We all receive unsolicited messages on our mobile phones, but be careful what you reply to.
ActionFraud, the police’s fraud bureau, is warning about ‘smishing’, the latest fraud where scammers attempt to obtain your credit card details.
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’ is the term used for phishing scams by SMS messaging.
Scammers are likely to send a text message purporting to be your bank or credit card provider confirming that a transaction has taken place. They will ask you to confirm by texting back ‘Y’ or ‘N’ (yes or no).
Simply responding either way will confirm that your number is active and automatically activate a follow up text asking you to confirm your bank or credit card details, often including the CCV number from the back of the credit card.
That is all the information needed to then spend on your credit card.
‘Smishing’ has now been identified as a key contributor to the rise in remote purchase fraud, where credit card details are used to make fraudulent purchases online.
Remote purchase fraud rose by 20 per cent in 2016 to a cost of ?432 million.
Protect from ‘smishing’
Always be careful of any unsolicited text messages received. Any communication received without request could potentially be a scam. Especially if asking for personal information.
If you receive an unsolicited communication, always call the company to confirm the validity of the message, only using a number found separately from your credit card or statement, rather than any number sent with the message.
Never respond to a message that you think could be suspect. Any response will prove that your number is active and therefore expose you to further scam attempts.
If you think you may have received fraudulent text messages, call 0300 123 2040 or report it to Action Fraud at?http://www.actionfraud.police.uk