Phone contract scam: Britons urged to be vigilant as scammers ’empty bank accounts’ | Personal Finance | Finance

Britons are being urged to stay vigilant over a new phone bill that could see people having their bank accounts “emptied”. The scam comes ahead of the phone contract price rise in April, with some Virgin Mobile and customers due to see an increase of 17.3 percent from April 1, and some BT customers seeing an increase of 14.4 percent.

According to experts at secure card payments provider, Dojo, the most recent phone bill scam includes a range of legitimate-looking communications through email, text and social media, notifying consumers and businesses that they can benefit from reduced phone bill charges as part of a monthly contract.

The scam will then ask for card details to receive the discounted phone bill.

Dojo experts said: “Having acquired the stolen card details, scammers are then using them to make lavish online purchases, and empty bank accounts, causing a huge financial and psychological impact on victims.”

READ MORE:Martin Lewis warns of LISA penalty that leaves savers with ‘less’

Explaining the “key warning sign” of the scam, Naveed Islam, chief information security officer at Dojo, said it will typically attempt to entice consumers with “exclusive” and “market-leading” offers that are too good to be true.

He said: “With phone contracts to increase from April 1, consumers may notice more targeting by fraudsters impersonating their phone contract provider, putting many vulnerable consumers at risk.

“Quite often, the offers will be time-limited to cause extra pressure on victims to enter their bank details or payment card details without necessarily double-checking the legitimacy of the offer.

“If you have fallen victim to a scam, contact your bank immediately to suspend your card and account. Your bank or building society will then be able to provide specialist support from their scam unit.”

Ultimately, Mr Islam said if there is any doubt about the authenticity of a text message or email, it’s probably a scam.

He said: “Take a minute to think about the message; were you expecting it, have you checked for spelling mistakes and double-checked the sender’s address?

“If the email address from the sender doesn’t look like it’s from a genuine address, don’t click on it.”

Often scammers will use a suspicious email address that includes words that don’t relate to the company they’re impersonating, or they’ll use lots of numbers.

READ MORE: Best easy-access savings accounts – full list

Mr Islam said: “Large brands will have dedicated teams investigating frauds affecting their customer base and damaging their brand reputation, so they will undoubtedly appreciate any information you can provide that can stop these fraudulent activities going forward.”

If people think they may be being scammed, they can forward the email as an attachment to Action Fraud who will investigate.

Mr Islam added: “Alternatively forward [the scam message] to You can also forward any suspicious SMS for free to 7726 and both services are provided by the UK Government, for free.”

Source link

Check Also

Side hustles: Man makes £16,000 in one month on Etsy and quits job to make six-figures | Personal Finance | Finance

One man is sharing how he was able to bring in the equivalent of £16,500 …