Fraudsters are using a text message scam to rob people of thousands of pounds, experts have warned.
The text could look like any message you normally receive from your bank and not immediately spark a cause for concern.
The text, which will be in the same thread as genuine text messages from your bank, says there has been suspicious activity on your account – a mobile number is being spoofed, so If you have saved your bank’s number, it will appear as though it has been sent by them.
It says your debit card has recently been used and even names a shop and an amount. It then advises you to call their “fraud prevention” number if it is a transaction you do not recognise.
The person at the other end of the line will ask in-depth questions about your account and banking details, and then use this information to drain your funds.
Can you get your money back?
It depends. Each bank and case is different, so there is no guarantee you will get your money back.
The Financial Ombudsman said: “Whether someone is able to get their money back following a fraud depends on the individual circumstances of each complaint and whether we find the victim’s bank has made an error which has helped contribute to the loss.”
It said that from April 1, 2015, to February 8, 2017, it received around 6,000 new complaints about disputed transactions.
Here are some safety tips:
• Never disclose personal or financial information over the phone or by email. Your bank or police would never ask for these in full.
• Do not rely on caller ID – advances in technology mean that fraudsters can easily spoof numbers to make it look like they are calling from a trusted number.
• Your bank, the police or any other company, will never call to ask you to transfer your money out of your account for security reasons.
• Be wary of all cold calls claiming to be from banks, police, or other trusted organisations – if you have any concerns, call back on an independently verified number.
• If you have fallen victim to a scam, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.