The UK bank with the worst record for handling fraud complaints has issued a cryptocurrency fraud alert.
Ranked as the UK’s worst bank for accurately detecting legitimate fraud complaints in 2020, NatWest sent the warning to users of its mobile banking app after reportedly receiving a record number of fraud reports between January and March 2021.
The alert specifically highlighted a type of fraud in which hackers install remote access software on a victim’s computer or hardware. The trick is usually for criminals to gain a victim’s trust online by reportedly posing as either a seasoned trader or a celebrity. The victim is then persuaded to install a cryptocurrency wallet and asked to invest. After a certain amount of crypto has been sent to the wallet, the criminal empties it via the malicious software he has installed.
NatWest fraud prevention director Jason Costain said the increased interest in cryptocurrency created an opportunity for criminals to take advantage of it and urged customers to beware of fake websites and celebrities.
“We prevented millions of pounds from being sent to crypto criminals who take advantage of the high level of interest in the currency. However, consumers should always be vigilant, especially when using fake websites and fake celebrity endorsements, ”Costain said.
Ironically, data from the UK Financial Ombudsman for the year ending May 2020 has shown NatWest to be the worst bank for properly handling its customers’ fraud complaints.
According to the data, nearly 70% of NatWest’s decisions in such cases were found to be wrong between 2019 and 2020, as evidenced by the fact that the decisions were overturned by the national regulator. A year earlier it was 87%.