Protecting yourself against fraud
Keeping your personal information secure
We have recently had a report from another housing association of their tenants being targeted by bogus or fraudulent callers.
The caller has been presenting themselves as staff from the association, claiming they are missing the person’s bank details and asking for them over the phone.
While we do not know of any instances of this occurring with any of our tenants, we thought we would take this opportunity to urge you to be vigilant when giving out personal information, whether that be on the phone, over the internet or even in person.
If you receive a call from someone saying they are from Progress Housing Group or one of our subsidiary companies (New Progress Housing Association, New Fylde Housing or Progress Care Housing Association), asking for financial or other personal information, we would advise that you offer to call the person back.
- Hang up and dial 03333 204555 to ensure you are speaking to one of our Progress Connect, customer service operatives
- When calling that number you will first be met with a welcome message asking you to press 1 if you are a tenant or applicant with an enquiry or repair
- Press 1 and you will be put through to someone in our Progress Connect Team
- Make them aware of the instance and if it is a genuine enquiry they will be able to carry on with the request or put you through to the relevant person. If it is a fraudulent call they will escalate this and pass your details to our Data Protection Team who will deal with the issue.
Staying safe at home
In addition to this, make sure that you check the credentials of our employees who are visiting your home and if you are in doubt, contact our Progress Connect Team on 03333 204555 to make sure they are who they say they are before letting them into your property.
Staying safe online
Ensure websites asking for information are secure by ensuring they use HTTPS:// at the beginning of the website address and have the padlock logo within the address bar of your browser.
Make sure you use a strong password. A strong password uses upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols, is at least 15 characters long and isn't your name or a word from the dictionary.
If you would like more advice, on keeping yourself safe online, please visit www.getsafeonline.org. Get Safe Online is a public and private sector partnership supported by the Government and leading organisations in banking, retail, internet security and other sectors.
- If a company calls you always question the validity of their requests, whether it’s a company you use or not. If they ask for information you are not happy to provide, or they cannot validate who they are, do not supply them with the information
- If the caller makes out to be from a company you deal with, call them back on a known number, the company has previously supplied. Do not rely on a phone number given by the caller
- If it’s a company you have not dealt with, question how they have got your details
- If companies are contacting you for marketing purposes, it is your right to request that they do not contact you for marketing purposes in the future
- Register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) or Mailing Preference Service (MPS) to help prevent marketing through these methods
- Ensure websites you visit asking for personal information use the HTTPS:// prefix in their address and the padlock icon appears in the address bar of your browser
- Always use a secure password for websites. Make them long, and mixed characters (letters, number, non-alphabetic characters (e.g. #,?,$) and spaces). Vary your passwords across websites and services
- Be cautious opening links in emails from addresses you do not know or recognise or even from addresses you know, but where the link looks suspicious.
Progress Housing Group takes great care of our tenant’s information and respects your legal rights. For information about our management of personal data, please consult the Privacy notice by clicking here.
For more information about the Data Protection Act and your rights, please visit the Information Commissioner’s Office website.
If you have any queries or issues regarding the use of your personal data then please contact us.
If you need additional information from trusted local services about a wide range of local health and community services, please check with your local council.