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Warning issued over text message scam which could lead to identities being stolen

Advice is to contact credit card provider to check validity

Mobile phone stock image(Image: Chris Radburn/PA Wire)

A text message scam has led to an alert.

Cheshire police have forwarded the advice from Action Fraud, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

Smishing, the term used for SMS phishing, is said to be an activity which enables criminals to steal victims’ money or identity, or both, as a result of a response to a text message.

“Smishing uses your mobile phone, either a smartphone or traditional non-internet connected handset, to manipulate innocent people into taking various actions which can lead to being defrauded,” according to the alert.

“The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has received information that fraudsters are targeting victims via text message, purporting to be from their credit card provider, stating a transaction has been approved on their credit card.

“The text message further states to confirm if the transction is genuine by replying ‘Y’ for Yes or ‘N’ for No.

“Through this method the fraudster would receive confirmation of the victim’s active telephone number and would be able to engage further by asking for the victim’s credit card details, CVV number - the three digits on the back of your bank card - and/or other personal information.”

People can protect themselves by always checking the validity of the text message by contacting their credit card provider through the number provided on the back of the card or on the credit card/bank statement.

The alert adds: “Beware of cold calls purporting to be from banks and/or credit card providers.

“If the phone call from the bank seems suspicious, hang up the phone and wait for 10 minutes before calling the bank back. Again, refer to the number at the back of the card or on the bank statement in order to contact your bank.

“If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, please report it to Action Fraud at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or alternatively by calling 0300 123 2040.”

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