How to Protect Yourself From the New NatWest Scam

Phishing phone calls and e-mails are common by now with financial fraud, but recently NatWest customers in particular have been the target of a text message scam. Fraudsters continue to find new ways to abuse technology and manipulate unsuspecting bank customers into handing over their hard-earned money. In many cases, the cash is never to be seen again. Read this guide on NatWest scams and how to avoid them.

What is the NatWest scam?

The latest scam which NatWest customers should be concerned about involves fraudulent text messages. Scammers are able to send texts which appear to be from a legitimate NatWest number, even when they aren’t. Customers are more likely to fall for the scam if they have previously received text messages from NatWest, because the scam texts will appear in the same message chain. The text messages will warn you about suspicious activity on your account or tell you that your account has been hacked. If you ignore them, then you may receive a follow-up call. The caller will be someone claiming to be from NatWest, who is trying to help you to avoid your account being suspended due to fraud. Ironically, they are actually the fraudster tricking you into transferring your money to them. They will try to get you to log into your online banking and use a card reader to move all of your money to another account for safety. In reality, you are handing over your balance for them to take out of that account by the time you realize what has actually happened.

How to Spot a NatWest Scam

You are less likely to be caught out by a scam like this if you are wary of them. Often, the idea of losing their money makes people panic and be less cautious than usual in their desperation to fix the situation. If you remember the warning signs of a scam message, you are more likely to think twice and suss out a scammer before it’s too late. Odd spellings and grammar, as well as poor-quality graphics, are the usual giveaways for fraudulent messages. NatWest will never ask you to send them a text to confirm or change personal details. Most importantly, the bank would never ask you to transfer all of your money to a new account to protect it against fraud. If you receive a suspicious message along these lines, do not respond to it and do not click on any links. You should report attempted fraud scams to NatWest and to Action Fraud before deleting them.

How to Protect Yourself Against NatWest Scams

The best way to protect yourself against fraud is to ignore text messages and hang up on unsolicited calls which claim to be from NatWest. Contact NatWest using the official number on the back of your bank card instead. Do not follow any links but manually go to the official NatWest website if you need to check your online account. NEVER disclose security details, including codes from your card-reader, to anyone. NatWest would not ask you to do that. Keep your operating systems, antivirus software, and spam filters up-to-date to prevent such messages from getting through in the first place. Do not trust cold-calls claiming to be from your bank, and never allow anyone to remotely access your computer or phone as NatWest doesn’t do this.

What to Do if You Are a NatWest Scam Victim

Lots of people are unfortunately tricked into giving their money to scammers. The shame and despair of losing valuable savings often prevent victims from speaking up about it. However, victims of this type of fraud need to know that they can fight to get their money back. A new code has come into place from 28th May 2018 to address Authorised Push Payment scams. APP scams occur when somebody transfers their money to a fraudster’s account, thinking that it is a legitimate request. Unless you were extremely negligent, such as ignoring legitimate warnings from your bank, then the bank should now refund you for any money that you have lost. This only applies if your bank has signed up to the code, and if the transaction occurred after the introduction of the code. Otherwise, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service for help.