/ Money, Scams

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

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?

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

Jennifer Jenkins says:
30 September 2020

Received one this morning. I’m with Tesco Mobile. I did not click on link, just deleted it.

Jane Jeffery says:
6 October 2020

I received the following text message on Sunday at 17:06 from 07958 537756 stating
O2: Payment for your latest bill could not be processed by your bank. Please update your payment information via:

– I’m not even with O2

Sue Craggs says:
7 October 2020

I received a text purporting to be from o2 today, 7th October 2020. it read as follows :-
O2: We were unable to process your latest payment. In order to avoid fees, please update your information via: https;//o2.uk.invnoo2.com/o2=2
I was suspicious and I checked my o2 account, which confirmed that it must be a scam. The phone number is different but the content is mostly the same as mentioned above. I did not click on the website and have deleted the text.

My elderly mother has just fallen for this scam. She clicked thenlinknand added her address details. She also added her credit card details but stopped before adding the code. I have asked her to cancel her card immediately. Could they have also hacked her phone?

John says:
14 October 2020

Hi I have just recd the 02 one a few mys ago

Yes do so. I did the same but realised 2 hrs later probably a scam so cancelled the card and no money taken. However a store card was taken out in my name and money taken from my account one month later but got back from bank. What a hassle and very worrying in case any other cards taken out in my name.

I received the o2 text (second one) this weekend.

Richard Down says:
22 October 2020

Ive also received the o2 text one despite not being a customer, Glad it can be ignored in safety

I have just recieved a suspect message from “o2”, I’m not even with O2.

Ian Craig says:
30 October 2020

Also received this SMS supposedly from O2 with a variation of the URL but undoubtedly a scam.

Elsa says:
1 November 2020

Also had this 02 scam text msg .l did click on link but was sent to an error page. Quickly deleted it

John D says:
3 November 2020

Just received similar from +44 7376 278173. I have no account with o2 and they used https://o2.uk … rather than o2.co.uk , however the link goes to a very realistic looking o2 log in page.

[Moderator: the link shared in this comment appears to be a fake or fraudulent website. We’ve kept the text of the link so you can recognise it, however we’ve redirected where it points to our guidance to spotting fake websites. ]

I got text which came up under the name O2UK – which seemed legit since it has previously advised me my latest bill was ready.

It advised me that I’d been charged for a premium call, and provided a link where I could check. However, the link wanted me to enter my passcode. Although the link looked genuine, I was suspicious since because I did not recall making a premium call – and none was shown on my phone. I went to my existing O2 App – which also showed no such call. I then thought the link to https://o2.one link.me/rFS7/(more characters) was nothing like the normal O2 website.

I forwarded this to O2 as possible scam – but this looked horribly genuine coming up along with previous genuine texts and the linked website looked just like the regular O2 login screen where it would have been very easy to inadvertently provide my passcode

[Moderator: the link shared above appears to be to a scam or fraudulent website. We’ve kept the text of the website to help you identify it, however clicking on the link will redirect you to our advice on spotting such websites. Please use caution when browsing, especially should the website ask you for payment or other personal details]