How to spot a phishing call, email or text

  • 20 July 2018
  • 5 replies
  • 1487 views

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At this time of year the number of phishing calls, texts and emails increases. So we thought write a few words explaining how to spot them, and what to do about them.

At iD Mobile, we take spam and phishing attempts seriously. If you ever receive a phone call, email or SMS asking for your card details or passwords, it’s almost certainly a phishing attempt. Here's what to do about it...

How do I identify a phishing call, email or text?
Look out for any suspicious emails that refer to you or the sender as an email address, or anything other than a correct name. Poor spelling and grammar and claims that you've won money or prizes could also be a tell tale sign of phishing. Also, if you receive verification warnings due to a 'blocked account', treat this an indication that the email might not be safe.


What is text spam?
Text spam (also known as SMS Phishing or Smishing) is a common method used by scammers to trick you into going to a website or calling a number.

Once you’ve responded to their SMS, they’ll ask you to provide confidential details, attempt to infect your device with malware, or get you to respond to a premium rate service.

These messages can be very convincing and look like genuine messages sent by organisations you deal with. Here are a few signs on how to spot them…

How to spot text spam
Spam messages often try to play on your emotions. For example, the message might claim that:

· You’re in danger of being locked out of your account if you don’t respond.

· You’ve won something or can get something for free, as long as you respond quickly.

Here’s an example of a genuine spam message that targeted the Three network:



What you should do if you think you've received a phishing call, email or text
Simply receiving a spam message won’t affect the security of your device or iD account. You have to reply to the message for that to happen. That’s why it’ll always ask you to do something like clicking a link, entering confidential information (passwords, bank details etc.), or phoning a number.

If you think you’ve received a spam message, our advice is as follows:

· Think about whether the sender would contact you in this way. For example, iD Mobile will never ask for your password or bank details by text.

· Remember, if a message looks too good to be true, it probably is.

· If you’re still unsure, contact the sending organisation directly to confirm the authenticity of the message. Don’t use any of the contact details on the message itself though - go to their website homepage instead. If you want to check whether an iD Mobile SMS is genuine, contact us on www.idmobile.co.uk/help-and-advice/contact-us

· Don’t reply to the message.

· Don’t do anything that the message asks you to do, like clicking links or downloading anything.

· Report ALL suspicious messages. If it's a text, forward it on to 7726, so our security team can investigate and act. Text CALL to the same number to report a nuisance call – or report the incident to Acton Fraud – UK's national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre.

· After you've reported it, delete the suspicious message.


If you've got any questions on the above, post a reply below and we'll do our best to answer it - or one of your fellow iD Community members will pitch in and help.

5 replies

The issue that I have experienced was: Bill increased from 3.99 a month to 8.49 a month, on investigating the bill. There was a premium rate text on the bill. I contacted customer service who suggested switching premium rate services off, when I checked I found that it had already been switched off, but I was still being charge from premium rate services. They then suggested setting my cap at zero which I couldn't do as you have to clear the balance to zero and then set to zero.

Id Mobile seem to be powerless to help and could explain why when the premium rate was switched off the scam text was still able to be charged to my account.

I think much improvement is need as setting the account to no premium rates services has left me with a false sense of security.
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The issue that I have experienced was: Bill increased from 3.99 a month to 8.49 a month, on investigating the bill. There was a premium rate text on the bill. I contacted customer service who suggested switching premium rate services off, when I checked I found that it had already been switched off, but I was still being charge from premium rate services. They then suggested setting my cap at zero which I couldn't do as you have to clear the balance to zero and then set to zero.

Id Mobile seem to be powerless to help and could explain why when the premium rate was switched off the scam text was still able to be charged to my account.

I think much improvement is need as setting the account to no premium rates services has left me with a false sense of security.



Hello @I_Hate_Id_Mobile,

This is an issue that affects every network provider (which a quick google search will show).

The text subscriptions are only signed up from the user end not by the network so we're not able to stop these or unsubscribe. To STOP the subscription incurs a charge but will stop any further such messages.

There's a regulatory body called the Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA) who regulate these. If you believe that this was signed up in error and are disputing the charges, you can make a complaint via the PSA here: https://psauthority.org.uk

They will be able to help you stop receiving further subscriptions as well as assist in recovering any monies paid. iD Mobile does not directly charge you for this so we're not able to provide a refund. The subscription charges us which we place onto your bill.

PSA should be able to help further as well as give you more information on this.

Please also see the following article: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/im-being-charged-for-unwanted-premium-rate-text-messages

Mohammed
This is not a new problem, but service provides are facilitating in continued growth.

BBC News Report

Join the campaign to stop it now!
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Thanks for sharing those links @I_Hate_Id_Mobile,

We hope this helps other customers affected.

I can see that you've titled your Community username as I hate iD Mobile, however, we'd like to reassure you here that on this instance, we aren't the ones to blame.

Mohammed
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Other scams that we all need to be aware off...

Smishing is sending text messages that appear to come from a trustworthy source like the UK government or even your own doctor which try to steal personal or financial information. If you doubt the text’s authenticity, don't click links. Visit www.gov.uk to check any information given. Verify an organisation’s phone number from their website or from old printed correspondence. 

Phishing is sending emails which try to make you divulge sensitive personal or financial information. They may appear to be Covid-19 tax refunds, reimbursements from travel bookings, safety advice via email and even donation requests. Fraudsters will try to make you click on links that aren't safe. So think before you click. If in doubt, then don't click. And don’t open any attachments from senders that you don’t know. If you’re still worried, talk to family, friends or someone else you trust. 

Vishing is unsolicited phone calls. Always be suspicious of ‘cold-callers’. Don’t be afraid to challenge them or hang up if you can’t verify the caller. Banks, police etc. will never ask for security information, so never give out personal details. If you’re concerned, call the organisation back on the number listed on their website, ideally on a different phone as criminals can sometimes keep the line open. Or if it’s your bank, use the number on the back of your card. 

 

I never heard of the first and last one, big thanks to the TSB for pointing this out...

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