Security and fraud prevention | RBS

Security and fraud prevention

We are working harder than ever to keep our customers safe and secure. It is vital we protect their money, personal information and the services they rely on.

During 2018, the impact of scams on our customers has increased as methods used by organised crime groups has evolved and become more sophisticated. At the same time, our customers and RBS continue to face the threat of fraud. Across the financial industry, criminals continue to exploit compromised data, and obtain customers’ security information through social engineering and, on occasion, bypassing our security checks.

In 2018 our security systems detected and stopped over 115,000 instances of fraud against our customers with a value of £180 million. It’s in response to these threats, we’re continually improving our security using innovative solutions and collaborating with our peers across the industry.

How we have improved our security

During 2018, criminals attempted to send 14.3 million phishing emails to our customers using fake email domains impersonating RBS brands. 98% of attempts were blocked as a result of enhanced controls deployed by the bank.

Security continues to work closely with our anti-phishing/smishing and online brand protection provider to identify and takedown 1250 websites used in phishing emails and text messages. Through our telecommunications partners we also removed 184 phone numbers that had been set up by fraudsters in an attempt to dupe our customers into divulging banking details that could be used to commit fraud.

We continually educate our colleagues on security, cyber and fraud prevention in order to advise customers and keep them safe. We delivered 430 security awareness seminars and events for around 16,634 customers, staff and industry partners in 2018.

RBS is a founding partner and official sponsor of the Friends Against Scams campaign, launched in November 2017 with the Home Office and UK Finance. In April, our CEO announced that the bank will work in partnership with National Trading Standards to provide Friends Against Scams training to one million people across the UK in 2020 to help keep customers' money safe and stop scammers in their tracks. 31,600 colleagues and approx. 36,000 customers were trained in 2018, contributing to a total of 158,500 individuals trained to date.

We actively support STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) to encourage school pupils to engage with these subjects and careers. We work in partnership with Skills Development Scotland and others to host interactive events to bring these subjects alive, providing an insight into the wide variety of careers available within the technology and cyber industry.

How we keep track of our security needs

  • We innovate and collaborate with peers to keep up to date with any developments in the world of physical and cyber security, so we can anticipate threats and improve our responses if needed
  • We work with law enforcement, government and other agencies to share intelligence on emerging threats and security events.
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