I’ve had a fairly bizarre episode involving this number recently, involving a number of silent calls and distorted automated answerphone messages, purporting to be from Natwest Bank and asking me to call a number I’ve never heard of.

Obviously this sounds like a scam, and I duly wrote it off as such. But the calls persisted, so I searched online for the number, finding nothing but message boards full of people trying to find out more information on the number.

Some messages reported it as a scam while others said it actually was Natwest’s fraud department. Paranoid, I wondered whether the latter were placed there by scammers desperate to make it look genuine.

So I searched Natwest’s site, including my online bank account. No answer there. In the end, figuring that the worst I could lose was a couple of quid, I phoned the number to hear the same voice talking me through the process.

Every now and then the voice of what sounded like a drunken American would say “Mr Robin Brown”. Eventually I was asked to confirm my date of birth. At this point I hung up.

Baffled by the messages I phone my local branch, where I was told that it was very unlikely that my bank would be leaving such messages. Still, the helpful chap on the other end of the line checked my file.

Surprise, surprise it actually was Natwest’s Fraud department, wanting to know if I’d recently bought a new computer. In the meantime they’d frozen my bank account, so it’s a good job I wasn’t stranded in the Orkneys with only my debit card for help like on that advert.

I was impressed by the speed and efficiency of the actions of the bank, but I was also baffled by the enigmatic way the bank had tried to contact me.

A call from my local branch would have made most sense, where a cagey exchange of personal detail confirmations suffices on most occasions. Even a note on my online banking page would have made more sense.

As it was I spent a dinner hour puzzling over whether my bank was trying to contact me over some dodgy account transactions or whether an African scammer was trying to play for a mug.

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21 thoughts on “08453560020

  1. Because Natwest doesn’t make it particularly easy for you to find their numbers online, or to get through to someone.

    Knowing this I did an online search, which is what most people do.

    When I did ring Natwest they didn’t know anyway! Ridiculous!

  2. Hello, I just want to thank you for this blog. I had 2 missed calls of the number and 2 voice mail so i googled the number and came across your page. after reading it, the number rang again and it was genuine. they did ask me to confirm my date of birth but by picking it out of many dates. they did say i would not be asked to give any other information. Then i followed the instructions and confirmed my payments then they said my safe guard on my account would be lifted with in two hours. I would have not known what had happened when i went to the shop tomorrow. Thanks again hun, Jx

  3. Hi
    Thanks for this blog- i had the same experience where i received two calls from Natwest following the purchase of two large appliances. Decided at first to ignore the call as thought it was a scam then on the second call i thought i would google this number and found your page. Called my local branch just to check and they put me through to the fraud department who unlocked my account.

  4. Hmm how strange we have been receiving these calls and voicemails all day. I do not have an account with natwest which is what makes me suspicious. I also haven’t made any large purchases recently so could it be a scam?

  5. Hey Robin, thanks for this – I just had the same thing. It’s a rubbish way for NatWest to deal with this, and it’s poorly executed, but it is genuine.

  6. This is actually a number from the natwest Fraud department. I received this call as well. But what I did, I straight away called to the Natwest Fraud department and they said it is not a scam!
    So, what I suggest is call the Natwest and check for your account right after you got the call!

  7. Hey Robin,
    thanks for that: just had the same call. But am abroad so they probably triggered that I paid with my card over here! How ridiculous!
    Anyways, called the number back, but they put in on hold and I gave up after 3 min, as didnt want to put my phone bill up higher than needed!

    Will call my branch tomorrow, as you said you got it sorted there too?

    Really a shitty way to deal with that by Nat West and way to creepy to be geniunely believable!

  8. Hi Anna, yes I called my branch and they confirmed that it was a genuine number, but I think I still had to call the 0845 number to get it sorted.

    I think it is a very silly way to go about it, but there you go. Either you ring them or they freeze your card!

  9. I can confirm that 08453560020 IS natwest fraud protection.

    As Robin has said – there are so many mixed opinions on here if it’s true or not — well i can confirm this is 100% Natwest (even if it’s the most crazy way of telling people about fraud – Phoning from a number not listed anywhere on their site)

    If anyone get’s a call from this number and is still unsure – here is a guaranteed way of checking…

    Go to a shop and try to buy something with your debit card – it will be declined. Natwest will have blocked your card. You can then call this stupid 0845 3560020 number with confidence.

  10. Hi i have just had a call from 08453560020 (natwest), it was to make sure that i had made the transactions. Im getting a new phone contract and the company took £1 from the account to make sure that the account was real, I called natwest direct and its a genuine number, phew, thought someone had gone into my account and tried to con me, but all ok. you can relax and call if you get it.

  11. This is a con. If you get the call then phone Natwest and ask them if they want to speak to you about fraud or know they of this number. If they say “yes we know all about it and you’re supposed to do it” then I guess you should go through with it. When I got the call Natwest knew nothing about it though to be fair to Natwest they normally know nothing about anything so I didn’t end up following it up.

  12. ITS NOT A CON. It’s Natwest. I’m 100 per cent sure on this – read the post.

    Quite why some people at NatWest are apparently unaware of it, however, is a valid question.

  13. Had a similar experience, dodgy recorded message from this number – I went to Natwest’s website where they have a (different) 0845 number, but also a proper UK number (provided for calling from abroad, but there’s nothing to stop you using it from the UK). I’d been in the US last week to withdraw cash from an ATM, but it when I used it this morning on my return to buy fuel from the garage near my house that they decided to flag the transaction! Very odd…

  14. Do not ignore this! Just received the same garbled automated message as mentioned above. Phoned Natwest directly, and they put me through to the fraud team, who flagged a card payment I made literally 1 minute earlier. My card had been put on hold, and after answering some questions, they unblocked it.

  15. If it’s not a con why are people who don’t even have a Nat West account get a call? I’m on the telephone preference service and ex-dir, so they shouldn’t even be able to get my phone number. 🙂

  16. Ended the call first time thinking it was a scam. Googled the number and found mixed opinions so answered the second time I got the call.

    Payments were made for:
    £1 Phones 4 U
    £50 Restaurant.

    Neither of these transactions were made by me. I was informed by Natwest a new card will be sent as the old one is blocked.

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