Financial fraud Action UK is warning consumers of a new scam in which criminals spoof text messages from the victim’s bank in a bid to steal personal or financial information.
The bogus texts claim that there has been fraud on the recipient's account or that the account details need to be updated.
To make the texts seem authentic, fraudsters use specialist software which alters the sender ID on a message so that it appears with the name of a bank as the sender. This can mean that the text becomes included within an existing thread on the recipient’s phone.
Some of the texts warn that the recipient will soon receive a call from their bank’s fraud department inviting them to hand over their personal security details.
Others appear to originate from a landline number, asking the recipient simply to call their bank. This is in the hope that the victim will phone the number from which the text was sent, which is controlled by the fraudster, rather than the bank’s regular customer service telephone number.
Katy Worobec, director of Financial Fraud Action UK, says: “These text messages can look very authentic, so it’s important to be alert. Remember, fraudsters are after your security details - don’t reveal anything unless you are absolutely sure who you are dealing with.”