I recently received three texts – two from mobile network provider EE and the third from HMRC.
The texts from EE came from separate mobile numbers. Both stated that my direct debit for my mobile number was no longer working and I needed to reinstate it. They helpfully provided a link to allow me to do this.
I typed the link into a web browser to see what it would say. Sure enough, it was an EE landing page that first asked for some basic credentials. Although the EE page looked convincing, I noticed that every other link on the page, eg ‘Contact us’ or the Welsh version, always resolved to the page I was on.
Anyway, I entered some false credentials, and it took me to another page, where I was asked for my full name, business address and business bank account information. At that point, I stopped.
Although it was clear to me it was a scam, it may not be so to everyone. It’s easy to envisage being tricked by this, especially if you are concerned your mobile number is going to be cut off.
If you receive a text like this report it to the true provider via their actual website, in this case, EE.
The HMRC text stated that I was due a tax refund, and again there was a link to follow. Sure enough, the landing page looked like HMRC, again no other links worked. The second page requested credit card information, helpfully advising me I was due a £1,100 refund, even though I had entered false credentials. It same modus operandi as EE, another clear scam.
HMRC actually have a page for reporting scams – https://www.gov.uk/report-suspicious-emails-websites-phishing/report-hmrc-phishing-emails-texts-and-phone-call-scams – please do use it if you receive a text similar to the one I received.
So, please stay aware of the threat that is increasing. As usual, if you are being asked to do something urgently or it seems too good to be true, do not take action. If in doubt, call the company or organisation using their details from a Google search.