Public warned of bank scam texts threat Fake texts seek to steal personal and financial information

14 June 2015

Reporting spam texts

Consumers are being warned about an increase in scam text messages pretending to be from their bank.  

Messages claiming there's been fraud on your bank account or that your account details need updating are an increasing threat to the public, according to the Financial Fraud Bureau.

Texts encouraging people to call a number or visit a website - often claiming the matter is urgent - may not be all they seem and are likely to be from a fraudster. 

Scammers can then use these details to access an individual's bank account and steal money.

Tactics used by scammers are constantly evolving, keep your knowledge of phone scams up to date.

Complex phone scam

Earlier this year Which? found that seven in 10 members of the public reported they'd received a scam email pretending to be from a bank, with fraudsters now moving to use text messages in the same way.

To make the texts seem authentic some fraudsters are using specialist computer programmes to alter the sender ID on a text message so it appears with the name of a bank as the sender.

In a more complex phone scam the texts warn the recipient they will soon receive a call from their bank's fraud department. 

The fraudster then calls the unsuspecting individual and attempts to trick them into revealing their full security details.

A few pieces of key information may be all the scammers need to get into your account and get hold of your money.

Avoid the bank text scam

To avoid this scam, people should be suspicious if a text message asks them to provide sensitive personal information, passwords or to make transactions.

If you’re asked to call a number given in a text message and the number is unknown to you or appears suspect, call your bank on a number that you trust - such as the one on the back of your card - in order to check the message is authentic.

A bank will never phone asking for your four-digit Pin or your online banking password, even by tapping them into the telephone keypad.

Banks will not ask you to update your personal details by following a link in a text message or ask you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons. 

So, if you receive a communication asking you to do any of these things, you should be on your guard. 

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