What is fraud?
There is no legal definition of fraud, but for the purposes of Churchill Fraud policy, it is defined widely. It includes any attempt to gain funds, information or other assets by deception or other illegal means, whether acting alone or in collusion with other parties. It also includes the deliberate false entry or omission of material facts in order to misrepresent the true position.
How to report suspected fraud
Fraud can be reported in a number of ways, including confidentially.
Churchill can be contacted directly by:
- Phone: 020 8290 3453
(Mon-Fri 8am – 5pm. Out of hours answerphone)
- Email: email@example.com
- Letter: Financial Crime Reporting Unit, Churchill Court, Level 1, Phase 4, Westmoreland Road, Bromley, Kent, BR1 1DP
Non Group Insurance Fraud can be reported to IFB Cheatline:
- Phone: 0800 422 0421
Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted:
- Phone: 0800 555 111
The more information that is provided the better, however we will at least require one method of identification of the suspect (name, address, policy number, car registration number etc).
Identity fraud is a growing area, and Churchill appreciates the concern it can cause. As such, please read the information below detailing what identity fraud actually is, what individuals can do to combat it, and how financial institutions are tackling it.
What is identity theft?
- Your identity and personal information are valuable. Criminals can find out your personal details and use them to open bank accounts and get credit cards, loans, state benefits, insurance policies and documents such as passports and driving licences in your name. If your identity is stolen, you may have difficulty getting loans, credit cards or a mortgage until the matter is sorted out.
- If you think that you are a victim of identity theft, it is advisable for you to contact CIFAS – the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service for advice.
There are a number of websites where further information can be found:
- Bank Safe Online opens in a new window
- Chip and Pin opens in a new window
- Identity Theft opens in a new window
- CIFAS opens in a new window
- Crimestoppers UK opens in a new window
Using cards safely online
Install and maintain antivirus software
Anti-virus software protects your computer in two ways. First, it detects and removes any computer viruses and spyware that have been installed on your computer without your permission. Second, it prevents viruses and spyware from infecting your computer and compromising your online security. If you do have antivirus software (like Norton Anti-Virus, McAfee Antivirus, or Zone Alarm Anti-virus) update your virus definitions at least once a week to keep the latest threats at bay.
Maintain a firewall
The firewall is a security application that sits between your computer and the internet shielding your PC from unauthorised access. Any PC that you use to access the internet should use a firewall. We recommend that your Firewall is set to monitor both incoming and outgoing internet traffic - this ensures that you have control over information that enters and leaves your PC. Windows XP and Mac OS X have firewalls built into them. Consult your help menus for instructions on checking or setting up your firewall. In addition, you can download free firewall applications from sites like Download.com or obtain a firewall in a commercially available product.
Ensure that your computer software is up-to-date
You should regularly check for updates to your operating system and your most commonly used applications. If you have a Windows computer, you should visit the Windows Update site once or twice each month. If you have an Apple computer running OS X, you should run the Software Update tool once or twice each month. For patches / updates for any of your software applications, visit the software publisher’s website.
Check the security of eCommerce and eBanking sites
- Always type the internet URL directly into your browser. By typing directly into your browser instead of following links, you greatly reduce your chances of being duped by a spoof site.
- Check for ‘https’ and the lock. Genuine secure sites have addresses that start with ‘https’ and display a padlock icon in the bottom section of your internet browser.
- Double click that lock. Double clicking the lock icon that appears in the bottom section of your internet browser brings up information about the lock that can help you confirm that the site is genuine
Always logout of secure sites
Never leave your computer unattended when logged in to a secure session (like internet banking). Ensure that you log-out properly when you have finished your internet banking session.
Be extra careful when using computers in public places
As you cannot be certain about the security of public wireless networks or computers in public places (like a library or internet café) you should be cautious about using internet banking services in these situations. Never change your security details while using a public wireless network or a public computer.
Keep your cards and card details in a safe place
Most Internet fraud happens because card details are stolen from paperwork or documentation that’s been thrown away. Keep your credit card statements in a safe place and always shred any paperwork relating to your credit card before you throw it away. We recommend that password and PIN are never written down.
Always take a moment to thoroughly check your statements
Check your statements as soon as you receive them. If you find a transaction on your statement that you did not make, contact your bank or credit card company immediately
Only shop at secure websites
Ensure that the security icon - the locked padlock or unbroken key symbol - is showing in the bottom of your browser window before sending your card details. The beginning of the retailer’s Internet address will change from “http” to “https” when a purchase is made using a secure connection.
Tip: By double clicking on the padlock, you will receive confirmation that the padlock is still valid.
Get extra online protection by signing-up for Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode
Increasingly when you go to pay online with your card you will be given the option of signing up to these schemes that involve you using a password. By signing up you will prevent fraudsters using your card details on participating sites as only you will know your password.
Consider using an Internet-only card
If you regularly make transactions over the Internet consider opening a separate credit card account specifically for these transactions. This would enable you to monitor transactions at a glance and limit the available credit line should anything go wrong.
Things to look out for
Remember that fraud wasn’t invented especially for the internet: other types of fraud are still more common than online fraud. Stay alert and follow these tips to help keep your details secure:
When receiving unexpected telephone calls, be cautious if you’re asked for personal information
- Remember that they have instigated the call and should already know who you are.
- If you receive a call requesting your complete security details do not reply and do not follow the instructions even if the caller suggests that you need to take immediate action to stop your account being frozen or if they suggest that you may incur a fine if you don’t. These are just tricks that the fraudster is using to manipulate you in to giving away your vital details.
- If you’re ever in doubt, take the caller’s name and call them back using your usual number and not the number they may give you.
Door to door sales
- Churchill policies can only be purchased over the phone or the internet, so if you are approached by anyone offering you one of our policies never purchase any insurance from them and report it to us immediately.
Watch out for fraudulent (or ‘phishing’) e-mails
- Phishing is a fraud technique commonly used to attempt to trick people into revealing personal details such as date of birth and mother’s maiden name. their security number and password to fraudsters.
- Here is how a phishing scam typically works: The fraudster sends out a fake e-mail that has been designed to look like it comes from a reputable source (like Churchill). This fake e-mail asks for security details or directs customers to a counterfeit banking or commerce site. At the counterfeit site, the fraudster asks the customer to enter their complete security details – password, security questions, user name… the sky is the limit. These stolen security details are then used to commit fraud.
- If you receive an e-mail requesting your security details do not reply and do not follow the instructions even if the e-mail suggests that you need to take immediate action to stop your account being frozen or it indicates that you may incur a fine if you don’t. These are just tricks that the fraudster is using to manipulate you in to giving away your vital details.
- If you suspect a phishing attack, forward the suspect email to Churchill@Directlinegroup.co.uk opens your default email program
- A Trojan is a tool often used by individuals in order to gain personal information. It can either be sent as an email virus, or it can be picked up from internet pages, and more often than not you will not even know that it exists.
- Once the Trojan is installed in your PC, it enables your personal details to be ‘collected’ by the individual behind it. This means that when you enter information, even on a secure site, the data can be collected – this is due to the fact that the device being used to hack into the system is in your PC, not the webpage.
- In order to protect yourself against Trojan attacks, you should have a high quality anti-virus software installed on your PC, and it should be regularly updated.