Northamptonshire Police warn of fraudsters stealing money and identity via SMS messages

Police are urging mobile phone users to be vigilant in light of the Smishing fraudster alert.
Police are urging mobile phone users to be vigilant in light of the Smishing fraudster alert.

Even mobile phones not connected to the internet now put Northampton users at risk of identity theft, police are warning.

'Smishing' – the term used for SMS phishing – is an activity which enables criminals to steal victims’ money or identity, or both, as a result of a response to a text message".

The act of 'Smishing' - via a smartphone or even traditional non-internet connected handset - is a new method used by criminals to manipulate victims into confirming whether a transaction from their credit card provider is genuine and asking recipients of the SMS to reply with ‘Y’ for Yes or ‘N’ for No, which can lead to being defrauded.

"Through this method the fraudster would receive confirmation of the victim’s active telephone number and would be able to engage further by asking for the victim’s credit card details, CVV number (the three digits on the back of your bank card) and/or other personal information," The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau says.

In light of the new information, the force warns mobile phone users to check the validity of the text message by contacting credit card providers through the number provided on the back of their card or on the credit card/bank statement.

As well as this, if any phone calls from the bank seems suspicious, officers are now telling people to hang up the phone and wait for 10 minutes before calling the bank back.

If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, Action Fraud urge you to report it to http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or alternatively by calling 0300 123 2040.