Don't fall victim to this text message scam

Posted by Richard Catlin in Identity Theft on 15 June 2015 - Richard is Marketing Director at checkmyfile.

Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) is warning consumers to be extra vigilant, as a new text message scam sweeps the country.

The texts claim that there has been fraudulent activity on the recipients bank account, with a link to a website or phone number which, unsurprisingly, are controlled by the fraudster. They then attempt to garner personal information and security details which they can use to access the real account and steal funds.

The key difference in this particular scam is that the criminals use specialist software that changes the ‘sender’ ID on the text so that it appears to come from the recipients bank. This means that in most cases, it will sit in an existing ‘thread’ and appear much more genuine.

A second tactic involves a text that seems to come from a landline, simply asking the customer to call their bank. Again, it’s a con that relies on someone simply calling the number in the message, and is designed to steal personal information.

The easiest way to avoid falling victim to such scams is simply to be vigilant. Don’t call numbers directly from messages – look on the back of your bank card instead. It might mean going through a couple of extra choices in any automated telephone system but it’s definitely worth it.

Your bank will never ask you for your PIN or password, or advise you to respond to a text message to confirm a transaction – so if in doubt at all, ignore any such request.

Identity theft may be somewhat overblown in the media, but if you are unlucky enough to fall victim, it can be an invasive, time consuming experience that is not easy to put right. Prevention is far better than cure.

In addition to simply being more vigilant, checking your credit report regularly can also help you spot any unusual activity, and reduce your chances of falling victim.

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