Met Police hand fraudsters a golden opportunity to scam victims

24 November 2022, 13:19 | Updated: 24 November 2022, 17:07

Dean Dunham argues that Scotland Yard has handed fraudsters a golden opportunity
Dean Dunham argues that Scotland Yard has handed fraudsters a golden opportunity. Picture: Global
Dean Dunham

By Dean Dunham

If you received a text message purporting to be from the police this week saying you have fallen victim to the UK’s biggest ever 'bank spoofing' phone fraud you will no doubt have thought it was a scam.

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However, it may not have been, as bizarrely the police have indeed sent out text messages to 70,000 people notifying them of the fraud.

What happened?

A website called iSpoof was set up to provide fraudsters with technology to scam people out of money. More than 59,000 scammers signed up to the site and paid a subscription to iSpoof to use technology that would let them appear as though they were phoning victims from banks such as Barclays, Santander, NatWest and Nationwide.

The website was shut down by police but it is estimated that in excess of 200,000 people in the UK were scammed out of at least £50 million.

Read more: UK’s biggest ever 'bank spoof' fraud: 70,000 Brits to be told by text they are victims of £50m iSpoof con

Listen to The LBC Consumer Hour every Friday at 9pm on Global Player

What should I do if I receive the police text?

The police have gone out and openly advertised they will be sending text messages to potential victims.

This has therefore given fraudsters a golden opportunity to send out their own text messages pretending to be from the police! This was a naïve move by the police that clearly was not thought through.

Based on the above, my advice is if you receive one of these texts assume it’s a scam in the first instance. The ‘genuine’ message will:

  • 1. Only be sent today or tomorrow
  • 2. Tell you to go the met police website but will not include a link for you to click. If the message you receive is a scam it is likely to direct you to call a phone number or click on a link within the message – don’t take either step.

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