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Stay Safe online - could you spot a scammer?

Anyone can become a victim of fraud, whether it's face to face, online or over the phone.  Knowing what to look out for can help you stay safe. Read our top tips and guidance on spotting scams and avoiding fraud.

Find out more


Online and mobile banking security promise

We put your safety and security first

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Our priority is making your online and mobile banking experience as safe and secure as possible, so you can enjoy all the benefits of our services without any worries.

Whether you're banking online or using our mobile 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 to protect your personal information.

    Keep your antivirus and firewall software up to date, and download and install the free Rapport security software.
Find out how about our Security Promise

Be aware of recent scams

How to avoid the latest threats


Phishing is when criminals send convincing looking fraudulent emails to get you to give them your personal information.

More about phishing


Criminals will sometimes attempt 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 links or attached files within emails as a way to infect your computer or device with malicious software (malware) - these are known as phishing emails.

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.


  • We will never ask you for your full Personal Identification Number (PIN) or password.
  • Never respond to any unexpected or suspicious emails.
  • Don't click on any links or attachments within unexpected or suspicious emails
  • Report suspicious emails
  • If you have received a fraudulent or suspicious email, and not responded to it, please forward the email to phishing@Ulster

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 1800 245 403. When calling from abroad please dial +44 125 230 8047.

Find out more on staying safe online:

Text message (SMS) phishing

Voice phishing (telephone approaches)

How to protect yourself


Vishing or voice phishing is when you receive unsolicited phone calls from fraudsters which aim to encourage you to give out personal information, like your card details or card reader codes.

More about vishing

Beware of cold calls via the telephone

What is voice phishing?

Voice phishing (sometimes referred to as 'vishing') is when fraudsters make unsolicited phone calls which aim to encourage you to give out your personal details, such as your debit or credit card number, your Personal Identification Number (PIN) numbers, or secure codes from your card reader. The fraudsters may pretend to be your bank, the police, or any other official company in order to sound convincing. Sometimes you may get a 'warm up call' where no information is discussed. This is to set the scene for a later call where you may be asked for information.

How to avoid becoming a victim of voice phishing

- Never give your full PIN or online/telephone banking login details to anyone, even a caller claiming to be from your bank or An Garda Síochána/ police.

- If you get a call asking you for this information, end the call immediately.

- If you receive a suspicious or unexpected call, always verify the caller using an independently checked phone number such as a contact number from our website.

- Remember fraudsters also use techniques to hold your phone line open. When you try to dial out to verify the caller, the fraudster may stay on the line, play a fake dial tone and claim to be the person you're trying to contact. To avoid this, use a different phone line to verify the caller where possible. If not, try calling a friend or family member first to make sure your line is clear.

See the Be Aware Beat Fraud guide for further information (2.5MB PDF)


Distraction theft

Be careful not to get distracted when using your card at a cash machine. Criminals may use distraction techniques to steal your card or cash.

More on distraction theft

Distraction theft an ATM

Don't get distracted...when using your card and Personal Identification Number (PIN) at a cash machine. Criminals may use distraction techniques at Automated Teller Machines (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

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

More about the latest threats



If you aren't sure about any of terms used in our security centre, our security Jargon Buster could help.

We're here to help

Reporting a fraud or scam

Debit card, cheque or bank account fraud

To report debit card, cheque or bank account fraud, call:                         

                             From the Republic
of Ireland
From abroad
Fraud Helpline
Mon-Fri 8am-8pm,
Sat 8am-6pm or
Sun 9am-5pm)
1800 245 403 +44 125 230 8047
Personal debit cards
lost or stolen line
1800 245 399 +44 131 549 8186

Calls may be recorded.

Reporting suspicious emails

Remember that we will always use your name when contacting you by email, so always check this on any emails you receive.

If you have any doubts or suspicions about an email you receive, don't respond or click on any links.

More about suspicious emails

Suspicious emails

Report suspicious emails to us at: (if you have NOT responded)
or by calling 1800 245 403 (+44 125 230 8047 from abroad) (if you have responded)

Calls may be recorded.

More on reporting fraud



Reporting credit card fraud

To report fraud relating to your credit card call:

                             From the Republic
of Ireland
From abroad
Personal credit cards
lost or stolen helplineLines open 24/7
1800 924 258 +44 126 850 0813

Calls may be recorded.

Suspected scams

There are a range of other ways that fraudsters will try and get access to your details and your money.

Read more about other common scams and how to avoid them.


More about suspected scams

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