finance

Royal Bank of Scotland issues urgent scam warning



Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has issued an urgent scam alert following the new lockdown.

It explained that vaccination scams are emerging as one of the top threats.

A phone call, email or text message is sent in an attempt to steal personal and financial details.

The message often contains a link to a fake NHS website with an application form to register for the vaccine, asking for various personal and bank details which are then used by criminals.

The first Covid-19 lockdown at the beginning of March saw an increase in scams of 400% according to Action Fraud.

The bank has therefore issued tips to help stay safe and secure as well as five of the most common scams seen during the last national lockdown.

Jason Costain, head of fraud at RBS said: “You are now more likely to be a victim of fraud in the UK than any other crime.

“During last year’s lockdown criminals took advantage of more people working remotely and online – it therefore makes sense to take some simple steps to make yourself and your family more fraud proof.”

RBS customers have recently reported fake adverts on reputable sites such as Google, Facebook, eBay, and Instagram.

The bank advised people to shop online with websites they know and trust, using MasterCard or Visa – adding that if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Other anti-fraud tips included:

  • If an online seller asks to send money direct from your bank account, this is probably a scam.
  • Don’t give away personal and bank details too easily – criminals use online competitions or offers of free shopping vouchers as a way of harvesting information from their next victims.
  • Be sceptical of unsolicited phone calls, texts or emails asking for personal or bank details. The bank or the police will never ask for a full PIN or password, card reader codes, or ask you to move money from your account.
  • Do not recycle passwords and use a unique password for your bank accounts and your email account.

In terms of current scams, RBS explained that with more shopping taking place online during the pandemic, criminals have been using fake DPD and Royal Mail emails to collect personal information which they then use to commit further fraud.

Criminals follow the trend and will offer goods for sale that are in high demand. RBS customers have reported scams involving pets that don’t exist, games consoles, mobile phones and even hot tub scams and camper vans.

Fraudsters are bombarding inboxes with fake emails, texts and calls claiming entitlement to a support grant or tax-rebate due to coronavirus.

Once they have your details, scammers will often call you, pretending to be from your bank’s fraud team, trying to persuade you to move your money to a ‘safe account’ or give away your card reader codes.

There has also been an increase in criminals trying to lure people into becoming money mules through ‘get rich quick’ job offers.

If someone offers you money to use your bank account, RBS advised to refuse and alert the police.

“The personal consequences of allowing criminals to pay money through your account can be life-changing and you may not be able to open a bank account again,” it warned.



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