If you receive an unsolicited text message fromyour credit card provider, think twice before hitting reply- it might be a scam, the police's fraud bureau has warned.
ActionFraud has issued an alert about 'smishing', where scammers seektostealyour credit card details via SMS. According to the warning, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau - part of the City of London Police - has received multiple new reports of criminals impersonating credit card providers in text messages to consumers.
'Smishing' can be hard to spot - but our tips can help you identify potential scams and take action to protect yourself.
'Smishing' is short for phishing scams by SMS.
In a typical 'smishing' attack, a fraudster will send you a text message claiming to be your credit card provider or bank. Often, the text will say a transaction has taken place and ask you to confirm it by texting back 'Y' or 'N'.
Responding in any way can make you vulnerable, because it confirms that yourmobile phone number is active.The scammers will then follow up by asking to confirm your credit card details, CCV number (the last three digits on the back of your card) or other personal information.
Once armed with these details, the criminals can go on a spending spree, with you footing the bill. Both smartphones and analogue phones can be targeted.
In a recent report from Financial Fraud Action UK, 'smishing' was identified as a key contributor to the increase in remote purchase fraud, where stolen credit card details are used to make purchases online or over the phone.
Last year alone, cases of remote purchase fraud rose by 20%, with more than 1.43 million victims across Britain. Overall, consumers lost £432m to this type of fraud in 2016.
'Smishing' scams can be sophisticated, closely resembling legitimate messages from well-known banks or credit card providers. But you can take steps to avoidfalling prey to these tactics.