NatWest 'Account Has Been Blocked' Phishing Scam
According to this email, which claims to be from UK bank NatWest, access to your NatWest account has been blocked because of unusual login activity.
The email, which includes seemingly official NatWest graphics and formatting, claims that you can resolve the account limitations by clicking a 'remove' button.
However, the email is not from NatWest and the claim that your account has been blocked is just a ruse designed to trick you into clicking the link. In fact, the email is a phishing scam created to steal you account login information and other personal and financial information.
If you click the 'Remove' button, you will be taken to a fraudulent webpage designed to emulate the real NatWest site. Once on the fake site, you will first be asked to login. Next, you will be taken to a second fake page that asks for your credit card numbers, name and contact details, and other personal information, ostensibly as a means of proving your identity and removing the 'block'.
But, alas, all of this information can be collected by cybercriminals and used to hijack your account and commit credit card and identity fraud.
Unlike a legitimate email, this message comes as a clickable graphic. That is, the entire message is rendered as an image and clicking anywhere on the image will take you to the phishing scam website. This is a ruse designed to bypass spam filters, which might otherwise flag words or phrases in the scam message as suspect.
Phishing scammers regularly target NatWest and many other banks and financial institutions around the world. Be very cautious of any email that claims that you must click a link or open an attachment to login to your bank account and resolve an account limitation, update your information, or deal with a supposed account problem. It is always safest to login to your online accounts by entering the address into your browser's address bar or via an official account app.
NatWest has published information about phishing threats - including where to submit suspicious emails - on its website.
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Last updated: May 18, 2015
First published: May 18, 2015
By Brett M. Christensen
Phishing Scams - Anti-Phishing Information
NatWest - Security