FAQs

Here are some answers to common questions about financial crime and how to keep you or your business safe from fraud, scams and data thefts.

What is financial crime?

Financial crime is unlawful activity where money, services or property are obtained illegally or by deception. It includes fraud, bribery, corruption, money laundering, terrorist financing, sanctions breaches, tax evasion and insider trading. Techniques such as identity theft and scams are often used in many common financial crimes. For more information take a look at Financial crimes.

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is the process of stealing pieces of personal information – such as date of birth, address details, or bank account details – which can then be used to present a fake version of the true person. For more information take a look at how we’re working to protect you online Fraud Guide.

What is credit card fraud?

Credit card fraud is a wide-ranging term for theft and fraud committed using or involving a payment card, such as a credit card or debit card, as a fraudulent source of funds in a transaction. The purpose may be to obtain goods without paying, or to obtain unauthorized funds from an account. For more information about how to keep your card safe take a look at our guide Card security.

What types of identity theft are there?

A person’s identity may be stolen, or cloned, in many ways using for instance their date of birth, address or employment details, bank account details, or information that represents them online such as a Facebook page.

What types of fraud are there?

Fraud is the criminal use of deception for financial or personal gain. Fraud can take many forms such as credit card fraud, invoice fraud, accounting fraud and scams. For more information take a look at our fraud guide Fraud Guide.

What types of financial crime are there?

There are many types of financial crime including fraud, bribery, corruption, money laundering, terrorist financing, sanctions breaches, tax evasion and insider trading. For more information take a look at Financial crimes.

What is money laundering?

Money laundering is the concealment of the origins of illegally obtained money. It is the process by which criminals disguise where their money has originally come from (eg. drugs trafficking) and make it appear to have come from a legitimate source. For more information see Money Laundering.

What are sanctions and sanctions breaches?

Sanctions are political trade embargoes and restrictions put in place against a country, individual or entity with the aim of restoring international peace and security. Banks are responsible for upholding sanctions imposed by governments, the United Nations or the European Union. When sanctions are not consistently enforced, for instance a bank allows a transaction to take place with a sanctioned entity, it is called a sanctions breach.

For more information see What Are Economic Sanctions?

For information about HSBC Group sanction policy statement please click here HSBC Group Sanctions Policy Statement.

What is cybercrime?

Cybercrime is any unlawful activity that involves a computer and a network. It may include hacking, online scams, fraud, identity theft, data theft, attacks on computer systems and illegal or prohibited online content.

For more information take a look at our fraud guide Fraud Guide.

What is tax evasion?

Tax evasion is the illegal non-payment or underpayment of tax. Tax evasion.

What is insider trading?

Insider trading is the trading of a public company’s stock or other securities, by individuals with access to confidential or non-public information.

How to report identity theft

If you suspect that someone has used your name or personal information for financial gain – that your identity may have been stolen – then contact your bank, check your statements, and report your suspicions to the police.

If you are an HSBC customer then can call the number on the back of your card, tweet #HSBC Customer Services, or search ‘lost or stolen cards’ on your local HSBC site and call the helpline number for assistance as soon as possible. Card Protection - CardGuard.

How to report credit card fraud

If you suspect that one of your cards has been used without your permission, whether a payment card, debit card or credit card, then contact the provider immediately. If it is an HSBC card you can call the number on the back of the card, tweet #HSBC Customer Services, or search ‘lost or stolen cards’ on your local HSBC site.

What do I do if I suspect identity theft?

Once you have contacted your bank and the police you should protect other elements of your identity and credit history. For instance:

  1. Keep a close check on what goes in and out of your bank account.
  2. Put a fraud alert on your credit report by contacting credit ratings agencies to let them know you’ve been a victim of identity theft.

What should I do if my card’s lost or stolen?

If it is an HSBC card just search ‘lost or stolen card’ on your local HSBC website for the best number to call, tweet #HSBC Customer Services, or go into your nearest HSBC branch.

How to protect yourself from identity theft and fraud

Here are some tips to help protect yourself from identity theft:

  1. Memorise your PIN, don’t write it down
  2. Keep safe, or shred bank documents, never put them in the bin
  3. Ignore emails, calls or texts asking for information or money
  4. Keep your computer security up to date
  5. Log out after shopping online
  6. Check if a website is secure before browsing (look for the padlock in the address bar)
  7. Make sure your bank has up to date information about you
  8. Protect your passwords with a password manager

For more information take a look at our information about protecting yourself.

How to avoid scams?

The best way to avoid scams or being scammed is to ignore any phone calls, emails or texts asking you for personal information or money. Some of the signs you should be suspicious of are:

  1. Being contacted out of the blue
  2. Being made an offer that sounds too good to be true
  3. Being asked for your bank details or an up-front payment
  4. Being pressured to make a quick decision

     

For more information watch our video on how to spot a scam.

And our information about how to protect yourself .

 

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