asked to issue a payment on someone’s behalf please contact us immediately on 0800 012 1440 or 0345 600 6103 outside of office hours. Alternatively you can contact us via email at report.fraud@virginmoney.com.

Authorised push payment fraud is where someone tricks you into sending them money from your account. They often do this by contacting you via phone, email or social media and pretending to be someone else – such as your bank, a contractor, an estate agent or the police.

Fraudsters will use a variety of stories to get you to issue funds via electronic payment, in cash or persuade you top purchase goods to hand over to them. Virgin Money will never ask you to transfer money to a safe account or disclose your log in details.

If you have been asked to issue a payment by a 3rd party please contact us immediately on 0800 012 1440 or 0345 600 6103 outside of office hours. Alternatively you can contact us via email at report.fraud@virginmoney.com.

There are many different fraud and scam types not covered here. The links below offer helpful advice and information:

Report suspected fraud

Please get in touch with us straightaway on:

ProductPhone numberInformation & opening hours
Virgin Money Current Account0800 678 3380
(+44 141 951 7315 if calling from abroad)
We're here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
All other Virgin Money accounts0800 012 1440
(+44 191 279 3244 if calling from abroad)
We're here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Phone numberCall charges and information
03 numbersSame as calls to 01 or 02 numbers and they are included in inclusive minutes and discount schemes in the same way.
084 numbersMaximum of 7p per minute, plus your phone company's access charge.
087 numbersMaximum of 13p per minute, plus your phone company's access charge.
0800 numbersFree from UK landlines and personal mobile phones.

Calls may be recorded for training and quality purposes.

Are you worried about a payment you've sent?

If you have been asked to send a payment that you are now concerned about, there is additional support available. If you need to call us out of normal business hours, call us on 0345 600 6103 (or +191 279 4604 if calling from abroad) or email us at report.fraud@virginmoney.com.

Please don't put anything more than your name and contact telephone number on the email. Your device may not be secure and we are not responsible if your personal information is compromised before we receive it.

Think you've received a phishing email?

If you think you've received a phishing email claiming to be from Virgin Money please report it by forwarding it to us at report.phishing@virginmoney.com.

You're only at risk if you click on links in the email or provide the information requested. We can't reply to every phishing email we receive. But we do investigate them to make sure fraudulent sites get closed down as soon as possible.

Take five quiz

Think you know how to spot a scam? Try the take five quiz and see how you shape up!

Take five quiz Link opens in a new window