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What's a phishing scam?

Sometimes you get emails pretending to be from legitimate sources asking you to share your personal or security information…this is called phishing.

How to avoid a phishing scam?

  • Never share personal or security information via email, web chat or into a website that's been sent to you via email.

  • Never respond to any suspicious emails and don’t click on any links or attachments within them.

  • Check the email address. Is it the same as the email address you usually receive emails from, or just similar?

  • If the email subject line says "There is a secure message waiting for you", "Security Alert", "System Upgrade" and so on then the email should be treated as suspicious.

  • If the message title reads "Dear Valued Customer" or if it isn't personalised at all, then you should be suspicious. Phishing emails are usually sent without your name.

  • If the message contains a link titled "verify your account or password" or "update your security details" then the email should be treated as suspicious. These will likely take you to a copycat website where you will be prompted to enter your full details.

  • Be suspicious of any message that creates a sense of urgency, such as "If you don't respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed". A legitimate company would not create a false sense of urgency.

  • Keep your security software up-to-date, run scans regularly and install updates when prompted to do so. NatWest customers can download our free security software IBM Security Trusteer Rapport

The Metropolitan Police in the UK have produced The Little Book of Big Scams explaining some of the most common scams used by fraudsters.

Report a suspicious email