NatWest heads scammers' top 10 aliases

Research into the most commonly-used financial services company names used by scammers sending phishing mails has revealed that NatWest is targeted the most.

British anti-spam software company ClearMyMail also identified Citibank and HSBC as second and third in its financial services league table of fraudulent phishing emails recorded in December 2007, while online transaction provider PayPal came sixth.

The company said that during the month it blocked an average of 18 fake NatWest phishing emails, 12 fake Citibank emails, five fake HSBC emails, three fake Abbey emails and two fake Lloyds TSB sent to every one of its customers.

Dan Field, ClearMyMail managing director said: "Without any email protection, UK online banking customers are at severe risk of being tricked into giving away their account details to criminal gangs. The phishing emails used are very well constructed and often look exactly like a legitimate message from the bank."

However, NatWest was keen to defend its position, and its own efforts to combat the influx of phishing email to its customers.

"This piece of research is merely a snapshot. Phishing is an industry wide issue and focus on different organisations fluctuates greatly," said NatWest spokeswoman, Anita Ballantyne. "NatWest has taken considerable steps over the past few years to warn customers against responding to phishing emails, and continues to clearly advise that we will never ask customers to provide us with this type of personal information by email.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.