/ Money

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.

Sign up to the new Which? scam alert service

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.

Richard says:
27 April 2020

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.