You are aware of cold calling scams, and phishing emails. Increasingly the scammers want to steal your personal information via text message.
Beware of text messages claiming you have won a free gift card, or bogus suspicious account activity from the bank. The text message could look a little like the examples below:
These texts may fool you into downloading malware that allows the criminals to access your personal details. Sometimes you will be encouraged to make a phone call and the fraudsters will answer the phone pretending to be from the bank. Then as you confirm your details, they use the information to steal funds form your account! Scammers also want to gain access to your email. You email is the key gateway to accessing lots of your other accounts like Amazon and iTunes.
It is easy to get caught out because the fraudsters can make the texts appear to be from an official institution. So what is the best course of action?
Set up 2 factor authentication on your important accounts. This means you need two pieces of information before you can access an account, for example a password and a text code. Be on alert at all times, be suspicious of any odd text messages. Banks say they will NEVER ask for personal details or passwords via phone, email or SMS. Children often fall for the free gift card scam. They love the idea of winning, so it is important to educate them to be careful too.
If you are suspicious the best thing to do is contact your bank directly using the number on your statement and ask if they have sent the message. You can also report any dodgy emails or Texts to Action Fraud www.actionfraud.police.uk or call Telephone 0300 123 2040.
Caroline The ‘PuterTutor