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Fraud Guide

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Protect yourself against fraud

At City West Union, we’re working hard to make sure your money is kept safe from fraud. But it’s important that you also help to protect yourself by being aware of the different ways criminals may try to steal your money. This guide looks at some of the common types of fraud and scams and how to avoid them.

Authorised Push Payment (APP) Scams Voluntary Code

A new voluntary Code has been launched to help combat Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams. City West Union USA is pleased to be among the first banks to sign up to the Code as part of our commitment to protecting our customers from fraud. APP scams trick customers into authorising a payment to an account they believe is genuine – but is in fact controlled by a criminal. If you've been a victim of an APP scam, beware if someone contacts you and tells you they can help with your claim - it might be a further scam. Please contact us using one of the phone numbers on this page so we can look into your case

How social engineering works

Social engineering works by gaining someone’s trust and getting them to disclose information that should be kept secure. Scammers usually contact people by phone (vishing), text (smishing) or email (phishing). They’ll claim to be someone in a position of trust, such as bank staff, representatives of telecoms or utility companies, or even the police. Having gained the person’s trust, they’ll then ask for sensitive information or things which will enable them access to the person’s bank accounts. There are things your bank would never ask for, such as:
your 4-digit PIN online banking codes like your secure key or password Your bank would also never ask to: collect your credit or debit cards, cheque books or cash transfer funds to a different account for 'safekeeping'

Fraudulent transactions

If you believe there’s been a fraudulent transaction on your card (debit or credit) please call us If you believe there’s been a fraudulent bank transfer or bill payment (not made with your credit or debit card) that you didn't authorise please call us (lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am - 6pm). If you've authorised a bank transfer or bill payment (not made with your credit or debit card) and now believe you've been the victim of a scam, please call us (Lines are open 24/7).

Common social engineering scams

Vishing Criminals call out of the blue and may claim to be your bank, the police or another trusted organisation like your broadband provider. To make the call seem more convincing they may already have some information on you, such as your account number, address and even some account details. They can also make the call seem authentic by making their phone number look like a number you know and trust. This is known as 'number spoofing'. The caller will then try to persuade you to: transfer money to another account for 'safekeeping' or 'holding' withdraw cash and hand it over 'for investigation' give private information, which can then be used to gain access to your finances


Be wary of unsolicited emails that appear to be from your bank or another trusted organisation (such as HMRC) and contain links to websites urging you to provide confidential, personal or financial information. The emails may appear to come from a legitimate source and often warn your account may be shut down unless you take some action or they may say you’re owed money. If you receive one of these emails, don’t reply or click on a link that you’re not sure is genuine. Instead, contact the company using a phone number you know is genuine. Phishing emails typically: warn you of some sudden change in an account which means you have to confirm you still use the service sometimes have poor spelling and grammar ask for confidential or security information such as your online banking details, passwords, account numbers or PINs include instructions to reply, complete a form or document attached to the email or click through to a website to verify your account

Smishing (SMS phishing)

Another thing to watch out for is suspicious text messages that look like they have come from your bank or another trusted organisation. These may be sent by criminals trying to trick you into giving your personal and financial information (by calling a number or clicking a link). It's important to remember the following: Banks and other organisations such as the police or service providers will never ask you for your full PIN, password or banking codes. City West Union will never text you a link that takes you directly to our log on page. Fraudsters can mimic text headers so that their messages can join a conversation beneath ones you know are genuine. Never share your security details with anyone else

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