Be extra vigilant this Spring, as fraudsters are targeting members of the public with a mobile phone scam known as 'smishing' - through which some victims have had thousands of pounds stolen from their bank accounts.
Short for 'SMS phishing', smishing occurs when a mobile phone user receives a text message that appears to be from their bank, informing them that suspicious activity has been detected on their account.
The fraudsters will "spoof" the bank's phone number, so the message will appear in the same thread of texts as any legitimate banking messages they might have received.
Victims of the scam are targeted via text message.The message asks the user to call a helpline number to discuss the suspicious activity - and the operator who answers the call will then ask for the caller's bank details.Thus, the victim gives away their details, unwittingly providing thieves with access to their account.
One smishing victim, Claire Pearson, lost £71,000 through the scam. Appearing on ITV's This Morning, she said: "I received the text, but this wasn't unusual as I've had messages from them before. "It said there had been suspicious activity on my account, asked 'do you recognize this transaction?', if not call this number. "I clicked the number and it called through, and the call went on for 30 minutes.