Mobile phones used for theft

A warning has been sent by the local Police team about mobile phones being used to steal money. The warning applies to old-style mobiles and to smart phones.

The scam starts when the victim receives a text message. The message appears to be from the victim’s bank or credit card company. It tells the victim that a transaction has been approved on their card. All the victim is asked to do is to text back ‘Y’ or ‘N’, depending on whether or not the transaction is genuine.

Inevitably, they will text ‘N’ because the transaction is never genuine. That tells the thief that this is a real mobile phone number.

The scam then moves on and ends up with the victim providing enough information for the thief to be able to steal money from their bank or to use their card to buy goods online.

The advice from the Police is:

  • Always check the validity of the text message by contacting your credit card provider or bank using the number on the back of the card or on the credit card/bank statement.
  • Beware of cold calls where the caller claims to be from a bank or credit card company.
  • If think the phone call might really be from your bank, hang up the phone and wait for 10 minutes before calling the bank back. Better still, use a different phone. This is because thieves have been able to keep a phone line open so when the victim has thought they were calling their bank, it was just the thief picking up the call. Again, use the phone 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, please report it to Action Fraud here or alternatively by calling 0300 123 2040

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