Latest Threats - Security Centre | Ulster Bank

Man speaking on the phone while using a laptop

Latest threats

Stay safe online

Be aware of the latest scams

Fraudsters are increasingly using more elaborate ways of targeting people in attempts to get their access to their accounts.  They may attempt this by telling you not to trust bank staff, by offering exciting 'investment opportunities' or even offer to undertake unsolicited building work on your home, so it's wise to be on your guard and always treat such offers with suspicion.


  1. We will never ask you to enter your full PIN or password when logging into online banking
  2. We will never ask you for more information such as your account number, card number or address when logging into online banking (you will need to provide these details only if you are registering or re-registering for online banking)
  3. We never ask you to use your Card Reader when you login to online banking
Report a fraud to us
Common threats and scams
Person drinking coffee beside a laptop

Email scams

Phishing (pronounced fishing) is a common scam involving emails and fake websites that try to trick people into disclosing sensitive information.


-We will never send emails asking you to verify, confirm or update your Online Banking details

Protect yourself by downloading our free security software from the financial security experts at Trusteer.
You can report phishing emails to us at


Man using a laptop in a coffee shop

Threats from software

Trojans are harmful programmes that steal personal information. They can be installed on your computer if you open an infected attachment in a scam email or visit an infected website.

When you try and log in to Online Banking, if your computer is infected, Trojans may introduce fake additional pages while others will redirect you to a fake website.

Person handing over a debit card

Courier card scams

Typically, a courier card scam involves fraudsters trying to trick you into handing over your PINs, bank cards or cash to a courier.  They do this by posing as your bank's fraud department, the police, or National Fraud Authority in an attempt to gain your trust, and claim to need to collect your card via courrier to assist in their investigation.


More on courier scams
Card and PIN scams

Fraudsters will sometimes attempt to trick you into handing over your bank cards and PINs - this is ofter known as a courier card scam.

What to look out for

- The scam starts with an unexpected phone call from someone claiming to be from the bank's fraud department, the police, or National Fraud Authority.

-The caller will claim to have identified fraudulent transactions on your account and that your card has been compromised.

-To gain your trust they may ask you to verify the call by phoning the telephone number printed on the back of your card, or give you another number to call.

-This technique holds your phone line open, so that when you try to dial out, they can intercept and re-answer the call, claiming to be the Bank or Law Enforcement.

-The fraudster will advise that your bank card must be collected to protect your card and assist an investigation. Usually they ask you to put your card into an envelope for a courier to collect and provide you with a fake reference number.

-Now you'll be asked to enter your PIN into the phone, or put it into the envelope with the card. 

-A courier comes to your home and collects the card. With your card and PIN, they can now gain access to your account and carry out fraudulent transactions.

PLEASE NOTE: The bank may genuinely call you for fraud prevention purposes to verify whether a transaction is genuine. We will NEVER ask to collect your card, for your PIN number, card details or online/telephone banking login credentials.

How to avoid a courier card scam

NEVER hand over your bank card, your PIN, card details or online/telephone banking log-in credentials.

If you receive a call asking for your PIN, card details or online/telephone banking log-in credentials, end the call immediately.

With any suspicious or unexpected call, always verify the caller using an independently-checked telephone number and use a different phone line (where possible). Where a second phone line is not available, try calling a friend on the line first. The fraudster will find it difficult to impersonate a voice that is known to you.

Fake anti-virus adverts

Fake anti-virus software (also known as scareware) is often promoted via online adverts which falsely warn users their computer's security has been compromised. They then offer downloadable software that promises to clean up the infected computer. 

As well as paying for this fake software, once it's downloaded it is often used to steal personal information from your computer.

Remember: Protect yourself by using anti-virus software from a reputable company such as Trend, Kaspersky, Panda, Norton or Mcafee.

Offers of one-off payments

Sometimes fraudsters will approach people offering one-off payments or a series of payments in return for their account details. This is because they want to use your account to 'launder' money that's been obtained from illegal activities, without you knowing that they are fraudsters and that what they are asking you to do is illegal. Approaches are normally made by spam emails, adverts on genuine recruitment websites, instant messaging and newspaper adverts.

More about money mules
Money mules

Money mules receive funds into their account which they then withdraw and send overseas using a wire transfer service.

How to avoid becoming a money mule

  • Never respond to this type of request, no matter how attractive the payments may seem
  • Remember that assisting a criminal transfer of money may make you subject to a criminal investigation, which could lead to prosecution
Stack of letters
Advance fee scams Had a letter about a large sum of money?

These scams involve emails or letters sent out offering people a large reward if they help to transfer a large sum of money.

The emails or letters often say the money has come from bribes, government accounts or is unclaimed money from someone who has recently died. They ask you to send your bank details and pay an 'advance fee' to complete the deal. If you pay the advance fee you then don't receive any money in return, and you have no way of getting your money back. 

Couple walking along a street at night
Investment scams If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

There are a number of investment scams offering huge potential gains, but in reality the investments may not even exist.

More about investment scams
Couple walking along a street arm in arm
Stay safe Hints and tips

Read our hints and tips so you can see how to keep yourself safe, including enabling firewalls, PINs and passwords on your device.

Read our hints and tips
Hints and tips
  • Keep your computer's security up to date and download our free security software
  • Install anti-virus software on your computer and keep it up to date
  • Many such packages include anti-spyware software to stop fraudsters being able to see your personal information
  • Ensure the firewall on your computer is turned on, and that it's set to monitor incoming and outgoing internet traffic, to control the information that enters and leaves your system
Download our free security software Rapport security software
Find out more
Set Tab for lightbox