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Fortnightly Fraud Focus - text messages targeting consumers

18 January 2022

Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, is highlighting the latest fraud threats, and warning the public to stay vigilant of the ever-changing tactics that scammers are using to extract money and information.

False fraud team text and call

Cifas understands that consumers are being targeted by fraudulent text messages claiming the recipient has been targeted by identity fraudsters trying to obtain a loan in the recipient’s name. The text message is quickly followed by a call from someone purporting to be from the bank’s fraud team, advising the victim to move their money to a ‘safe’ account.

Anyone receiving a call claiming to be from their bank’s fraud team should hang up and call 159 to be connected through to their bank’s genuine fraud department to check the validity of the call.

Scam texts should be forwarded to 7726 and anyone who falls victim to fraud should contact Action Fraud or Police Scotland.

‘New device registered’ text message targeting banking customers

Consumer group Which? has received intelligence of banking customers being sent text messages purporting to be from their bank claiming that a new device has been registered to access their account, and provides a link to cancel the addition.

This link leads to a malicious phishing website asking recipients for sensitive information such as card details and online banking access codes. Once these details have been shared, criminals have full access to the victim’s bank account.

Consumers are reminded not to click on links in emails and texts, and always remember to take a moment before parting with any personal information and consider the consequences of losing those details.

‘Hello mum’ WhatsApp messages

Action Fraud has revealed that individuals have been losing up to £3,000 as a result of WhatsApp messages claiming to be from their child. Criminals are contacting parents with fake messages purporting to be from their child, claiming they have lost their phone have had to change number. They then go on to ask the parent for money and provide bank account details for them to transfer funds.

Anyone receiving a similar message is reminded that they must confirm the identity of anyone messaging them asking for money or personal details. This could include calling the individual or contacting them in other ways such as social media or in person where possible. Never share personal or banking details and do not divulge security codes sent to your device. Banks provide several alerts to help protect you from fraud which shouldn’t be ignored.

Commenting on the latest threats, Cifas’ Head of Fraud Intelligence, Amber Burridge, said: ‘Criminals are continuing to adapt and improve their scam techniques as they learn which tactics bring them the most success in stealing funds and details from unsuspecting victims.

‘It is crucial that we all have our guard up and are alert to the threat of fraud. Remain vigilant when asked to provide any personal or banking details and always do your own due diligence before deciding to part with your details.’

Further information

For further information, please contact:

Matt Pearson, Press & PR Manager
+44 (0)20 4551 7956

Posted by: Cifas Press Team

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Posted by: Cifas Press Team

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