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HSBC scam warning: Britons urged to watch out for text message sent by fraudsters


Fraudsters have been spoofing Barclays, Halifax, HSBC and Lloyds Bank in phoney text messages, the new alert warns. It comes as the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) said it this month received “considerable” evidence of banking scams which had been sent via SMS messages.

In most cases, the scam texts pretend to be security messages from a bank.

The messages request confirmation of a payment made from a digital device not used before, as scammers attempt to trick the victim into parting with their bank details.

In another piece of evidence, the message asked the recipient to click a link to confirm payment to a named person, the CTSI said.

Despite the slight changes, all of the phoney messages contained links requesting the victim’s bank login details.

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Worryingly, this puts the targeted person at serious risk of theft and banking fraud.

The CTSI said its evidence included messages claiming to be from four of the UK’s largest banks and building societies.

This includes Barclays, Halifax, HSBC and Lloyds.

Katherine Hart, a Lead Officer at CTSI, said: “I am witnessing so many reports of this scam; indeed, I have received multiple versions of it on my phone.

“The public is very vulnerable to this type of fraud, especially when more people rely on online payments.

“Fraudsters change the form and methods of their scams to match shifting consumer behaviour.

“The surge in online shopping and payments means that the public must be more vigilant when making online payments and receiving messages claiming to be from their bank.

“If you receive a suspicious text like this, please contact your bank directly and verify with them.

“Also, forward any scam texts to 7726, which is a free reporting service ran by Ofcom.

“We must protect ourselves and others from these scams but also provide vital intelligence to authorities.”

It is possible to report scams by contacting Action Fraud, or those in Scotland can contact Police Scotland.

Email scams can be reported by contacting the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) via [email protected]

Some people have opted to share their own warnings by publishing alerts on social media, after receiving suspicious text messages.

“Have had three of these texts supposedly from @HSBC_UK in just one day. I don’t even bank with them #fraud #scam #scamalert,” wrote one person.

Another penned: “@HSBC_UK scam going around. I don’t even bank with HSBC but be wary!”

“@HSBC_UK suspected scam txt message,” warned another, beside a photo of the text message in question.


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