Phishing typically happens when criminals send convincing looking but fraudulent emails, although they have also been known to use phone contact.
These emails are often sent to thousands of individuals - in the hope that some will be hoodwinked into supplying personal information. This may include user names, email addresses, passwords, bank account, and credit card details.
These phishing attacks will typically encourage victims to enter details on a fake website - which often seems to come from a legitimate organisation.
Watch our video on how to spot a phishing scam
NatWest Security Tips for your Business: How to spot a phishing scam
• Casual or informal wording that's not in the normal style of an email from a legitimate company
• Familiar language or tone but poor grammar and spelling
• 'Verify your account' request - banks will never ask you to enter full account details, passwords or PINs onto a website
• 'There is a secure message waiting for you' - these messages work by putting the emphasis on reading a message - not your actual account. However, the link in the email will still ask for your personal account details
• 'If you don't respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed' - such messages convey a sense of urgency that can make you respond immediately without thinking. Phishing emails might even claim that your response is required because your account may have been compromised
• 'Click the link below to gain access to your account' - sophisticated email messages can contain links or forms that you may fill out just as you would do on a legitimate website
• 'Dear Valued Customer' - phishing emails are usually sent out in bulk and often do not contain your first name or surname
If you have received a fraudulent or suspicious email, and not responded to it, please forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have responded to the email and/or you think that any of your accounts have been accessed by someone other than yourself, call us immediately on 0800 161 5154 (Minicom 0800 027 1395). When calling from abroad please dial +44 131 523 7766 (Minicom +44 118 963 9148).