One Twitter user @thelifeandlega1 tweeted out a warning last week after they received a “very convincing” text message that purported to be from Santander. They attached a screenshot of the text message received and the website that the link took them to. The tweet said: “A very convincing scam. I am not a Santander customer. BEWARE!! Very convincing website at the link. All deleted.” The text message that the user received said: “Santander – You recently set up a new payee via mobile banking on 20/07. If this was NOT you, please visit: steps-to-remove.com.”
The screenshot of the website that the user tweeted was designed to look identical to Santander’s official site and also included a pop-up which warned the user of COVID-19 scams.
The pop-up said: “Beware of Coronavirus scams: Criminals are using coronavirus to target people. Please stay on the lookout for anything unusual. Don’t be rushed and make sure any contact claiming to be from us is genuine.”
Multiple other users reported receiving text messages about submitting payments.
One user shared a screenshot to Santander’s Twitter support team asking if the message was genuine after receiving it earlier that day.
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The message said: “Santander Online Help – You have submitted a payment of £266.66 to [name omitted] and will be processed. If this was NOT, you visit: app-complete-request.com.”
The other users reported similar texts to this over the last week.
Santander responded to all and confirmed that they were indeed scams.
Santander responded: “Hi, thanks for getting in touch. That is a scam text you have received, Santander will never send anything containing any links. If you can, please forward the message to firstname.lastname@example.org thank you.”
Twitter user @Alfie2604 tweeted a response to the report stating that the messages are getting “more realistic”.
It said: “I got a message from ‘Santander’ saying my new standing order just needed me to click on the ‘link’. So I checked by logging onto my app. As suspected – a scam. They are getting more realistic so always check.”
Multiple other users shared screenshots of a “very convincing” email that they had apparently received from Santander.
The email scam which was the most popular last week was one regarding Santander claiming that it “was changing the way you log on to Online Banking”.
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The email included a link in which the receiver of the email would be prompted to enter their banking details and “up-to-date” mobile number.
The high street bank congratulated one user saying that they had “taken the right steps to report this” and tweeted them a link to its “top fraud and security tips”.
Santander’s five tips for avoiding fraud and scams instruct people to never share a Santander One Time Passcode (OTP) with another person, not even a Santander employee, and to never download software or let anyone remotely log on to a person’s computer or devices, either during or after a cold call.
It also recommends that people never enter their online banking details after clicking a link in an email or text message, to never transfer money out of an account if they are instructed to, or to set up new/change existing payment details without verifying the request directly with the person/company first.
Santander states it is preferable that people use existing contact details of the person/company rather than one that has been given with the request.
Santander reported that fraud is costing people in the UK around £10.9billion every year.