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Important Advice on Text Scams- SMISHING

Alert message sent 22/06/2021 11:37:00

Information sent on behalf of Durham Constabulary


We’ve all become aware of fake emails, but now you could be targeted by text message scams as well, called smishing.

What is SMISHING?

You receive a text message, commonly from your bank, telling you there’s a problem with your account, issues with making a payment or some suspicious activity. The text will contain a link for you to click or a number to call to sort out whatever the problem is. If it’s a link, it will direct you to a fake website which will harvest your bank login information. If there’s a phone number, it won’t be your bank and the scammer on the end of the line will try to get you to reveal information such as passwords and PINs. Fraudsters won’t just pretend to be your bank. Sometimes they’ll claim to be from an online account such as PayPal, or a service you subscribe to, such as Netflix. Fake text message scams have also been reported targeting customers of government organisations such as HMRC and the DVLA.

How to spot a smishing (text) scam?

Smishing can be difficult to spot, particularly if it’s someone who would normally contact you by text. But, like email scams, there are some tell-tale signs. For example, there might be spelling mistakes, or the text just addresses you as Sir or Madam. Real messages from these companies will usually address you by your full name.

You can also look at the phone number it’s been sent from. First, it won’t be the same as the one on your bank card. Second, it might be sent from an overseas number. If in doubt, only use the number on the back of your card, or search for the number online. If it’s a known fake number there’ll be information on the internet.

To AVOID getting scammed by fake text messages- be wary of any text message you get, NEVER click any links in texts, if in doubt, go directly to the website and login as normal.

You can report texts scams by visiting Action Fraud website or call 03001232040
Message sent by
Preet Singh (Police, PCSO, Neighbourhood Police team - Barnard Castle)
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