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Fraud awareness

Please be on your guard for any attempts to trick you into revealing your personal information by fraudsters impersonating Ulster Bank. Treat unexpected phone calls and emails with caution and don't click on links or attachments. We will never ask you to reveal your full PIN and Password.

If you believe you have revealed your personal information please contact us immediately on 1800 245 403 or from overseas: +44 125 230 8047

How to keep your identity secure.

It can take a lot of time and patience to resolve identity fraud issues. So what can you do to protect yourself?

Stay safe online - Latest news

You may have seen recent media coverage about law enforcement activity against online threats and the call for internet users to ensure they protect their computers.

To help stay secure online we suggest you follow these simple steps:

  • Download our free security software from the experts at Trusteer to help protect your home PC or Mac.
  • Never give your online banking customer number, your full PIN or full password to anyone. We will never ask you to pay money out of your account via a telephone call in response to a fraud.
  • Avoid clicking on a link or attachment in an email unless you're sure it's from a genuine source
  • Remember to keep software on your computer up to date, particularly software such as Java, Flash and Adobe Acrobat.
  • Never log in to Online Banking using your card reader or give out codes from your card reader to anyone.

For further information visit getsafeonline.

Keep valuable documents secure

When you're not using them, items such as passports, birth certificates, cheque books and receipts are best kept in a locked drawer. Please also remember to keep your cheque books separate from your bank cards at all times.

Destroy all unwanted paperwork

It's vital you look after any identity documents such as your passport and driving licence.

Don't give criminals a leg up. Always shred all important personal and financial paperwork when you don't need it any longer. If you don't do this, criminals could establish your name, address and other details by going through your household rubbish and then use any information they gather to apply for credit, goods or services in your name.

Paperwork to shred includes:

  • Old bank, credit card and financial statements
  • Old credit card receipts
  • Any partly completed application forms carrying your personal details
  • Insurance renewal notices
  • Partly completed Direct Debit or Standing Order mandates
  • Any mail-shots with your name and address on them

Also, don't forget to cut up all expired plastic cards.

Keep your bank updated

We may need to contact you from time to time to confirm details of certain transactions on your account, should they look unusual in comparison with routine items normally seen. This can significantly reduce the impact of financial crime.

It's crucial that if you change your name, address or contact telephone numbers (including your mobile number), you let us know immediately.

Check your statements

Much financial crime can go undetected for long periods, simply because victims are not aware it has happened. It may be weeks or months before fraud is spotted.

It's therefore vital that you carefully check all bank, credit card and any other statements when you receive them. If there are transactions that you don't recognise, please report the details immediately to your branch or card issuer. They will then be able to help you sort out the problems.

Remember that your post could be invaluable information in the wrong hands. So if you fail to receive a bank or credit card statement or any other expected financial information, tell your bank or card issuer. If you are in the process of changing address, make sure you arrange to have all your mail re-directed.

Don't fall for email scams

Phishing (pronounced 'fishing') is a con trick used by criminals to get hold of your personal information. Never respond to any unexpected or suspicious emails - and don't click on any attachments within such emails.


Click to view Email Scams

Phishing typically happens when criminals send convincing looking but fraudulent emails, although they have also been known to use phone contact.

These emails are often sent to thousands of individuals - in the hope that some will be hoodwinked into supplying personal information. This may include user names, email addresses, passwords, bank account, and credit card details.

Look out for phishing emails that contain...

  • Casual or informal wording that's not in the normal style of an email from a legitimate company.
  • Familiar language or tone but poor grammar and spelling.
  • 'Verify your account' request - banks will never ask you to enter full account details, passwords or PINs onto a website.
  • 'There is a secure message waiting for you' - these messages work by putting the emphasis on reading a message - not your actual account. However, the link in the email will still ask for your personal account details.
  • 'If you don't respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed' - such messages convey a sense of urgency that can make you respond immediately without thinking. Phishing emails might even claim that your response is required because your account may have been compromised.
  • 'Click the link below to gain access to your account' - sophisticated email messages can contain links or forms that you may fill out just as you would do on a legitimate website.
  • 'Dear valued customer' - phishing emails are usually sent out in bulk and often do not contain your first name or surname.

If you suspect a phishing attack forward the suspect email as an attachment to phishing@ulsterbank.com.


Click to view Telephony Scams

Telephone scams (voice phishing)

Some fraudsters target people with unsolicited phone calls pretending to be from the bank or even the police. This type of fraud is often called 'voice phishing' or 'vishing'.

Often they will encourage you to part with security information as part of an ongoing investigation into potential fraud, or claiming that they need to verify security information following a recent transaction. This can include requesting you to hand over cards or PIN details to third party couriers.

Sometimes you might get a "warm-up call" where no information is discussed, but your guard is lowered when you get a subsequent call, which refers back to the initial seemingly innocent call you received.


Example:

Call 1 - "This is the Bank/Police. We believe that your card has been compromised and we therefore need to collect your card to assist with our investigation. To verify yourself/assist the case, please enter your card PIN into the telephone handset. We will arrange a courier to collect your card shortly. For security, please place your card(s) (and PINs) into an envelope, along with the case reference number that we have provided, ready for courier collection."


Call 2 - "You recently made a payment and we would like to verify that it is genuine. Before we can do this I just need you to provide your online banking log in and characters 134 of your PIN and 268 of your Password" - the transaction is confirmed as fraudulent with the customer at which point the customer is given instructions to provide a card reader code to obtain a refund."

Call Spoofing

Some fraudsters use technology to enable them to display a legitimate number when making fraudulent calls. This tactic is used as an additional tool to convince those who are targets of fraud that a call is genuine.

Therefore if you receive an unexpected call purporting to be from the bank, don't automatically assume it's genuine - if you have any suspicions always call us back (ideally from an alternative phone). Doing so will not be an issue for a genuine caller.


What can I do?

Here are some tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of Voice Phishing:

  1. Never disclose your PIN or Online/Telephone banking log-in credentials or card reader codes to anyone, even if the caller claims to be from the Bank or Police. Remember, we will never call and ask you to disclose these security details.
  2. If you receive a call requesting your PIN, card details or Online/Telephone banking log-in credentials, end the call immediately.
  3. If you receive a suspicious or unexpected call, always verify the caller using an independently checked telephone number, for example by contacting your branch or using the contact numbers on our website.
  4. Be aware that fraudsters often use techniques to hold your phone line open, so that when you try to dial out to verify the caller, they intercept and re-answer the call, claiming to be the Bank or Law Enforcement. To ensure that your phone has not been compromised, we recommend using a different phone line to verify the caller (where possible). Where a second phone line is not available, try calling a family or friend on the line first, as the fraudster will find it difficult to impersonate a voice that is known to you.
Click to view Text Scams

Text messaging scams (SMS phishing)

As mobile phones become capable of helping you manage your money online, you need to take care to guard yourself against fraudsters.


What is SMS phishing?

SMS phishing (sometimes referred to as 'Smishing') is when people are targeted by fraudsters via text message to try and obtain personal information by impersonating as a trustworthy source.

Some people may receive text messages pretending to be from their bank. They may state that sensitive information about you has been posted on the internet and encourage you to visit a web site. These messages are fraudulent - visiting the link in the text could result in an attempt to infect your computer or handheld device with a virus.

Other messages state there is a problem with your bank account and encourage you to phone a number. These are also fraudulent, trying to trick you into giving away your personal and security information.


Example text messages:

  • "Your account is closed due to unusual activity. Call us at [number removed]"
  • "Someone has posted your full Personal & Banking information at http://[website address removed] You must remove it now."

What can I do?

  1. Always delete text messages like these.
  2. Do not phone the number, fraudsters will attempt to trick you into disclosing your personal information.
  3. Do not click on the link or type it into your browser, as you may be at risk of being infected with malicious software.
  4. If you have followed the link, we recommend that you carry out a full check of your computer or handheld device as soon as possible to find out if any spyware, computer virus or other malicious software has been installed.
  5. The most effective protection is to keep your computer's security up to date. Installing Trusteer Rapport will also help protect your personal information.

Remember: We will never ask you for your PIN or password by text or email.


Whilst the Bank now offers a Text Messaging service to give alerts or updates about your account and services available, we will never ask for your full security details or direct you to a page which requires you to enter any logon details or use a card reader device. Smart phones may automatically convert some text into web page addresses - do not click on any link unless you are absolutely certain it has come from a valid source. When accessing our Online Banking service we suggest doing so by typing the full address into your web browser and not by following a link.

If we send you a text, we won't include specific details but may refer you to our Alerts Service page or ask you to contact our Customer Services (without providing a number) or visit your Branch.

You can find our contact details here.


Click to view Reporting Fraud

Protect yourself by staying alert.

If you think you've been a victim of fraud you can report it to us on the numbers below:

Alternatively contact your local branch

Protecting you

Our fraud detection systems look out for unusual patterns on your account, and if we notice anything of concern, we may contact you using our automated system or an operator to help protect you against fraud.

To help us in the fight against fraud, please ensure that all your contact details are accurate and up to date. (you can update your contact details via online or telephone banking or in our local branch should you need to).

Further Information

You can read more about how to guard against online fraud by:


*calls may be recorded