‘This is a message from DPD: Your parcel cannot be delivered until you pay the outstanding fee. Click here to pay it (insert dodgy link which asks you to input your card details)’.
Hundreds of thousands of us around the UK and beyond play victim to this method of deception every single day.
But why is it so easy for ‘them’ to contact us? How do they get away with it? And most importantly, how can you identify what’s a scam text and what is not – so that you can avoid hefty chunk sums of money being deducted from your bank account!
Scam SMS & Emails
Scammers and tight-knit groups of legitimate organisations setting out to take advantage of the population with a phone number are extremely clever.
They work on a basis that asks for a small amount of money, anywhere from £2 – £50, which makes you second guess yourself. “What would a scammer gain from asking for this amount of money?”
But, it’s not just that amount they’re taking. They then have your card detailed stored, ready to hit you again when you least expect it.
Higher authorities are on to it – but not fast enough!
The government are aware of what’s happening, and the police are inundated with scam claims and calls each and every day. But even so, it doesn’t seem to be enough, as many people still continue to be contacted by scammers.
So, what can you do to prevent yourself from being drawn into scams online?
Here’s what to look out for:
If you receive a text, asking for a payment or with a link attached requesting you type in your details, if it’s come from an 07 number, before clicking anything, I’d be very vigilant!
From big corporations like your bank or mail service, they will almost always have the name as the contact, rather than a random 07 number.
If you have received an email that looks like an actual company, but you feel something is off, check the email that it came from!
It should be a legitimate email you can trace back to their website, if it is made up of random letters or digits, or even in some cases, names, it’s most likely a scam email.
Look out for grammatical errors
Surprisingly, you’d think scammers would have their stuff together seeing as though they’re trying to make quick money. A lot of scam texts and emails boast a range of bad grammatical and spelling errors – no big organisation would make this mistake.
So, if you spot the lack of a space or a miss spelt word, even down to the continuity of the layout of text – if it looks off, steer clear!
More help & advice…
You can complain about a company or a number making nuisance calls and texts to a number of organisations including the TPS, your phone operator, Ofcom (which covers silent and abandoned calls) or the ICO.
The threshold at which the ICO is allowed to act has been lowered and they have the power to fine companies up to £500,000 that break the rules on unsolicited texts and phone calls.
Which? will continue to work with all the relevant bodies to ensure that efforts to tackle the problem are stepped up.
Sending unsolicited text messages is illegal. So, if you want to stop receiving spam texts you can report this to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
You can also report unsolicited text messages to your mobile provider.– Which? (How to deal with spam text messages – Which?)
Read more about the latest news and updates, here.