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Stay safe online

You may have seen recent media coverage about activity against an online threat and the need for internet users to take action to protect their computers.

Follow these simple steps to help stay secure online:

  • Download our free security software Trusteer Rapport to your home PC or Mac.
  • Keep all the software on your computer up to date, especially Java, Flash and Adobe Acrobat
  • Never give your customer number, full security number and full password or card reader codes to anyone 
  • Never log in to Digital Banking using your card reader - we will never ask you to

For more information please visit the Cyber Street website by clicking on the link below.

Know more

Our Digital and Mobile Security Promise

We put your safety and security first

Whether you’re banking online or using our Mobile Banking app, rest assured you are protected by our Secure Banking Promise.

1.We'll refund any money paid out of your account by a fraudster, as long as you’ve kept your security information secret

2.We'll protect you 24/7 by monitoring your account and using the latest technology to keep you safe

3.We'll help you protect yourself with tips on staying secure and free tools for extra protection

Remember to take sensible precautions

Keep your antivirus and firewall software up to date, and download and install the free Rapport security software.


Find out how to be protected by our promise

Be aware of today’s scams

How to avoid the latest threats




Criminals try to lure you into entering your details at a fake but genuine looking website. Fraudsters then use your details to access your accounts and steal your identity or money. Criminals can also use hyperlinks or attached files within phishing emails as a way to infect your computer or device with malicious software (malware).

Here's how to spot a phishing scam:

When you receive an unsolicited email you should check it for signs that it may not be from the person/company it appears to be from.

  • Check the email address - Is it the same as the email address you usually receive emails from, or just similar.
  • Check the email subject line - anything along the lines of "There is a secure message waiting for you", "Security Alert", "System Upgrade" and so on should be treated as suspect.
  • Check the message title - if it reads 'Dear Customer' or 'Dear Valued Customer' or if isn't personalised at all, then you should be suspicious. Phishing emails will not usually include your name.
  • Be wary if the email asks you to click on a hyperlink or a button to download a file. Wording such as 'verify your account or password' or 'update your security details' should be viewed as suspicious – they are likely to take you to a copycat website where you may be prompted to enter personal details which can be used to commit fraud.
  • Be suspicious of any message that creates a sense of urgency, such as 'If you don't respond within 48 hours, your account will be suspended'. A legitimate company will not create a false sense of urgency.
  • Check the grammar and spelling for mistakes or inconsistencies.

Top Tip! You can hover your mouse pointer over hyperlinks (or buttons) to see the underlying website URL.

Avoiding the phishers


-RBS will never ask you for your full PIN or password.

-Never respond to any unexpected or suspicious emails.

-Don't click on any links or attachments within unexpected or suspicious emails.

Reporting suspicious emails
If you have received a fraudulent or suspicious email, and not responded to it, please forward the email to
If you have responded to the email and/or you think that any of your accounts have been accessed by someone other than yourself, call us immediately on 0345 301 5748 Minicom (0800 027 1395). When calling from abroad please dial +44 131 523 7766 (Minicom +44 118 963 9148).

-Text message (SMS) phishing

-Voice phishing (telephone approaches)

-How to protect yourself

-Report suspect emails to us

Don’t get distracted...


Distraction theft

Don't get distracted...when using your card  and PIN at a cash machine. Criminals use distraction techniques at ATMs to steal your card and/or cash. They may tap you on the shoulder to get your attention or act as a “helpful stranger”.

For example they may tell you that you have dropped some money, and while your attention is elsewhere, another member of the criminal team steals your card and/or cash. Once the criminal has your card and has viewed you entering your PIN, they will carry out fraudulent card transactions.

...or in a shop

Criminals have also been known to target victims after watching them enter their card PIN in a shop; while one criminal asks for directions or change, another steals their card.

How can you protect yourself from becoming a victim of distraction theft?

  • Don’t let anyone distract you during your transaction at a cash machine or in a shop, even if they seem to be a “helpful stranger”
  • Be aware of others around you when using a cash machine. Avoid using a cash machine if you see suspicious individuals nearby
  • Remember to always shield your PIN at a cash machine or while paying by card
  • When you’ve finished a transaction, take your cash quickly and discreetly put your card away before leaving the cash machine
  • Do not use an ATM if there are signs of tampering or suspicious devices are visible. If you do notice anything suspicious on an RBS cash machine you can contact us on 0845 600 2803 (Calls may be recorded)

If your card is lost or stolen, or kept by an RBS cash machine, you should report it to us immediately. 

More about the latest threats

Keep your details safe


Investment fraud and scams

Investment fraud and scams

It's estimated that £1.2bn is lost each year in the UK to Investment Fraud. High yield investments have become attractive to online fraudsters due to higher returns.

Ponzi and Pyramid schemes

These schemes promise you high returns or dividends not usually available through traditional investments. The schemes collapse when new investors dry up, and investors usually find most or all of their money is gone.

A Ponzi schemer will ask you to invest in something, whereas a Pyramid schemer encourages you to recruit new investors for a commission. These scams can also be called franchise fraud, multi-level marketing or a chain referral scheme.

Often Ponzi or Pyramid schemes are used when committing Affinity fraud, which occurs when criminals target members of a group – such as community, religious, ethnic, elderly or professional groups. The fraudsters pretend to be members of the group they are targeting sometimes over the course of years, making the scams emotionally as well as financially damaging.

Share sale scams (boiler room fraud)

A Share Scam (also known as Boiler Room Fraud) is a scam that tries to persuade you to invest in what is essentially a worthless scheme, and usually begins with a cold call.

The fraudster will appear professional, knowledgeable and sympathetic, and the company they represent often sounds very similar to a well known financial company.

The shares they attempt to sell you won't be quoted on the stock exchange and will be virtually impossible to sell. You may find when you try to contact the fraudster who sold you the 'shares' they have disappeared, making it near impossible to recover any losses.

Criminals will often cold call victims of Boiler Room Fraud offering to help them recover the money they have lost in an attempt to take more money from them.

If you are unsure or concerned remember to seek independent legal and/or financial advice.

Carbon credit schemes

These schemes are a scam where a firm tries to sell you carbon credit certificates or get you to invest directly in a 'green' scheme that will generate carbon credits as a return on your investment.

Carbon credits are sold and traded legitimately from many reputable firms, however fraudsters have picked up on this, meaning an increased number of firms using dubious, high-pressure sales tactics.

More information can be found about different types of carbon credits and how the market has developed from an investigation the FSA conducted in 2011.

Land banking scams

Fraudsters lead you to believe that you are investing in land that will significantly increase in value. They will tell you:

-the plots are in areas with high house prices
-the government intends to increase housing on this land
-the land has already been allocated for development

Like many investment frauds, Land banking scams often take place through high-pressured telephone calls, although they can be via websites, email, mailings or brochures.
The reality is you are being sold land that has no development potential, doesn't belong to the 'seller' or doesn't even exist.

If you are looking to purchase land:
-be sure to always contact the local council of the land
-check who owns the land according to the Land Registry
-check if the land has planning permission

Tips to help you protect yourself

-Always consider taking independent/legal advice before you commit to an investment
-The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) also have a list of businesses that they believe are involved in fraudulent activities. You can check this at:
-Check the company is registered at Companies House and the details the caller gives you match up - Does the caller have a track record that can be verified by an independent party?
-The FCA has also produced a factsheet on how to avoid share fraud

If you think you've been targeted

-If the suspect is very near, or as a victim you feel at immediate risk, call 999
-If a police reponse is needed (eg for victim care) or you can easily identify the suspect, call 101 or visit your local police station
-If you spot anything suspicious or want to report an investment scam, contact Action Fraud on or 0300 123 2040


How to guides

How to report a fraud or scam

We're here to help

Suspicious emails


Suspicious emails

Report suspicious emails to us at: if you have NOT responded, or by calling 0345 301 5748, Minicom 0845 900 5960 (Calls may be recorded) if you have responded.

When calling from abroad please dial +44 131 523 7766 (Minicom +44 141 308 8045).

See more

Debit card, cheque and bank account fraud


Debit card, cheque and bank account fraud

If you are calling from abroad, please call (0044) 125 230 8047 (Calls may be recorded and calls from overseas may cost more).

See more

Credit card fraud


Credit card fraud

Maximum call charge for business customers from a BT landline is 4p per minute. Business rates and calls from other networks may vary.

If you are calling from abroad, please call (0044) 126 850 8020 for personal credit cards or (0044) 126 8508 019 for business credit cards. Calls may be recorded, and calls from overseas may cost more.

See more

Suspected scams


Security glossary

Search for security terms

Security comes with its own special expressions. Our jargon buster can help guide you.

View the glossary


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