29th March 2021

New banking scams emerge

Evidence of a series of new text message-based banking scams has been received by CTSI.


By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
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The public is very vulnerable to this type of fraud, especially when more people rely on online payments

A spate of banking scams has emerged this month, with a high volume of fraudulent text messages being sent to consumers, CTSI is warning.

In most cases the scam texts take the form of ‘security messages’ from banks requesting confirmation of payments made from digital devices. One message asked the recipient to tap a link to confirm payment to a named person. All of the messages contained links requesting the recipient’s bank login details.

The messages claim to be from some of the UK’s largest banks and building societies, including Barclays, Halifax, HSBC and Lloyds.

Digital payments, particularly through mobile devices, have surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with scams.

Katherine Hart, a Lead Officer at CTSI, said: “I am witnessing so many reports of this scam; indeed, I have received multiple versions of it on my phone. The public is very vulnerable to this type of fraud, especially when more people rely on online payments.

“Fraudsters change the form and methods of their scams to match shifting consumer behaviour. The surge in online shopping and payments means that the public must be more vigilant when making online payments and receiving messages claiming to be from their bank.

“If you receive a suspicious text like this, please contact your bank directly and verify with them. Also, forward any scam texts to 7726, which is a free reporting service ran by Ofcom. We must protect ourselves and others from these scams but also provide vital intelligence to authorities.”