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Only 18% were able to identify all of these fraud reports … could you do better?


Only 18% of people could see the fakes from 10 fraud emails and texts that were shown to them: would you outwit the fraudsters?

  • TSB showed 2,000 people 10 real and 10 fake messages
  • A quarter discovered all counterfeits claiming to be from a bank, but 37% would click
  • Figures assume that thousands of fake emails and texts have been reported to the police in the past few months – we show you what to look out for

Less than a fifth of the people bombarded by fraudulent email and text messages from their bank, mobile operator, or other company would always recognize them as fraudulent.

The High Street Bank TSB showed 2,000 people 20 emails and texts, half of which were fraudulent, and found that only 18 percent correctly detected all 10 scams.

Slightly more than 25 percent of respondents correctly identified all messages allegedly from their bank, but still more than 37 percent responded to one of these messages by either following a link or calling a phone number in the message.

This message is said to come from EE. Many scammers use cheap number spoofing boxes that allow them to easily copy real phone numbers and sit next to legitimate messages

Examples of two of the 10 fraudulent text messages TSB showed to a group of 2,000 people. Only 18% were able to correctly identify all fake messages

These phishing links, which are provided by email or in so-called number spoofing smishing scams, where fraudsters copy a bank or another legitimate company's phone number to display alongside real messages, are used to reveal the details of To capture people.

Stolen personal information can be used for identity fraud purposes, while fake websites can be used to collect payment and bank details from people who can directly put their money at risk.

More than a third of respondents correctly identified fraud messages from cellular companies or similar companies like Amazon or Apple, but younger people were less likely to find fraud cases. Only 9 percent of 18 to 34 year olds identified all 10 fraudulent messages.

The results are worrying as the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in people in the UK being overwhelmed with fake news from fraudsters.

Are young people more vulnerable to phishing messages?
Age group % who correctly identified all 10 fraudulent messages % responding to at least one message from their & # 39; bank & # 39; would answer
18-34 9% 41%
35-54 17% 39%
55+ 26% 32%
Source: TSB

This is money, and our sister titles have reported that fraudsters have faked everything from the NHS contact tracking system to Tesco in the past few months, hoping to get people to share their data.

By June 12, more than 12,000 reports of corona virus phishing emails had been sent to Action Fraud, a number that will have increased in the past month.

Emails and texts pretending to come from the finance officer have long affected British life, but the corona virus has seen an increase in phishing texts that offer coronavirus emergency tax refunds to recipients

Emails and texts pretending to come from the finance officer have long affected British life, but the corona virus has seen an increase in phishing texts that offer coronavirus emergency tax refunds to recipients

This message claims to be from Apple. Following the link would likely result in you revealing your Apple username and password

This message claims to be from Apple. Following the link would likely result in you revealing your Apple username and password

And since corona virus fraud accounts for less than 2 percent of all fraud cases reported to Action Fraud, there were almost certainly thousands of other phishing attempts in the same period.

TSB fraud chief Ashley Hart said: “Fraudsters are getting smarter when they use technologies like text messaging to pretend to be banks and other companies to get people out of their hard-earned money.

“Our results show how convincing these messages can be and show a worrying proportion of people who could be caught.

"The emotional and financial impact of fraud can be devastating. So if we ever fall victim to it, we will refund all of our customers and invest in partnerships with police forces to hunt down the criminals behind the attack."

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But the question is, did Rishi Sunak inject enough money in the summer statement to regain the nation's confidence in the coronavirus crisis, or will a real recovery later require more?

In this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost rule the Chancellor's plan and ask the uncomfortable question of how we should pay for it – and does it matter at all?

Press "Play" above or listen to (and subscribe to the podcast if you like the podcast) on Apple Podcasts, Acast, Spotify and Audioboom or visit our "This is Money Podcast" page.

Phishing links lead victims to fake websites that record their personal and payment details. These are often used to either steal money directly or to commit identity fraud with stolen data

Phishing links lead victims to fake websites that record their personal and payment details. These are often used to either steal money directly or to commit identity fraud with stolen data

How to recognize a smish

Smishing scams can sometimes be difficult to detect, especially when fraudsters spoof real phone numbers, making fake text messages appear alongside legitimate ones.

Always check the address for phishing emails. While the display name may come from "Amazon Customer Service UK" or "PayPal UK", there is a possibility that the email address may either contain typing errors or be completely different from the company it claims to be.

A recent from & # 39; Service@PayPal.com' alleged phishing email actually came from address & # 39; e4kzaeke5f3um1z-bu6gkabotciz07ku @ btrg522l-78300618. Technology & # 39 ;.

Some of the warning signs you should be aware of can help you identify a fake text message or email

Some of the warning signs you need to be aware of can help you identify a fake text message or email

Though difficult to spot at first glance, there are some telltale signs that can make it easier for you to tell when a message is not genuine.

  1. Links in text messages. Banks don't use them. Therefore, never click a link in a message that claims to come from your bank. Be very careful with messages from other senders and check if the message is legitimate by finding the company's official website and signing in or contacting customer service.
  2. Typing error. Phishing texts and emails are often littered with typos. So keep an eye out for these. Many either miss words or spell them incorrectly or use the wrong punctuation. In an example shown to the people interviewed by TSB (see above), the character "£" was missing and a "," was used instead of "." in a price tag.
  3. Phone numbers. Be careful never to call a number that you received in a suspicious email. Check the accuracy on the official website of a bank or other company.
  4. urgency. Fraudsters always try to rush you. Fraudulent messages usually tell you that you need to take urgent action – either to stop a loss or to claim money. Real companies don't rush you. Make it slower and don't make a mistake.

If you have received a phishing email or text message, you can report it.

Most banks have routing services that you can use to flag suspicious-looking messages, and the HMRC launched a similar service a few months ago after addressing people with messages about counterfeit tax refunds.

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