SCAMMERS claiming to be from HSBC are sending out fake texts in an attempt to steal your bank details.
The messages claim to be alerting customers to the fact that their bank account has been locked, implying that funds cannot be accessed.
The fraudsters then ask customers to either visit their local branch to unlock the account or by clicking on a “secure link”.
The link then takes you to a website and asks you to fill out a form with your personal details.
In reality, the website is run by fraudsters who can then use the information that you’ve provided to steal your funds.
Scores of people have reported receiving the text messages on Twitter, even those who don’t bank with HSBC.
That’s because the scammers are using a technique known as “phishing” which involves randomly sending out messages to as many people as possible in the hope that someone falls for their nasty tricks.
One person wrote: “Today I received this text message, my mobile number is not linked to my accounts at HSBC and I have successfully logged on to my internet banking. I assume it is a scam.”
Another said: “Just received a text message from HSBC saying my online banking has been suspended. Shame I’ve never banked with them.”
How to spot a fake message or email
IF you’ve received an email or text message claiming to be from your bank or a retailer, then these are the things you should look out for:
- Your bank or the retailer will always address a customer by name
- They will never ask a customer for their PIN, password or full memorable information
- The bank would never ask a customer to click on a link in an email or text message that takes you to a page which asks you for your username, password or any other information
- They would never ask a customer to email or text them PINs, card details or passwords
- Customers should not click on any links in emails if they have concerns
- Customers are encouraged to call their bank if they have any concerns about an email they have received
In most of the messages, the fraudsters have masked their phone numbers so that it looks like it has been sent from HSBC, although some names contain spelling mistakes such as “??HSBC” and “AHSBC”.
The bank’s social media team has confirmed the scam by replying to some of the reports on Twitter.
In one reply, the bank wrote: “This has not been sent by us, we will never send a text message with a link attached.”
It is also advising customers to forward the messages to email@example.com.
If you are worried about receiving one of the dodgy texts or feel you may have been scammed, you should report the issue to Action Fraud.
A HSBC spokesperson told The Sun: “We advise consumers to be wary of unexpected contact from their bank, and if they are in any doubt they should not click on links in unexpected text messages or e-mails and never reveal a Secure Key code to anyone, as this could help scammers get access to your account.”
NatWest and RBS customers have also recently been targeted by tricksters trying to steal cash.
Of the 42 fraud victims who rang the consumer group’s helpline between May 2018 and January 2019, nearly half of cases (18) involved the two banks.
Banks have previously been slammed for blaming customers who’ve been scammed, but new rules introduced at the end of January should make it easier to get your money back from fraudsters.
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