Each of the cases presented in this article was brought to the attention of NatWest’s Community Protection Advisers (CPA’s). These anti-fraud specialists work with frontline employees and customers to proactively raise awareness of local scams and make sure these are dealt in the best possible way. They also react to referrals from the bank’s employees and take steps to safeguard customers and their funds, working with the police or trading standards where necessary. Since the role, which is unique to NatWest, launched in July 2015 the CPA’s has protected over £54m of customer money.
Laura Harris, Community Protection Adviser for London region, said: “Whilst some of these scams may seem far-fetched, fraudsters are unfortunately an everyday reality for some of our customers. They’ll use callous means to target anyone and everyone. My best advice is to question any situation where you’re unexpectedly being asked to part with money. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I’d encourage customers to come and talk to us in branch or on the phone if they need any advice.”
Details of some cases of scam have been released to show the length fraudsters will go to in order to get hold of customer’s cash. Here are some examples:
NatWest has also provided some advice to help educate and protect customers from even the most basic scams:
- Don’t agree to sign a contract, hand over money or give out your bank details until you’ve spoken to someone you trust.
- Never disclose your personal identification number (PIN) or let anyone persuade you to hand over your bank card or go to the bank to withdraw cash for a payment.
- Don’t be afraid to ask a salesperson to leave. If they refuse, call the police.
- Don’t respond to any suspicious letters, even to say no. It simply encourages the fraudster to contact you again.
- You can register to get your address removed from direct mailings through the Mailing Preference Service. You can also put a sign on your door saying ‘no junk mail.
- You can raise any suspicions you may have by calling 0800 161 5153 or speaking to any member of staff in a NatWest branch.