Fraudsters are trying to steal your identity by text message, a national anti-fraud group has said.
According to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, criminals are using a technique called ‘Smishing’ to steal victims’ money or identity.
Smishing – the term used for SMS phishing – uses innocent people’s mobile phones to manipulate them.
The bureau has received information that fraudsters are targeting victims via text message, claiming to be from their credit card provider, stating a transaction has been approved on their credit card.
The text message asks people to confirm if the transaction is genuine by replying ‘Y’ for Yes or ‘N’ for No.
But doing this lets fraudsters know the victim’s phone number is active and allows them to engage further by asking for credit card details, CVV numbers (the three digits on the back of your bank card) and other personal information.
So how can you protect yourself?
Always check the text is genuine by calling your credit card provider on the number on the back of your card or on your bank statement
Beware of cold calls purporting to be from banks or credit card providers
If a phone call from a bank seems suspicious, hang up the phone and wait for 10 minutes before calling the bank back. Again, refer to the number on the back of your card or on your bank statement in order to contact your bank
If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.