NatWest warning to customers over new phishing email scam that can drain bank accounts - how to spot it

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Criminals are impersonating the bank and making people believe their online account has been changed

NatWest customers are being warned to look out for a new phishing email scam that could drain their bank account.

The email falsely claims that the mobile phone number linked to a customer’s online account has been changed, and says a one-time passcode has been sent to their old number.

Customers are then asked to clink on a link to cancel the request which takes them to a webpage that looks just like the NatWest online banking site. But the URL contains a string of random words making it clear that it is not genuine.

The phishing email, first reported by Which?, contains several signs that indicate it is not authentic.

Firstly, the email does not come from an official NatWest email account, ending @natwest.com. Instead, it comes from an address ending @natwestsecure.com.

The email also begins “Dear Customer” rather than addressing recipients by name, and the fake website contains errors including the wording “Online bankingservices”.

A genuine email from NatWest will always contain at least one identifiable piece of information such as your name or partial postcode.

NatWest customers are advised not to enter any personal details on this webpage as scammers will use them to access their bank account.

A NatWest spokesperson said criminals are using these emails to “trick customers into giving away their bank details or downloading malicious software.”

The spokesperson added: “A genuine email from NatWest will always contain at least one identifiable piece of information, such as your name or partial postcode.

“If unsure about an email do not click on any links, do not enter your bank details and do not install any applications or software to your device. If you have done so contact your bank immediately.”

What to do if you think you’ve been scammed

If you think a scammer has got hold of your bank details it is advised that you contact your bank straight away by calling the 159 hotline. Passwords that have been leaked or compromised should also be changed immediately.

If you think a scammer is calling you, hang up immediately and search for the contact details online of the place you are supposedly being called from - never call back.

Make sure you report scams and fraud to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or through the Action Fraud website.

If you are in Scotland, report a scam through Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000 or on the Advice Direct Scotland website. You can also report scams to Police Scotland on 101.

For scam emails, forward them to [email protected], and for scam text messages forward them to 7726 for free.

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