NatWest issues scam warning as bogus texts target unwitting Britons

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Rip Off Britain: Woman is caught out by text message scam

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Some of the messages include fraudulent URLs for users to click on. In some cases, criminals are even able to harness specialist software that alters the sender ID.

This means that some text messages falsely appear to come from the bank.

One Twitter user, Tanya, received a text message that said: “Your NatWest internet banking has been disabled for security reasons. Please visit your local branch or unlock at http:158.174.89.250.”

Another Twitter user, Tim, urged his followers not to click on any text message URL links after he received a fraudulent message that read: “An unrecognised attempt to login at 6:00PM from an unknown device was found. Please login via natwest.personal.personal.login .com to secure your account.”

Scammers are mostly able to gain account details by prompting victims to create a one time passcode (OTP).

However, a genuine text message from NatWest will never ask a person to provide passwords.

It will also never ask for personal or financial information in a message.

Some text message scams promote offers of money or rewards such as lottery prizes.

Others falsely state that the bank account may be shut down unless a person takes action.

NatWest asks people not to click on any links included in text messages or emails.

Instead, customers are advised to contact the bank directly or call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

People also have the option of dialling the 159 Stop Scams number.

Additionally, people are urged not to provide bank or security details and to never download software onto a device.

People should never share their NatWest OTP with anyone.

To avoid the possibility of theft, the bank urges customers never to reply to any messages or call the phone numbers that are listed in the texts.

NatWest provides a service where anyone can report suspicious text messages to their mobile network provider by simply forwarding the text message to 7726.

This service is free of charge.

What is happening where you live? Find out by adding your postcode or visit InYourArea

People can also report suspicious text messages to phishing@natwest.com.

Smishing is when a person receives a text message, commonly from a bank, telling them that there’s a problem with their account.

In the first six months of 2017 alone, more than 19,000 people were victims of transfer scams, costing over £100million.

More recently, Proofpoint data showed reports of smishing in the UK grew nearly 700 percent in the first six months of 2021, compared to the second half of 2020.

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