Other security alerts
Someone impersonates you without your knowledge, often by stealing discarded or lost documents. Please visit www.identity-theft.org.uk for further details.
For free, useful advice on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud, go to www.getsafeonline.org
The people responsible for these emails send the same message to many email addresses. They do not know your personal security details but the aim of the email is to get them, usually by providing links to websites that are cleverly disguised to appear to be legitimate company websites. Often, they request that you "update" or "verify" personal details. The emails may at times contain a link in the body, or an attachment. The link will be designed to get you to go to a website designed to look similar to ours, but with a different url in order to harvest your login credentials. If there is an attachment, there is a good chance it contains malware that will install a key tracker.
You may get emails that look as if they're from Alliance Trust Savings with our logo and appearing to be addressed from us. To ensure that you only access our official website, we recommend that you always type www.alliancetrustsavings.co.uk in the address bar of your browser and click on the Login button from there.
Alliance Trust will never ask you to disclose any security details via email or send money to anyone except ourselves.
If you receive an email asking you to pay money into a bank account you do not recognise or asking you to update your details via a link, do not make the payment and do not click on any of the links in an email that looks suspicious.
Trojan horse programs
A Trojan horse program is a computer virus that can be attached to emails, downloaded from websites or hidden inside other downloadable files such as MP3 files. Typically, fraudsters will send out emails at random to try to get you to click on a link from the email and visit a fake website where the Trojan is installed. The intention of the fraudster is to use the Trojan to find out your security details. They can do this by capturing keystrokes or taking screen shots. If a Trojan is downloaded onto your computer, it could capture your password and other log in details and send them to the fraudster, wherever they might be in the world.
Anti-virus software may help you in identifying Trojans.
Advanced fee/419 scams
The advanced fee or 419 scam attempts to obtain money or bank details from individuals usually by using a story about blocked funds, often millions of dollars that can be released for a small advanced fee or by entering bank details to which the money can be sent. The emails can appear to come from government departments, large companies or lotteries. Remember that, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Money mule scams
These are attempts to lure unsuspecting people into helping to launder money by using your account to transfer money overseas, for a commission. You should not respond to these emails or provide any personal details.
Scams and Swindles
A scam is a scheme designed to con you out of your cash. Scams come in many forms and are getting more sophisticated all the time. So, even if you think you would never be fooled, make sure you remain sceptical about offers that seem too good to be true - remember they usually are.
Scammers aim to con us all. Deceptive premium rate competition scams, bogus sweepstakes and lotteries, get-rich-quick schemes and fake health cures are some of the favoured means of separating the unwary from their money. And the number of scams just keeps on growing.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is campaigning to stamp out scams. Every day, people throughout the UK are falling victim to scams of one kind or another. It could be an unexpected prize draw or lottery win, or a chance to invest in an exciting new money-making or investment programme. But remember - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
For tips on how to stay safe online see the UK banking industry's Bank Safe Online website - see http://www.financialfraudaction.org.uk/Consumer-fraud-prevention-advice-remote-banking.asp
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