Each time she made the call, a person on the other end kept saying they couldn’t speak and continually put pressure on her to make the payment quickly.
After becoming more concerned Alison then agreed to make the payment with the scammer handing over the alleged loan shark’s bank details.
Fortunately, Alison says she forgot to click the final payment confirmation and then became suspicious after the scammer asked for a picture to prove the payment had been made. It was a lucky escape and it’s a warning to all users to be on alert.
CTSI Lead Officer, Katherine Hart, who spoke on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme to discuss this incident, said: “This is not the first time I have seen this type of message, which is highly deceptive. Scammers are experts at exploiting the emotional vulnerability of the public, and this is a particularly insidious example of it.
“When receiving a message out of the blue like this, always be suspicious and doubly so when money is involved. Alison did the right thing by trying to call the number to verify, but as we see, fraudsters are skilled at influencing quick action, and she almost lost money to it.
“Please always report suspicious texts by forwarding them to 7726 – a free service by Ofcom which enables authorities to analyse messages and build a full picture of this enormous problem.”