Spotting Common Scams | Security Centre | NatWest International


Spotting Common scams

Helpful hints and tips to protect yourself against scams & fraud

We will never ask you for your full PIN or password. If you are asked for this, it will be a scam and should be reported to us.

Common scams

Identity theft (also known as identity fraud)
When a fraudster steals your personal information so they can use it to impersonate you.

Identity theft is when a fraudster steals your personal information – usually so they can use it to impersonate you. Some of these details are obviously more sensitive, like the password to Online Banking, however there are other details that fraudsters might want to find out too.


Simple details like these can help a fraudster steal your identity:


  • Date of birth
  • Full name
  • Address

Your personal details need to be kept private. This is why you should always be cautious of what you publish on social media - and check your privacy settings to ensure only people you trust are able to see what you share.

Phishing (Email scam)
Emails pretending to be from legitimate sources asking you to give away personal or private information.

Phishing is one of the main ways fraudsters will try and get you to hand over your personal information or transfer money to their accounts. These messages could look like they have come from your bank or include links to fraudulent websites.


Follow these steps to stay safe


  • Never give your full Online Banking PIN, password or Card Reader codes to anyone via email
  • Never reply to unusual emails – if you’re suspicious about an email, let us know
  • Never click on links in suspicious emails

Report any suspicious emails to

Smishing (Text message scam)
Text message sent by fraudsters pretending to be from your bank.

Fraudsters send spoof text messages and emails to try and get your personal information. These messages may well have been doctored so that they appear to come from a genuine Bank number or email ID. They usually contain links which lead to websites asking you to enter your Online Banking login information or other personal information.


We recommend you follow these simple steps to help stay secure


  • Don’t give your full PIN and password to anyone – including the bank
  • Never tell anybody your card reader codes, or use them when logging in online
  • Never respond to suspicious emails or text messages
  • Never click on links or attachments in suspicious emails or text messages

If you’re in doubt whether a message came from us, please contact us immediately.

Vishing (Telephone scam)
Vishing is a type of scam that happens on the phone.

Fraudsters often contact you pretending to be from the Bank, the Police or companies you trust to convince you to pay money outside your account.
A common strategy fraudsters may use is to pose to be a known company that you may use and advise that you have overpaid a payment in the past and that you are owed a refund. The fraudsters would then try to get you to use your card reader to be able to process the refund.
Follow these simple tips to help protect yourself from scams.
Never give out your Mobile Banking app activation codes and passcode.

Never give your full Online Banking PIN, password or Card Reader codes to anyone over the phone, even a caller claiming to be from your bank or the police. If you get a call asking you for this information, end the call immediately.

If you receive a suspicious or unexpected call, always verify the caller using an independently checked phone number such as a contact number from our website.

If you receive a request to download software to connect to your computer, and you have not initiated the conversation with the company, decline to do so.

Our Secure Banking Promise

Whether you’re banking online or using our Mobile Banking app, rest assured you are protected by our Secure Banking Promise.

1. We'll refund any money paid out of your account by a fraudster, as long as you’ve kept your security information safe

2. We'll protect you 24/7 by monitoring your account and using the latest technology to keep you safe

3. We'll help you protect yourself with tips on staying secure and free tools for extra security protection

Other types of scams

ATM fraud

Cash machine or ATM fraud is when fraudsters or criminals use cash machines to take data or even the debit or credit cards themselves to use for fraudulent transactions.


What are the criminals doing?


Skimming is when a criminal fits a small device in the card slot of the ATM. This little gadget captures the data from the magnetic strip on the back of a bank card. They will also conceal a camera to film the PIN number. The fraudster then puts the stolen bank card data onto the magnetic strip of another card, such as a mobile top up card, which is then used to make cash withdrawals, often overseas.


Card trapping occurs when a device fitted to the card slot stops your card being returned to you. Once you’ve left the machine, the fraudster prises the device off, taking your card. 

Doorstep fraud

A doorstep scammer visits your home in the hope of scamming you out of your money or stealing items from your house.


Always be careful of strangers at your door


  • Always ask for identification before letting someone into your house
  • Never let a stranger, such as a sales person or charity collector, into your home unless you're expecting them
  • Never disclose personal information or bank details to an unexpected salesman who knocks on your door

If you feel presurred by an unexpected visitor, take their details and ask them to leave. Call the police if they refuse.

Investment fraud

Criminals use investment fraud to steal the money you want to invest. They promise great returns when you invest in a scheme, shares or commodities. The problem is they are either selling you things that are worthless or don’t exist.


What to look out for


  • Unexpected phone calls (Cold-calls) by someone you don’t know, trying to sell you investments and promising huge financial gains – hang up immediately!
  • Out of the blue emails - don’t respond!
  • People you don’t know who know a lot about you - Scammers will do their homework and make it their business to know as much about you as possible before they contacting you.
  • People giving you details you think only a genuine investment company would have e.g. previous investment and share information – proceed with caution!
  • People saying they’re from well-known investment companies - be sure to check independently.

If it sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is! 


Romance Scams

When you think you’ve met the perfect person online however the other person is using a fake profile to form a relationship with you. They’re using the site to gain your trust and ask you for money or enough personal information to steal your identity.

Sim swap fraud

SIM swap is a genuine service which allows you to keep your existing phone number and change between different SIM sizes or phone providers.


It is also a technique which is becoming increasingly common amongst fraudsters as it can provide them with the ability to use your mobile phone number and benefit from all your functionality and services such as receiving/making phone calls or receiving/sending SMS messages as well as using any data allowance.


If you have any concerns you should phone your telephone provider immediately to confirm whether a SIM swap has been undertaken, if it is confirmed you must phone your Bank/s, who may hold your mobile number as a contact for you.

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