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Scam alert: fake Giffgaff SMS text

We’ve been made aware of a scam text message purporting to be from mobile network Giffgaff. Here’s how to spot it.

A convincing fake SMS text message has been arriving in people’s inboxes lately, attempting to link them through to a scam website.

Fortunately Giffgaff’s security partners acted quickly in getting the fraudulent website ‘giffgaff-simrequest’ taken down, but it’s worth discussing what made this fake text especially dangerous.

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Here’s exactly what the text looked like:

This is a slick scam attempt as it incorporates a number of clever tactics to make it appear genuine, such as:

⚠ Spoofing the sender’s number, so it appears in your inbox as from ‘giffgaff’

⚠ Well-written text, designed to appear friendly and on your side

⚠ A website URL that appears official

But the website was fake, and it’s highly likely it would have asked for personal information that could have led to your bank account being compromised.

Like other scams we’ve seen, this smishing text also attempts to panic the recipient into taking action. It asks that you ‘cancel immediately’ and only visit the link it has supplied; this should alert you that everything is not as it seems.

Keeping safe from fraud

We asked Giffgaff if it was aware of the scam and what action it takes to keep its customers secure. A spokesperson said:

Giffgaff takes the security of our members’ personal information extremely seriously and has a number of measures in place to combat fraudulent activity.

In this case, we would advise members that genuine links from giffgaff will only ever begin with giff.ly or giffgaff.com and members can read more about how to spot the signs of malicious activity here.

For added protection, giffgaff has a two-step authorisation process in place. This involves a one-time passcode code verification for members requesting a SIM swap or wanting to change the email address linked to their accounts.

We urge our members to use unique and strong passwords across all their accounts and advise them to visit our online community forums at www.giffgaff.com for more information on how to protect their personal information.

If a member believes they have been affected by malicious activity they can also contact an agent here.

It also told us that it updated its members on increasing fraudulent activity last month, with advice available on its forums.

As ever, our advice is that you should always be wary of unsolicited texts, no matter how genuine they may appear. If you’re not 100% sure, get in contact with the company in question via its official channels only – do not respond to the SMS or tap through on any links.

If you think you may have given sensitive information to scammers, contact your bank and let it know what’s happened immediately.

You can find our tips on how to spot a scam on our consumer rights advice pages, as well as how to get your money back.

Have you received this fake Giffgaff text or any others purporting to be from other companies? Let us know in the comments.


Comments

I haven’t had a Giff Gaff email but I had one purporting to come from EE which is not my service provider saying that they couldn’t access my payment and to update my bank details.
My latest scam email was supposed to be from the DVLA telling me that my car was no longer taxed as I did not have enough money in my current account to pay my direct debit. My road tax is not due for a couple of months and I do not pay it by direct debit. The email had no details of the make, model and registration number of my car but the English language was very good as was the grammar

My scam was a phone call to the house phone where the guy told me the maintenance contract on the washing machine was expiring and asking if I wanted to renew it with him using my debit or credit card.

I have had the following repetitive attempts at scamming me by telephone it’s #1 Television/Satelite Insurance up for renewal. #2 Telephone protection from cold callers & scam calls. #3 Drain & Waste Water Insurance renewal. #4 e-mails from Gvt. Tax rebate offering rebate from previous Tax year, always for more than I’ve paid in that year. #5 Amazon & pay-pal informing me my account has been blocked due to unusual activity. I wonder how many more will attempt

A couple of years ago I made a mistake in ordering some tat through the Wish website (they claim they’re American which technically they are but it’s nothing but cheap Chinese junk from small manufacturers). BTW I have a OnePlus mobile (made in China) which is a good quality value for money smartphone. I now receive regular calls from an auto attendant style system. In fact it’s about once a week. I answer the calls (from different numbers usually UK mobile numbers, though lately some of the numbers are from landline numbers either identifiable as China or Bejing. I’ve taken to answering the calls. It doesn’t cost me anything. The only Chinese word I recognise is the first word, Nehau (Hello!) after that it’s Chinese. So hang up & block the call on my mobile, which is the only number I ever give out. If a site insists on a landline they don’t get my business. It must be costing them money even if they have access to low cost international calls. I recently received my first spam SMS. It was very badly done telling me my Paypal account had been limited because of access from someone at a different IP address. I didn’t respond to it but checked my account & of course it was OK.

Michelle says:
10 September 2020

Today I recurved thus TEXT
The request to transfer your Number to your new giffgaff SIM is pending. It will be complete within the next 24 hours. If this wasn’t your request login and report it to us immediately. https://giffgaff.support
This is a scam I have not requested anything

I had an email from Virgin Mobile, which I wasn’t sure whether it was a scam or not. It said that I owed them £21 and that my PAYG SIM was now a contract SIM. I’ve asked for proof of contract, but no result. Instead, they set debt collectors on me instead. A letter threatening this action had the phone number 0345 077 1199, and when I looked this number up, 3600+ people looked this number up and some have left comments. From these comments it seems some people are being chased for money who have never had a Virgin Mobile SIM. So is Virgin Mobile now operating a scam ?

Stephen says:
7 December 2020

Just received a text message from Giffgaffuk explaining that my sim will be activated within 24 hours. I have to click a link if this was not me 🙄

Stephen says:
7 December 2020

Just to add… I didn’t click the link.

Stephen – Creating false jeopardy has become the latest technique in the scammers’ modus operandi. Good job you didn’t click on the link. First it would have confirmed your existence as a target, and then you would have been asked to supply certain information “for elimination purposes”. Of course, the text message you received was not actually from Giffgaff and your data would have been harvested and misused almost certainly to your disadvantage.

Scams rely to a considerable extent on the population’s tendency not to know much about what they are signed up to and what the current status of their devices is, as well as to the panic effect of making a worrying statement with a close time deadline.

Sally says:
10 December 2020

I have had a text, reportedly from Giffgaff stating that ‘your account has been flagged due to suspicious activity. To prevent loss of service, resubmit your billing info at https://giffgaff-resubmit.com.
Sounds like a scam to me! Do you agree?

[Moderator: the link shared in this comment appears to be a fake or fraudulent website. We’ve retained the text to help you identify it, however clicking on it will point to our guide to spotting fake or fraudulent websites. Use caution when browsing, particularly when you’re asked to hand over payment details or other personal information]

Mr Paul Fenney says:
28 January 2021

Someone must think I’m stupid! Now having a automated message sent to my Giff Gaff phone saying that I have a arrest warrant against me (Apparently it’s the FBI 🤣🤣)..

I am currently receiving at least 20 -30 e-mails a day ( to 2 older email addresses ) telling me that my Norton, McAfee, Microsoft, AmazonPrime, LdlRewards, Pod Samples, BySystematic and many others….account is about to end and that it needs immediate attention, or I need to update if no longer relevant, with a link to click on. I have blocked the senders many times but they if I click on the senders info they are obviously randomly generated addresses. It is now becoming more than just a minor irritation.

My wife received a new variation of this text this morning

Patrick Clatworthy says:
5 March 2021

Anyone had an E mail from simbvg5 asking to pay a delivery charge?

Brenda says:
31 March 2021

I had a text yesterday from Giffgaff supposedly saying there was an update and to click on link giff.ly/Andr_app
I’m guessing it’s a scam?

[Moderator: this website appears to be a scam website. We’ve retained the URL to help you identify it, but we’ve redirected the link to our guidance on how to spot fraudulent website. ]

Shirley says:
20 April 2021

I received a text saying my Giffgaff data was 80% used and to click on a link to top up. As I have only just renewed my monthly goody bag
I just deleted it as it must be a scam. If not then I’ll run out of data! But I’ll be safe.

Good to be cautious Shirley! GiffGaff do have some guidance in their community about what to do if you believe your account has been compromised by smishing:fgaff.com/d/33004654-possible-text-scam/5

It may also be a good idea to log in to your account in a different way (not via the link you received) to verify your data usage – if nothing else, it may help keep you from running out this month.

Marc kavanagh says:
15 May 2021

Hi, I have received this scam today which appeared in text message chain from giffgaff