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Our approach to fraud prevention

Fraud prevention philosophy  
Fraud prevention philosophyWhat is your approach to fraud prevention?

Fraudsters are constantly becoming more intelligent with the ways they commit crimes.  Therefore, protecting you and your money is an absolute priority for us.

To better defend you and the wider financial system from financial crime, we are making significant investments in technologies, processes and in our people.

We want to ensure that you feel secure and educated against one of the fastest growing types of crime in the UK.  So, if you don’t feel sure when speaking to someone you don’t know, or you have received digital correspondence that you aren’t happy about, contact us.

Fraud prevention philosophyWhat controls do you have in place / How do we protect you?

2 factor authentication for new payees – Our Secure Key gives you added protection against the threat of fraud. It generates a temporary code which you use to set up a new payee. You need your PIN or password, Touch ID, Face ID or Android Fingerprint. It means only you can setup new payees. 

Real-time fraud detection system – As part of our digital guarantee, we’ll safeguard your money by keeping a lookout 24/7 for unusual activity on your account. From time to time we may get in touch with you to check on anything suspicious.

One-time passwords – We use Visa Secure or Mastercard® Identity Check™ for online purchases. If we need to check that a purchase is genuine, we will send you a unique 6-digit SMS passcode. The passcode is only used as an identity check and you should never share it with anyone.

Transaction monitoring – We may send you a text message to confirm whether a card transaction has actually been made by you or to ask you to contact us regarding possible unusual activity on your account.  If you are unsure, please contact the number on the back of your debit or credit card.

Helpful hints – Our fraud and security centre on our website outlines key information on what we do to keep you safe and secure online and how to protect yourself. You can find helpful hints and tips on fraud on our website. 

Free Security Software – We recommend you have security software as well as additional anti-virus software on your PC.

Customer education & awareness  
Customer education & awarenessWhat do you do to educate your customers to ensure they are fully aware of the latest fraud trends / advice?

At first direct we have an ‘always on’ approach to Fraud Prevention communications with our customers and our communication plans include regular slots focussed on customer fraud education.

Take Five Campaign - We’re a supporter of the national Take Five campaign that offers straight forward and impartial advice to help everyone protect themselves from preventable financial fraud. This includes the Take Five voluntary code – and our commitment to meet minimum standards

Website - You can find fraud prevention content on our website – details of different types of fraud (eg, phishing, smishing, vishing) and how to recognise and protect yourself from these. Read our helpful hints and tips on fraud

Email Communications - We send regular emails to our customers as a part of our ‘always on’ fraud communications approach. This includes seasonal fraud email at high-risk times of the year, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If we are seeing increased volumes of a certain type of fraud attack, we’ll send targeted emails to raise customer awareness too.

Social Media - We use our Social Media Channels to highlight specific types of fraud and how to prevent these. If necessary we’ll also run targeted campaigns to specific groups of fans and followers if we’re seeing increases in certain types of fraud

ATM warnings – we display fraud awareness warnings on the screen of HSBC ATM’s when you withdraw cash.

Internal information sharing - We regularly share information internally in our operational teams to help us spot patterns or particular types of fraud taking place. We also run internal fraud prevention events such as cyber awareness week and mandatory training courses, these help everyone stay up to date with fraud patterns and trends so that we can support you, our customers, more effectively.

ContactHow and when we would contact our customers.

One-time passcodes - When we need to verify who you are when you need to swap your digital secure key from an old phone to a new phone we’ll send a unique code to the most up to date mobile number we have for you.

The text will say exactly what the code is for, like creating a new payee. This code should only ever be typed into your digital banking and never shared with anyone, including us.

If you get a one-time passcode message you’re not expecting, give us a call on 03 456 100 100

Text Alerts - If we notice something suspicious or need to get in touch with you, we may send you an alert either by email or text message.

Check our Security Centre to find out more about fraud text alerts.

While we may ask you to reply to messages, we’ll never:

  • Ask you for self-generated codes from your secure key
  • Include a link to a log in page 
  • Ask for your complete security number, password, or card number
  • Ask you for answers to your security questions

If you’re not sure whether a text or email is genuine, Stop. Don't click on any links. Don't open any attachments. Just forward the email to phishing@hsbc.co.uk and we'll investigate it. 

Alternatively, you can give us a call on 03 456 100 100

Or if you’re abroad, please call us on +44 113 234 5678

ContactHow and when can our customers contact us?

In the UK: We offer an around the clock service to all our customers.

You can contact us on: 03 456 100 100

Outside of the UK: 

Contact us on:: +44 113 234 5678  

If you believe there has been a fraudulent bank transfer or bill payment that you did not authorise please call us on 03 456 100 100 (Lines are open 24/7).

If you have authorised a bank transfer or bill payment and now believe you have been the victim of a scam, please call us on 03 456 100 100 (Lines are open 24/7).

How we collaborate with the rest of the industry  
How we collaborate with the rest of the industryIndustry initiatives / collaboration
  • We are members of UK Finance and take an active part in Industry Fraud initiatives.
  • We are members of CIFAS – The UK Fraud Prevention Service.
  • We contribute to the funding of the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit who focus on card, cheque and payment fraud crimes.
  • We share fraud intelligence with UK Finance and Law Enforcement to protect our customers.
  • We have signed up to Take Five to provide our customers with up to date advice on fraud prevention.
  • We are a participant of the Banking Protocol which helps to prevent our customers falling victim to fraudsters and rogue traders by working with Law Enforcement.
  • We work with other banks to quickly recover fraudulent money for our customers.
  • We are pleased to be among the first banks to sign up to the Contingent Reimbursement Model Code as part of our commitment to protecting our customers from fraud.
  • We are a founder sponsor of Get Safe Online providing our customers with advice on how to protect yourself against fraud and identity theft.
  • We are members of the National Fraud Database.

Fraudsters are criminals and can pretend to be someone they are not – like first direct or the Police – to find out information about their victims.  You should always make sure that the person you are talking to is who you think they are.  We will never ask you for security information like your digital or physical secure key codes.  When we contact you about fraud, we will use email, phone calls and text messages and if you aren’t sure, contact us.

We will continue to work alongside others in the industry to best protect our customers against this ever-changing threat.