Major British bank Natwest has launched an alert to urgently warn its customers of cryptocurrency scams, which have been on the rise. The bank has provided several tips for customers “thinking of investing in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies” on how to spot scams involving cryptocurrencies. “If you ignore the above advice, you could lose all of your money,” the bank cautioned.
Natwest’s Advice on How to Spot Crypto Scams
National Westminster Bank (Natwest), a major retail and commercial bank in the U.K., has launched an urgent cryptocurrency scam alert on its mobile app. The alert urges customers to beware of scams involving cryptocurrencies following a record number of reports in the first quarter.
Natwest explained that a common scam people fall victim to involves fake celebrity endorsement, such as The Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson. Natwest’s head of fraud prevention, Jason Costain, was quoted by the media as saying:
We have prevented millions of pounds from being sent to crypto-criminals who are exploiting the high levels of interest in the currency.
“However, consumers should always be alert, especially to the use of fake websites and bogus celebrity endorsements,” he added.
A number of people shared their screenshots on social media Wednesday of the alert they got when opening the Natwest mobile banking app. The notice begins with a message that reads: “Warning: Thinking of investing in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies?” Natwest proceeded to highlight four key points to consider to help customers spot and avoid crypto scams.
The first tip advises customers that if someone contacted them, “promising big profits” and offering to help them invest in cryptocurrency, it is a scam.
Furthermore, the British bank says that customers should always have control of their cryptocurrency wallets. “If you didn’t set the wallet up yourself or can’t access the money in the wallet, this is a scam,” the alert notes, adding that in this case, customers “should stop making payments immediately.”
The bank then pointed out that many cryptocurrency dealers are not registered with the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It emphasized that customers should always use a firm that is registered and is listed on the FCA website. The Natwest notice ends with a warning:
If you ignore the above advice you could lose all of your money.