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HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds and Halifax customers sent urgent scam warning

Banking customers at Barclays, Halifax, HSBC and Lloyds are being warned of new scams targeting their details.

Fraudsters have been hard at work throughout the pandemic trying to trick unsuspecting victims to hand out their details.

The latest round of scams see customers receive texts claiming to be from UK banks trying to dupe customers out of their cash.

Potential victims will receive fraudulent text messages from scammers.

The text message reads: “A payment was attempted from a NEW device and needs approval. If this was NOT you, please visit ______ to secure your account.”

Another message will tell customers that they have “successfully added a new payee” prompting customers to share their details saying: “If this was not you, please visit ____ to secure your account.”

The warning comes from Katherine Hart, a Lead Officer at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).

She 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.”

She added: “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.”

How to spot a scam

There are a number of ways that you can spot a scam or fake message. Things to look out for include:

Checking the ‘from’ address – is it from a company or organisation, or from a random email address? It should be worth noting that scammers often change their names to make the emails look like they’re from a legitimate company, but it’s always worth checking

Is the greeting impersonal? Royal Mail says that fraudsters “often use subjects or greetings that are impersonal and general”

Is there poor spelling, grammar or presentation? While scammers are getting better at making their messages look more professional, a more common thing to look out for it lack of consistency in the email, like different font styles or sizes, and mismatching logos

If you’re unsure about the message you’ve received in any way, you should always err on the side of caution.

Reach out to the company that is supposedly trying to communicate with you in a way that is completely separate from the message.

Don’t use any phone numbers, email address or linked websites. Instead, search for the company and use a different number or email address, from its website for example.

If you have received any suspicious emails or text messages claiming to be from a bank or any other company, you can also report the scam to Action Fraud here.

For scams in or from Scotland, you should contact Police Scotland on the 101 telephone service.

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