Fighting Fraud

We all know customer service is paramount, because a business wouldn’t be a business without its customers. Whether you’re selling vinyl records from the back end of your Nissan Micra, or working for a multibillion pound conglomerate, the same rule applies: the customer is the key.

So naturally, as a bank, one of our top priorities is to protect our customers from fraudsters.

I asked some of our best and brightest customer service experts about their achievements and what providing good customer service really means.

‘It was the first call of the day and the customer told me she had a very worrying night.’ Janet Rogers works in our call centre, and she recounted an experience she had when a customer had been the victim of a phishing email.

She couldn’t believe she’d fallen for it

‘The first thing was to calm her down and reassure her that we can sort this out. She’d given a potential fraudster enough details to access her account, and she was terrified that if something had gone wrong, she’d be liable as she’d given the information willingly.’

‘I was reassuring her and saying “don’t worry about this, we’ll work at sorting this out for you.” The main thing was that she couldn’t believe that she’d fallen for it. I told her, “these people do this for a living, so don’t worry that you’ve been taken in, people are taken in all the time otherwise they wouldn’t carry on doing it.”’

‘I spent a lot of time with her, I discussed it all with her and we checked through her accounts.’

On this occasion, thankfully, nothing had been taken, and Janet was able to make the account secure again.

Fraudsters do this for a living

‘In cases like these, the customer often feels stupid for being taken in. But I firmly believe anyone could be taken in by these scams, they’re very plausible, and saying that to her made her realise that she wasn’t stupid and that she wasn’t the only person that this has happened to.’

I asked Janet what good customer service means to her.

‘It’s important to make sure that what you’re answering is actually what the customer has asked you. And you have to imagine how you’d like your own family to be treated if something like this happened to them.’

‘I’ve been doing this for 30 years. It’s a gut feeling’

Claire Welton, another member of our diligent mortgage call centre team had a very different experience talking with someone who wasn’t quite so honest.

‘I had a call come through, a customer with a query about his mortgage account. He had all of the relevant information, and he was able to answer all of the security questions just fine, but there was something strange about his tone.’

Claire has a long, successful career in customer service behind her. It’s given her a sixth sense for spotting fraudsters.

‘He started asking unusual questions. For instance, he wanted to know how much his monthly mortgage repayments were. And then he wanted to know what the account number was.’

Thanks to her experience, training and instincts, Claire was certain this man wasn’t the actual customer, so she refused to give him the entire account number.

‘He had no idea the fraudster had his details’

‘I only gave him part of the account number, and he was pushing really hard to get the rest. I think he was a regular fraudster who does this for a living. After the call ended, I listened to a previous call of the actual customer, and my suspicions were confirmed that the caller wasn’t genuine.’

‘We called the customer to make him aware, he was an elderly gentleman and he had no idea that this fraudster had so many of his details. He was really glad that we’d raised the suspicion.’

‘I want customers to know that once they’ve spoken to me, their money is safe and protected. It’s about using your knowledge to protect people from scams and fraudsters, and if I could stop every fraudster out there I’d be happy!’

Well done Claire! If anyone tries to steal the £11 in my bank account, I hope they come up against you!

It can happen to anyone

Our very own Premier Relationship Manager, Jeanette Colvin found herself the victim of a phishing scam, which goes to show it really can happen to anyone, even bankers!

‘I was trying to set up my new smart device, but I was locked out of my account. I called the company in question and they sent me a link to reset but unfortunately it was a scam email and I filled out all of my details… including bank account details. The real email from the company came soon after.’

‘I used my banking app to empty my bank account and called the fraud team. That’s when I spoke to Kimberly.’

Kimberly Wright was settling in for her Friday night shift when she got the call from a distressed Jeanette. Kimberly was able to help Jeanette cancel all of the relevant cards.

Jeanette told me, ‘Kimberly was so reassuring. I felt pretty stupid as I’m a bank employee and never thought it would happen to me as I am very diligent. She made me feel better about the whole thing.

‘She was professional, funny and caring, when I’m sure that she would much rather be out on a Friday night with her friends celebrating the last day of work!’

Keep up the amazing work Kimberly!

Our customer service people work tirelessly to protect our customers, and we don’t know where we’d be without them! Thank you for all your hard work!

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