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Guernsey resident defrauded out of £33,000

Credit: PA Images

A Guernsey resident was defrauded out of £33,000 after responding to a text message, which appeared to be from the bank.

The victim called the number shown in the 'Smishing' text. The fraudsters then siphoned off £33,000 of savings under the pretence of helping safeguard the money.

'Smishing' or SMS Phishing, is a new type of scam where fraudsters send a text message to a mobile phone. The messages usually ask people to click on a link or call a telephone number. The victim will then be asked to release personal information to criminals, who are masquerading as a bank or perhaps an online shop.

An example of a 'Smishing' text Credit: Guernsey Police

Whilst many will be used to recognizing email-based 'phishing' scams, the text-based 'phishing' is less well-known and may not be detected as easily.

Detective Sergeant Nigel Henaghen advised people to be exercise caution with messages from banks asking to deal with an account problem.

The best way to avoid being caught out is never to click a link or call a number. Instead, contact your bank independently using a verified phone number. There is also a danger that responding to the message will allow malware to be installed on your phone which can silently collect personal information without you knowing.

So, be suspicious of any SMS message that asks you to click or call to deal with an account problem, update account details, or process a transaction. And finally, if you do receive any suspicious texts, make sure you delete them.

– DS Nigel Henaghen, Guernsey Police Economic Crime Division