Martin Lewis scam: Scams ‘stealing money and personal data from thousands of people’

Money saving expert Martin Lewis has issued an urgent alarm about a “clever” scam that could run across fraudsters steal your bank details.

Mr Lewis, 50, took to his Twitter folio to warn Brits virtually the suspect text messages which accuse a fee for a parcel commitment.


Martin Lewis took to his Twitter page to warn his followers nearly the potential scam
Credit: Rex

Writing on the social media site, Mr Lewis said: “Beware. Just had a clever version of the ‘pay £1.99 for Post Role Parcel delivery’ scam text, aiming to steal bank info.

He then added: “The ‘fee’ isn’t mentioned in the text, it talks well-nigh ‘delays in transit’ and offers ‘a date to reschedule’. It’southward only when you click thru it mentions a fee.”

He said that anyone receiving the message should forrard it to 7726 for information technology to be investigated by Ofcom.

The scam has echoes of a similar text message con which was in operation around March time concluding yr.

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This saw criminals pose every bit Royal Mail in a bid to steal personal and bank details.

The Chartered Trading Standards Constitute (CTSI) said at the time it has received bear witness of the scam, which uses a text bulletin to claim a parcel is awaiting delivery but a “settlement” must first exist paid.

The message included a link which lead to a fraudulent website posing as a Purple Mail page and asking for personal and banking concern details.

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Common scams and what y’all tin can practice to avoid them

Fraudsters are increasingly devious in getting unsuspecting victims to function with their cash, and at that place are a number of common types of scam that yous should be warning for.

Impersonation fraud

An impersonation scam is where fraudsters pretend they are from a well-known company or service, from banks and delivery companies, to Amazon and even the police.

An estimated £2billion was lost to fraud over the past year and this blazon of scam accounts for a quarter of all cases.

Criminals are now also capitalising on the cost of living crisis, pretending to exist from free energy firms in an effort to steal your cash.

The scammers often pretend to be from the fraud department of the bank, tricking you into believing that there’southward a serious problem and that you need to act apace.

Paul Davis, director of fraud prevention at TSB, said: “Never appoint with calls out of the blue. Be suspect about them all.

“If you get a link or text bulletin, don’t click. To verify it’s existent, expect up the contact yourself.”

Should y’all autumn victim to this type of fraud Mr Davis recommends you contact your bank immediately.

Not just can this help you recover the money, it stops the cash getting in the hands of criminals.

Fake jobs

Crooks mail adverts on social media offer easy ways to earn cash in a bid to snare anyone drastic for extra money.

They pose as marketing companies that will pay you for unproblematic tasks such equally liking posts or watching videos.

Yous are asked to pay a deposit and told y’all will make your money back and much more. But you don’t earn a thing and the criminals steal your cash.

Fraud expert Mr Davis brash: “Steer articulate of any offer of work that asks you to put money down before you tin can earn.

“Any offer of big returns for minimal effort is probable to exist a fraud. Only ever download apps from official app stores and even then remain wary and check reviews first.”

Shopping swindle

Criminals know many families are facing a choice between heating and eating every bit energy and grocery bills surge.

They turn this to their advantage past sending offers by email or text, offering the chance to become £50 as a refund on your shopping or vouchers for a particular supermarket by clicking on a link and filling out a survey.

You lot click on the link and you are asked to paw over bank details or card details so that you can receive payment from the survey.

These details are often sold to other crooks who will either effort to spend money on your carte or phone you up pretending to be your bank, cyberspace company or the police and fox you into transferring coin to them.

James Walker, principal executive of information direction company Rightly, says: “Never trust a link in a text or email.

“There are legitimate firms that will pay you to exercise surveys. Read online reviews first and contact them rather than responding to a bulletin.”

What to do if scammed

CALL your bank immediately using the number on the dorsum of the card.

Tell Action Fraud, report it online or by calling 0300 123 2040 (Monday to Fri, 8am-8pm).

It will tell the constabulary and give yous a crime reference number.

Some banks offer automatic refunds – but it does vary.

Current rules say if you have not authorised the payment then you should get a refund every bit long as you lot did not act fraudulently or with “gross negligence”, for example, giving away your Pivot number or password.

In 2019 some banks, including Barclays, Santander and HSBC, signed a voluntary scam lawmaking launched in 2019.

TSB has a fraud refund guarantee in place where information technology will refund you as long as you lot are clearly an innocent victim of a con.

Using a credit carte when shopping online gives yous more protection as you are covered under the Consumer Credit Act, which says you are entitled to a refund if items are not delivered or are not as described.

You tin complain to the Fiscal Ombudsman Service if yous are not happy with how your complaint was dealt with.

Dodgy discounts

Scammers prey on shoppers as they try to beat toll hikes by hunting for deals online. They annunciate heavily discounted branded items like trainers and gadgets on social media or sites such as eBay.

Yous are typically asked to transfer coin to a bank account rather than paying by card.

Lloyds Bank fraud prevention manager Liz Ziegler said: “When shopping, the best style to stay safe is to purchase from a trusted retailer, and always pay by card for the greatest protection.

“If you’re unable to exercise those 2 things, that should exist a large red flag that you may be almost to go scammed.”

Lotto plot

With this con, crooks will telephone or write telling you that you have won a lottery or prize depict.

You lot’ll be told that y’all need to pay a fee to get your greenbacks. The criminals will then steal your money and you lot volition never get the prize you were promised.

Craig Mullish, of the City of London Police, said: “Remember, yous can’t win a draw that you lot oasis’t entered.

“If you lot’re contacted out of the blue challenge you’ve won a prize draw but can but access these winnings by paying an advance fee, information technology’s likely to be a scam.”

Artificial benefactor

Fraudsters can target the unwary by sending an e-mail or letter claiming to be from a lawyer informing you that someone very rich has died and you are in line for a big inheritance.

The fraudsters will often say that they tin can’t reveal the identity of your distributor and if you lot don’t human activity rapidly, the Regime will go your coin. In club to receive your payout, they say you first take to pay a fee to comprehend tax and legal fees. In reality, the wealthy distributor doesn’t exist and you’re left much poorer.

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Paul Davis said: “Never hand over money on the promise that you’re entitled to a large sum. If it sounds unlikely, trust your instincts – it’s virtually certainly a con. Speak to friends and family, practice your inquiry and don’t human activity in a hurry.”

Y’all can report fraud and cyber crime to Activity Fraud either online by calling 0300 123 2040.

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