Be More Fraud Aware

With so many different types of scams, find out how you can identify fraudulent activity

Scams and fraudulent activity includes schemes performed by dishonest individuals, group or company in an attempt to gain money or something of value. Cyber-crime is any criminal act dealing with computers and networks, hacking and can also include traditional crimes conducted through the internet.


Different types of scams and fraudulent activity can include:

Authorised Push Payments - victims are manipulated into transferring money from their bank account to an account controlled by the fraudsters, often using social engineering methods, such as impersonating a trusted organisation such as an individual’s bank/building society.

Abuse of position/trust - this occurs when someone abuses their position of authority/trust for personal or financial gain, or to cause someone else to lose money or status. Trusted third parties may be asked to look after an individual’s personal or business finances and may instead take advantage of their access for their own benefit.

Account takeover - fraudsters pose as a genuine customer to gain control of an account and make unauthorised transactions or account changes. Online banking accounts are usually taken over as a result of spyware or malware scams (see below), common forms of internet/computer crime. Fraud has been committed once money has been lost.

  • Spyware – software designed to capture an individual’s personal information without their knowledge, such as bank card numbers, passwords, banking credentials and personal information. Hyperlinks/attached files within phishing emails are often used to infect a device with spyware
  • Malware – malicious software is designed and created by fraudsters with the intent including stealing an individual’s data, monitor an individual’s computer activity without their knowledge or consent and even damaging an individual’s device/server

Cheque fraud - Fraudsters may use one of many different ways of making a false cheque payment. They may use a counterfeit cheque, which has been made up by the fraudster to look real, or a forged cheque, which is genuine but stolen from somebody else with their signature faked.

Computer hacking - hackers break into computers and computer networks to gain sensitive and personal information which can be used to commit fraud.

Identity fraud/theft - the use of a stolen identity in criminal activity to obtain goods/service by deception. This can occur regardless of whether the victim is alive or deceased.

Typically, a victim’s personal details (such as their name, date of birth, current/previous addresses) are stolen and the details are used to commit fraud including;

  • Opening bank accounts.
  • Accessing and taking over existing accounts.
  • Obtain genuine documents such as passports and driving licences in your name.

Phishing, vishing and smishing – fraudsters use the likes of websites, online services, phone calls or text messages posing as a company or brand you recognise to convince victims to hand over valuable personal details or money, or to download malicious software that compromises your computer/device.

  • Phishing – fraudsters obtain personal details (such as usernames, passwords, memorable details) using genuine-looking websites, email forms, fake websites etc. Fraudsters use these details to access an individual’s accounts and steal their identity or funds.
  • Vishing - fraudsters obtain personal details from a victim by phone and can use this personal information to commit fraud
  • Smishing - fraudsters obtain personal details from an individual by SMS text messages