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Keith Appleyard

Please Engage Brain

Keith Appleyard - available for hire

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A place to share stuff that isn't at all fintec related but is amusing, absurd or scary.

NatWest phishing scam

31 January 2008  |  7589 views  |  1

Sunday my daughter got an e-mail purporting to be from Natwest saying that someone had been trying to access her Online Banking. E-mail said they had temporarily disabled her Online Account and if she wanted to use it again she had to go and re-confirm her identity. She clicked on the link supplied, which led to (what she now knows to be) a facsimile of the normal Natwest login page and she logged in (reassured by her 2 flatmates that the page looked legitimate).

On Tuesday she got a phone call from someone purporting to be from the NatWest Fraud Office saying that there had been unusual attempts to log into her Online Banking (ie exactly the same thing as the email had said) from an overseas IP Address. They reviewed her account with her online and noted that on Monday there had been a request for a loan of £5,000, and this was now in her Account.

So now the Online Access has been disabled, and she was told to go into her Natwest branch this weekend and cancel the Loan. Supposedly her ATM Card still worked. Then she contacted me. 

I pointed out that she had no proof that the Phone Call was really from Natwest, or that there really was £5,000 (or anything) in her account - as she no longer had accesss to her Account - and the next day another £2,000+ Salary going in.

Motivated to contact Natwest Online Banking Helpline, they confirmed that her Account was indeed blocked online, but that meant they couldn't see the Balance. The next day she went to a local Natwest Branch, and was reassured that her money was still in there, but also that there was a £5,000 loan sitting there.

Only due to a timely detection by Natwest of access from a Hong Kong-based IP Address, plus tardiness by the Fraudsters that they didn't immediately take out the £5,000 loan, has saved the day.

Although I'm still waiting to hear how come they could arrange a £5,000 loan so readily? Banks still too willing to give out Loans?


Comments: (1)

Clive Munn
Clive Munn - MFTSE Affairs S.A. - Luxembourg | 12 February, 2008, 10:50

I just thought I would add that I in fact saw something similar in my web-mail on Sunday. I think it was for RBS, owners of Nat West of course. Fortunately it did not pass my firewall / virus software and I deleted it straight away. I have also seen other suspicious mails purporting to be from Abbey so clearly we need to ensure the younger and inexperienced are aware of and are reminded of the reality of these attacks. It also shows the worth of additional software like outlook as another layer in the structure of our protection.  


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job title IT Consultant
location Bromley
member since 2008
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Focussing on IT Strategy and Systems Architecture issues, primarily in the Payment Card Industry - scope is Global. SME on topics such as Data Protection and Encryption.

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