14 April 2020
HSBC takes fraud & other financial crimes very seriously. Even though we have market-leading fraud detection systems, we want you to be aware of the different ways criminals may try to steal not just your money but also your company's identity.
Read our guide to Fraud and Scams here (PDF, 334KB)
Keep your finances and personal data safe
Much has been made in the news media recently about the hazards of online hacking and data breaches, but what is seldom reported is how much simpler it is to "hack" people than computers. This process is called social engineering, and is far easier to do than one might think.
Read our guide to Malware fraud here (PDF, 315KB)
How social engineering works
Social engineering exploits aspects of human nature - behaviours that come naturally to us. Key to social engineering is the manipulation of trust - gaining a target's trust and thereby getting them to disclose information that should be kept secure.
Scammers contact their targets, usually via telephone (vishing), text or email (phishing), purporting to be individuals in positions of trust, such as bank staff, representatives of telecoms or utility companies, or even the police. Having gained their target's trust, they then request sensitive information or items which allow them access to their target's bank accounts - things your bank would never request themselves, such as:
- Your 4-digit PIN
- Credit or debit cards, chequebooks or cash
- Online Banking codes or passwords
- Transfer of funds to a different account for "safekeeping"
Read our guide to Social Engineering fraud here (PDF, 228KB)