Stay safe online
As an investment business, we are constantly finding fraudulent schemes on social media and email from people pretending to represent Standard Life (or other businesses in our group). We have robust processes and measures in place to manage activities like this and do everything we can to protect our customers and clients.
If you get a social or email message and you're unsure if it is from us, you can send it to our mailbox and we'll look into it for you. If you have any concerns you can email us or call on 0345 113 0045 or +44 203 367 8224. Calls may be recorded and/or monitored to protect both you and us and help with our training. Call charges will vary.
Identity fraud and security
Identity theft and online fraud is big business for criminals.
The best things you can do to stay safe online are to be proactive and vigilant when you're online in public places.
But there are risks and even serious dangers in sharing your personal information on social networks.
Protect your computer
Keep your computer secure by changing your passwords and PINs (and keeping them a secret), and installing the latest updates for your system, applications and internet security software.
While email is useful, it can also have risks. These include receiving emails that result in you being defrauded or your identity stolen, emails you don't want, emails not arriving or emails being intercepted.
Social networking security
There are now thousands of social networking sites on the internet. The best known include Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. They are a great way to stay in touch with friends and relatives and can connect people right across the world. But there are risks and even serious dangers in sharing your personal information on social networks.
You may not have direct control over who can see your profile or posts, even if you have been careful with security settings. They could be seen by friends of your friends that you don't know, and their friends, and so on.
Information you put on social networking sites can help fraudsters guess your passwords and answers to secret questions like your mother's maiden name, pet's name or your first school. They could also find out when you are away on holiday (leaving your home empty), or where your family members are at a given time.
Another major risk in social networking sites is clicking on links which seem genuine or enticing, but can lead to bogus pages or other websites designed to defraud you or compromise your identity.
Staying safe on social networks
- Never put your financial details on a social networking site.
- Change your passwords regularly.
- Always read social networking sites' privacy policies.
- Review your privacy settings - change them if they don't give you enough privacy.
- Remember that people you don't know might be able to see your profile and anything you publish.
- Be careful about the amount of personal information you publish, including any travel plans that you or your family make.
- Create a separate email address just for social network sites.
- Be cautious about meeting people you have contacted on social networking sites in person - they may not be who they seem.
Online shopping is very convenient and provides you with a vast choice of products, services and retailers. But it also has dangers.
Risks of online shopping
Most legitimate online businesses' payment and account detail systems are very secure. But some fraudsters use the same scams as they do in online banking, faking business websites to get your personal and financial details from you. Sometimes, fake names are used that sound close to a legitimate business name too.
How to shop online safely
- Look for things like a genuine postal address, phone number or post/ZIP code. VAT, tax or Registered Charity details can be verified online too.
- Try to obtain recommendations from people you know and trust, or at least independent online reviews of the online retailer.
- Before doing any financial transactions online, check for the locked padlock in the browser window and that the web address starts with "https://", which indicates it's secure - if these are not there, do not enter any details.
- Check the returns and delivery policies for any clauses that might make it difficult to return goods. You now have stronger rights under the European Union Consumer Directive 2014.
- If you are buying goods from abroad, remember that some countries don't have as strict selling laws as in the UK, EU and USA
- If possible, use a credit rather than a debit card. Credit cards have better protection if something goes wrong and the credit card issuer may be able to chase the problem on your behalf.
Smartphones and tablets have freed us to go online anywhere there is a 3G or 4G signal, Wi-Fi router or public hotspot. For many people, these mobile devices are rapidly taking over from computers for email, social networking, gaming, shopping and banking. This makes them a prime target for criminals, so it's essential to take mobile security precautions.
How to protect yourself
- Always protect your mobile device with a PIN that only you know.
- Download apps and games only from official app stores and websites.
- Use internet security software designed for mobile devices, and ensure it is always updated.
- Never open, reply to emails, texts or instant messages if you don't know who they are from, and never open links or attachments unless you are absolutely certain who they are from.
- Switch off sharing technology like Bluetooth, unless you need it.
- Protect your mobile device when out and about. Keep it in a safe place.
- Some mobile device manufacturers offer free 'find my device' services if your device is stolen or lost.
- Always be aware of anyone looking over your shoulder ('shoulder surfers') when using your mobile device.
- Ensure your Wi-Fi at home or office is secured, and that any public Wi-Fi hotspots you may be using are secure.
Common online scams
Fraudsters are ingenious and new scams - or variations on existing scams - happen every day. In many cases they act as hi-tech con men, preying on your emotions or needs and gaining your trust.
Things to remember
- Be absolutely certain that the person you are dealing with is genuine. If it appears rude to question them, this is better than becoming a victim of online fraud.
- Ask yourself if the situation you are in seems genuine.
- Never assume that you can always spot a scam - fraudsters are very creative, persistent people.
- If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Common types of online fraud
Contacted by Standard Life Aberdeen?
We will only ever send you emails with a link to a Standard Life Aberdeen group company login page if you have registered or opted in to receive emails from us. If you receive an email claiming to be from Standard Life Aberdeen group company and you are in any doubt, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will investigate it for you.
If you think you have been defrauded, or that someone is trying to defraud you, contact the police. There are other actions you can take, depending on what country you live in.
If you live in the UK
The services in this list can help if you have, or think you have, been a victim of fraud:
- www.cifas.org.uk - If you have been the victim of fraud, then contact CIFAS to register and protect your identity from further attack.
- Use Equifax / Experian / Call Credit to check your credit history
- Register with a Fraud Prevention Agency that also offers a Protective Registration Service. Call 0870 010 2091.
- www.royalmail.com - If you think your post is being stolen, contact the Royal Mail on their Customer Enquiry number, 08457 740 740.
If you live outside the UK
Please check what services are available in your area, either from your government or consumer advice bodies. You can also search online for topics like "fraud prevention" or "report fraud".
Report suspicious emails to Standard Life Aberdeen
If you have received any emails supposedly from Standard Life Aberdeen group companies but are suspicious, please forward the message to email@example.com.