Fraudsters have been sending distressing messages to parents in the hope that they will reply and send mobile phone top-up voucher codes.
Victims initially receive a text message from a loved-one saying they are in hospital and that the only way they can make contact is via text message.
After responding to the message, fraudsters ask victims to purchase a mobile phone top-up code and text it back to them. Once the fraudsters have the code, they can get the cash credited to their own mobile phone account.
These messages can evolve into more elaborate scenarios and are designed to play on your emotions and get you to react quickly without thinking.
Remember that if a family member, loved-one or friend was hospitalised, they wouldn’t be forced to use a mobile phone that required credit to activate it as staff would easily be able to contact you by other means.
If you receive one of these messages:
- Stop and think before taking immediate action.
- Do you recognise the number? One easy way to check if the text you receive is a scam is to contact who the text is purportedly from, directly on their normal number that you recognise or have stored. Chances are they will answer their phone or text you back.
- Do not send any voucher codes, top-ups or money.
- Do not provide any personal details or information.
- Delete it.
- Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool at www.actionfraud.police.uk