A new text message scam could take thousands of pounds out of your bank account , experts have warned.
It is said the text could look like any standard message you would receive from your bank and may not immediately spark cause for concern.
Wales Online report that it has already resulted in one woman losing a £71,000 inheritance left to her by her late father.
Claire Pearson appeared on ITV's This Morning saying about how she watched the money being drained from her account.
She also said her bank told her it was not obliged to pay it back as they were not at fault.
Here is everything you need to know about the latest scam and how to avoid being a victim yourself.
What is the scam?
A text message is received that says it's from your bank. It says there has been suspicious activity on your account. Worryingly, it comes on the same thread on your phone as genuine text messages from your bank because a mobile number is effectively being spoofed. This means that if you've saved your bank's number in your phone, it will look like it's come from that number.
It says your debit card was recently used and names a store and the amount supposedly spent. It then tells you to call a "fraud prevention" number if it's a transaction you do not recognise.
You tap on the number to call and there is someone there to answer.
In fact, in this victim's case, the call went on for 30 minutes and they discussed her banking details. After the call ends, the fraudsters use information given to access your account and drain the funds.
Who has fallen victim to the scam?
Claire Pearson watched as over £71,000 - an inheritance from her father who passed away last year - was stolen from her account.
Speaking on This Morning , she said: 鈥淚 received the text, but this wasn鈥檛 unusual as I鈥檝e had messages from them before. It said there had been suspicious activity on my account, asked 鈥榙o you recognise this transaction?? if not call this number.
鈥淚 clicked the number and it called through, and the call went on for 30 minutes. The man I spoke to was lovely, we built up a rapport and he said they would send me a new card in three days.?/p>
After the call ended, Claire became worried, so decided to call the bank back. She even called the number she had stored in her phone for her bank - Santander.
But as she was on hold, she logged in to her online banking and watched as transactions went through and money was drained from her account.
Can she get the money back?
At the moment, she stands to lose nearly all of it.
Santander has declined her fraud claim, saying she had provided the third party access to her account. The bank reimbursed her £400 from the money lost, and managed to retrieve £1,850 from the receiving bank account and return it to her.
But it added: 鈥淲hen there has been no Santander error and customers have divulged personal, security information, we cannot accept any responsibility for the losses on the account.?/p>
Claire said: 鈥淭hey reversed one transaction as it was in process when I was on the call, and since then Santander have frozen the remaining receiving accounts and returned the money in them to me. But as far as the bank is concerned the case is closed.?/p>
The Financial Ombudsman said: 鈥淲hether someone is able to get their money back following a fraud depends on the individual circumstances of each complaint and whether we find the victim鈥檚 bank has made an error which has helped contribute to the loss.?/p>
It said that from April 1, 2015, to February 8, 2017, it received around 6,000 new complaints about disputed transactions.
How can you avoid being scammed?
On This Morning, consumer expert Harry Wallop said: 鈥淭his text message scamming is known as shmishing and it is the new phishing.
鈥淭his is so sophisticated - they are spoofing a mobile number, with a message coming in to a string of legitimate texts you鈥檝e already got from your bank.
鈥淎larm bells shouldn鈥檛 necessarily have rung when the text come through - but you should always call the number on the back of your bank card, not a number in a text message. The number on the message was a fake number.
鈥淭he second alarm bell should have rung when they asked for your password - an official bank call will NEVER ask for your password or security codes in full.?/p>
You should also follow these safety tips:
- Never give out personal or financial information on the phone or by email. Your bank, the police or any other organisation will never ask you for these in full
- Never allow someone remote access to your computer following a cold call
- Don鈥檛 rely on caller ID ?numbers can be spoofed by fraudsters to make it look like they鈥檙e calling from a trusted number
- Your bank, the police or any other company, will never call to ask you to transfer your money out of your account for security reasons
- Be wary of all cold calls claiming to be from banks, police, or other trusted organisations ?if you have any concerns, call back on an independently verified number
- If you have fallen victim to a scam, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040