NatWest warns Britons not to fall for NHS Covid scam ‘one of the top threats’

Emily Ramsey partners with NatWest to encourage saving

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More and more texts from fraudsters pretending to be from the NHS are being reported every day. It has led to NatWest issuing an urgent warning to the public to remain vigilant.

NatWest is one bank that has issued a warning to try and raise awareness of the type of scams that are currently catching people out.

A spokesperson for the bank warned that vaccination scams are tricking many Britons because the website looks convincing.

They said: “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 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 bank warned: “Be sceptical of unsolicited phone calls, texts or emails asking for personal or bank details.”

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The spokesperson added: “Your 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.”

Meanwhile, Barclays bank also issued a scam warning this week to small and medium sized businesses.

The overall amount stolen from SMEs has increased 13 percent over the last year, despite the volume going down.

This indicates that scammers are succeeding in higher value scams and business owners are at risk of making greater losses.

Joe Cooksey, head of business digital education at Barclays, said businesses need to be on their guard.

“Businesses are under a huge amount of pressure at the moment as they prepare for the new financial year and navigate additional challenges wrought by rising costs.

“We know that fraudsters will be looking to take advantage of busy business owners and will ramp up their efforts.

“Scammers really are social engineers of the highest order, so it’s vital that business owners and their staff remain vigilant, and if in doubt, double check with their bank or a source they know is genuine.”

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Barclays has provided a checklist of key things to watch out for in common invoice scams:

“Do your research – When looking to use a new supplier or purchase from a new seller, make sure you do the relevant background checks. Our research showed that 57 percent of businesses review overhead costs intermittently throughout the year as they try to keep outgoings down. When considering a new supplier, remember that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

“Know your suppliers – It can be hard to spot altered emails or invoices, especially if it’s from a familiar supplier. Calling your supplier to check any new or updated bank details could stop your business being scammed. However, always find the number via a separate internet search or your own records to ensure it’s correct. Our research highlighted that 14 percent of businesses call the number on the invoice to confirm, meaning they could be playing right into the scammer’s hands.

“Links and attachments – If you get an unexpected message or email asking you to follow a link or open an attachment, use a different method to check this before doing anything. Our research highlighted that nearly one in five (19 percent) open attachments before reading the email, again leaving them open to being targeted.”

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