These days it seems like E-mail scams, cold calls, and spam folder scams are commonplace in our day to day life.
This makes it easier to see them for that they are. Scams.
Scams are very annoying to deal with an inconvenient.
But these days there seem to be more and more text scams, and it’s causing a serious problem for many people.
Scam texts, however, are a more serious issue.
One of these text scam that’s currently circulating cost someone over £70,000 ($87,507)!
What’s worse is that it’s not easy to identify the texts as fraud.
It’s not the type of message that would necessarily have set alarm bells ringing.
Also, your bank isn’t obliged to pay back the money which has been stolen.
What is the scam?
You will receive an inconspicuous looking text from ‘your bank.’
The scam text will inform you that there’s been ‘suspicious’ activity on your account.
Worryingly, it comes from the same thread on your phone which recognizes it as a ‘real’ text message from your bank.
This is because their mobile number has been effectively spoofed.
So if you’ve saved your bank’s number in your phone, it will look like it’s come from that number.
The message will say your debit card was recently used. It even names a store and gives an amount spent.
It then tells you to call a “fraud prevention” number if it’s a transaction you do not recognise.
When you click on the number to call there’s actually someone to answer the phone.
In fact, in this victim’s case, the call went on for 30 minutes and they discussed her banking details.
After the call ends, the fraudsters access your account and drain the funds.
Has anyone been affected by this scam?
Claire Pearson watched her inheritance being stolen from her account. £71,000.
“ I received the text, but this wasn’t unusual as I’ve had messages from them before. It said there had been suspicious activity on my account, asked ‘do you recognise this transaction?’, if not call this number.
“I clicked the number and it called through, and the call went on for 30 minutes. The man I spoke to was lovely, we built up a rapport and he said they would send me a new card in three days.”
She became worried when she logged onto her online banking and saw that her money had been drained from her account.
Is there a way to get the money back if you fall victim to the scam?
Currently, Claire looks like she will lose all the money that was taken from her.
Santander has declined her fraud claim.
The bank said she had provided the third party access to her account.
The bank reimbursed her £400 from the money lost and they even managed to retrieve £1,850 from the receiving bank account and return it to her.
“When there has been no Santander error and customers have divulged personal, security information, we cannot accept any responsibility for the losses on the account.”
How to avoid the scam if you receive a text
A consumer expert called Harry Wallop said:
“This text message scamming is known as shmishing and it is the new phishing.
“This is so sophisticated – they are spoofing a mobile number, with a message coming in to a string of legitimate texts you’ve already got from your bank.
“Alarm bells shouldn’t necessarily have rung when the text come through – but you should always call the number on the back of your bank card, not a number in a text message. The number on the message was a fake number.
“The second alarm bell should have rung when they asked for your password – an official bank call will NEVER ask for your password or security codes in full.”
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