Martin Lewis issues urgent warning over ‘clever’ scam that will steal your bank details | #socialmedia


MONEY saving expert Martin Lewis has issued an urgent warning about a “clever” scam that could see fraudsters steal your bank details.

Mr Lewis, 50, took to his Twitter page to warn Brits about the suspect text messages which charge a fee for a parcel delivery.

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Martin Lewis took to his Twitter page to warn his followers about the potential scamCredit: Rex

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

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

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

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

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

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) said at the time it has received evidence of the scam, which uses a text message to claim a parcel is awaiting delivery but a “settlement” must first be paid.

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

Common scams and what you can do to avoid them

Fraudsters are increasingly devious in getting unsuspecting victims to part with their cash, and there are a number of common types of scam that you should be alert 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 type of scam accounts for a quarter of all cases.

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

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

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

“If you get a link or text message, don’t click. To verify it’s real, look up the contact yourself.”

Should you fall victim to this type of fraud Mr Davis recommends you contact your bank immediately.

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

Fake jobs

Crooks post adverts on social media offering easy ways to earn cash in a bid to snare anyone desperate for extra money.

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

You are asked to pay a deposit and told you 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 advised: “Steer clear of any offer of work that asks you to put money down before you can earn.

“Any offer of big returns for minimal effort is likely to be 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 as energy and grocery bills surge.

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

You click on the link and you are asked to hand 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 try to spend money on your card or phone you up pretending to be your bank, internet company or the police and trick you into transferring money to them.

James Walker, chief executive of data management company Rightly, says: “Never trust a link in a text or email.

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

What to do if scammed

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

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

It will tell the police and give you 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 as long as you did not act fraudulently or with “gross negligence”, for example, giving away your PIN number or password.

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

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

Using a credit card when shopping online gives you 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 can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service if you are not happy with how your complaint was dealt with.

Dodgy discounts

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

You are typically asked to transfer money to a bank account rather than paying by card. 

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

“If you’re unable to do those two things, that should be a big red flag that you may be about to get scammed.”

Lotto plot

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

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

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

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

Bogus benefactor

Fraudsters can target the unwary by sending an email 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 can’t reveal the identity of your benefactor and if you don’t act quickly, the Government will get your money. In order to receive your payout, they say you first have to pay a fee to cover tax and legal fees. In reality, the wealthy benefactor 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 almost certainly a con. Speak to friends and family, do your research and don’t act in a hurry.”

You can report fraud and cyber crime to Action Fraud either online by calling 0300 123 2040.

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