/ Money

Scam alert: fake O2 invoice SMS

A convincing fake text message purporting to be from O2 is doing the rounds. Have you received it? Here’s what makes this one particularly dangerous.

Well-crafted smishing texts or phishing emails will always make you look twice, and that’s exactly what I did when I received this one just two days ago.

I’m with O2, so this fake SMS is clearly finding its intended audience. But what made it stand out as worth a second look?

This one’s all about the layout. It mimics a genuine O2 text message almost perfectly, but it’s yet another phishing scam designed to steal your bank details.

A similar smishing text targeted Giffgaff customers back in April, which again attempted to send recipients to a phishing website,

How can you tell it’s a scam?

Despite its slick layout, there are a few signs that you should always look out for when you receive a text message purporting to be from a business:

⚠ It’s asking you to enter bank details by providing a direct link

⚠ It’s attempting to panic you into action by stating that O2 was unable to process your latest bill

⚠ The URL is suspicious, containing the domain ‘invoice142’ – this site is nothing to do with O2

⚠ It’s arrived from a completely random number, separate to any other communication from O2

You can read all our tips on how to spot a scam on our consumer rights pages here.

Even if you’re a customer of the brand, you should always be wary of unsolicited texts. If you’re not sure, get in contact with the company via its official channels and ask directly – especially if you’ve been asked for bank details.

O2 told us:

O2 takes the safety and security of its customers very seriously. O2 will never email, text or call to ask for a one-time code, password, or other security information you’ve set up on your O2 account.

Receiving a suspicious email, text or voice call won’t harm you in any way. It’s only dangerous if you interact with it.

If you’re suspicious, report it immediately. You can report fraudulent text messages by forwarding to 7726. It won’t cost you anything and it means we can investigate the sender.

There’s lots of useful advice and links on our O2 Fraud and Security webpage.

If you think you may have given sensitive information to scammers, let your bank know immediately, then read our guide to getting your money back.

Have you received this fake O2 text? Have you been sent anything similar out of the blue requesting your bank details?

Let us know in the comments.

Pat Daunt says:
18 July 2020

I have received 3 similar phishing emails purporting to be from BT, who I’m with.
Each stating my bill could not be processed and asking me to click a link.
I forwarded them to the BT phishing team.
Each one came from a different email address, and had the BT logo

David Goodwin says:
18 July 2020

Am with GiffGaff. Today, Saturday, received text from unknown Mobile number with simply a six digit in the message. Now cannot delete it or block it, just cannot clear from screen. What should I do?

Joy Hounsome says:
19 July 2020

I received this email yesterday from bill@British gas.co.uk/overdue
The tone gets progressively more aggressive and threatening as you read through the message and I can see people being very scared by it. I suspect that the small amount of the supposedly unpaid invoice is designed to make people pay it rather than risk the threatened action and so unwittingly pass their bank details to the scammed. Fortunately I was not taken in as I live in the countryside and do not have a gas supply anywhere nearby!

Zina Johnson says:
19 July 2020

I’ve received a very similar text from O2. I’m not even with O2.

John Bromley says:
20 July 2020

I received a scam text under the guise of O2 several weeks ago. It seemed quite convincing but fortunately alarm bells rang and I chose to delete it.

Rita says:
22 July 2020

I Just received a message supposedly from Netflix saying there were problems with my last payment. I haven’t signed up to Netflix so it must be a scam

Bejay says:
22 July 2020

I received one of these purporting to be from O2. Fortunately I did not click on the link but did try to contact O2 to check whether they had indeed failed to collect my payment. I could not find a single way of contacting them short of actually going into a shop. Phone numbers referred me back to the web page, there were no e mail facilities and the chat line was not available. Terrible communications for a communication company. In the end I just chose to ignore it

Cornelis says:
22 July 2020

EE ditto, 3 months in a row