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NatWest ‘Bonus Reward’ Phishing Scam



Outline
Email purporting to be from UK bank NatWest, claims that the recipient's account has been selected to receive a bonus. The recipient is instructed to click a link to confirm identity and claim the bonus.
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© Depositphotos.com/ sangoiri

Brief Analysis
The email is not from NatWest and the recipient has not been awarded a bonus. The message is a phishing scam that tries to trick NatWest customers into divulging personal and financial information to online criminals.

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Example

Subject: ** NatWest Bonus Reward **
 
Congratulations,

Out of millions of  National Westminster Bank plc users, your account has been selected to receive the bonus.

Reward : 289.27 GBP

Claim your bonus now:

Kindly Confirm your identity here to claim your bonus.

Note : Your account has been flagged claim your bonus to continue using your account. The bonus will be approved in 24 hours from the confirmation.

NatWest

All the best,

NatWest Support Team


Detailed Analysis
According to this email, which claims to be from UK bank NatWest, the lucky recipient has been selected out of millions of bank customers to receive a bonus reward of 289.27 GBP.

The recipient is instructed to click a link to confirm his or her identity and claim the bonus reward.  The message - rather cryptically - suggests that the recipient must claim the reward to continue using the "flagged" account.

But, alas, the email is not from NatWest and the recipient has not received a bonus. The link in the message opens a bogus website built to emulate the genuine NatWest site.

Once on the fake page, the user will be asked to provide bank login details, card numbers and pins and other personal and contact information.   After submitting the fake form, the victim will be automatically redirected to the genuine NatWest website. At this point, the victim will probably not be aware that he or she has given his or her sensitive private information to a scammer.

The victim will wait fruitlessly for the reward money to arrive in the account.  Meanwhile, the scammer will have enough information to hijack the victim's NatWest account and commit financial fraud and identity theft.

Phishing is a very common ploy that finds new victims around the world every day. Be very cautious of any email from your bank that claims that you must click a link or open an attached file to confirm account details, fix an account issue or verify your identity.  It is best to login to all of your online accounts by entering the account address into your browser's address bar rather than by clicking a link in an email.

You can report NatWest phishing scams that you receive via the reporting information on the bank's website.

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Last updated: September 6, 2013
First published: September 6, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen

References


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