/ Money

Scam warning: fake Halifax SMS text

SMS scams, commonly known as ‘smishing’ have been around for a while, but it looks like they’re getting more sophisticated. Have you received one like this?

12/10/2020: Fake Halifax texts increase

We’ve noticed a sharp rise in the number of people reporting fake Halifax SMS texts to us in the last few weeks. Here’s a new example:

Following the link will take you through to a fake website which will attempt to steal your username and password:

If you receive a suspicious text message from Halifax, forward it to its fraud team on security@halifax.co.uk

Not sure if the message is genuine? Contact Halifax via its official channels.

And, if you do think you may have given sensitive information to scammers, let the bank know immediately.

17/07/2019: Fake SMS warning

I’m not a Halifax customer, but when I woke up and saw this text one morning the other week I did have to stop and think about my accounts for a second – what’s going on here?

It is, of course, a scam SMS, but it’s one that can grab your attention, and one definitely worth warning others about.

We’ve covered these ‘smishing’ scams before – most recently last year with examples purporting to be from Santander, Natwest, and another from Halifax.

But in none of the examples from our story was a name used to really grab your attention. That’s what makes this one stand out and, in my opinion, pose more of a threat to vulnerable people.

These smishing texts are designed to convince you to hand over your personal details, pay money or download a virus.

We’ve made Halifax aware of this scam SMS. We’ll be publishing its response here as soon as we receive it.

How to deal with scam text messages

The personal data aspect to this one, however small, is a concern, but I’m not overly worried about how this information was accessed.

After all, my full name is out there online on a variety of different platforms, including this one! But the way in which it’s been tied to my personal phone number and used in a scam attempt is slightly more disconcerting.

If the same attempt had landed with a more vulnerable person with a Halifax account, a scam like this could well prove successful.

You should always be wary of unsolicited texts. If you’re not sure, get in contact with your bank via the genuine means of contact on its official website – do not respond to the SMS itself if you’re having any doubts.

Tips on how to spot a scam and reporting one are also available on our Consumer Rights pages.

Have you received a scam text like this containing your name? Did it purport to be from Halifax, or was the name of another bank used?

Comments
Stephen says:
13 October 2020

I also received a scam Halifax text. What are they doing to take down the fake websites?

Phil Davies says:
14 October 2020

I just had a similar one claiming that a request had been received to set up Mr A Mohammed as a payee on my HSBC account. I don’t have an account with HSBC so I looked up their number and tried to ring them. After waiting 20+ minutes the phone was connected and immediately cut off. So I went on their facebook page for a live chat with one of their customer service team. I put all the details in and posted it. Nobody came online to reply so I amused myself by looking up the location of the phone from which the SMS had been sent. It was in Khazakstan just south of the Russian border. Still no reply so I left my email address in case they want and details and logged out. If you get done by this scam, I have made HSBC aware of its existence and suggested that they might do something about it. So I reckon any losses are now their responsibility………

Stephen says:
16 October 2020

I had the same message about a week ago with a different payee, I don’t have an account with HSBC either…ergo, It’s a scam. I agree with your comment about being their responsibility, but vulnerable people may get involved & the psychological effect could be worse for them. It needs looking into by the financial institutions being misrepresented.

If you dont have an account with HSBC I doubt the bank will want to investigate. What could they do anyway? They are probably much too busy investigating scams for those people who do have an account with them!

Joyce says:
14 October 2020

have had several calls supposedly from HRMC. Told I was accused of a fraud and could be jailed if I didn’t pay upJust said F off and hung up. HMRC never phone.they always write

Valerie Beeby says:
17 October 2020

I too had a call saying they were HRMC ringing to tell me my name was being used in a tax fraud prosecution. I rang off immediately.

Peter Lawrence says:
17 October 2020

This happened to me as well. Told HMRC were investigating me for fraud and threatened me with immediate arrest if I didn’t call by pressing “1” to connect to Tax Dept.
Luckily I deal with HMRC as a tax accountant and I just laughed.
Reported it to Action Fraud, Which and HMRC.

……….it would have been logged and then forgotten about.

Alex Martin says:
15 October 2020

Scammers are always trying this. Doesn’t matter who you bank with as they use a standard template and simply change the bank name.

What people need to look out for are tell tale signed like the URL tyhey are asked to click. None of the examples above are actually “halifax.co.uk” URL’s. Also the number that the sms is from is not the typical 5 digit short sms number eg: 60777. The sms has come from a standard mobile number.

I see this a lot and receive multiple messages relating to EE, again though the sms is from a standard mobile number rather than the usual 150 number.

There are easily spotted tell tale since that everyone should look out for before licking on a link.

worse case scenario….just simply be paranoid….don’t follow the link they send. Rather visit the organisation’s website and login yourself.

I also received a Halifax text this evening. The worrying this is that I am waiting for a call from Halifax about a home insurance claim – however I don’t bank with them – so this made me think for a minute as the text said that a payment had been attempted from an unauthorised devise and to log in. I’m sure that there are many people who would get caught with this sort of thing. I hope Halifax act soon.

HALIFAX:A payment has been attempted from an unregistered device. Don’t recognise this? Please visit https://logon-login-personal-authorise.com

Valerie Thompson says:
17 October 2020

I had the same text from Halifax i was waiting for a genuine call from Halifax .
I rang Halifax themselves , they said this was a scam

John Privett says:
15 October 2020

I’ve just received a text from +447908524942 claiming to be Halifax. I do not have – and never have had – a Halifax account;

HALIFAX: You registered a new device for Mobile Banking on 15/10 at 19:34:51. If this WASN’T you please visit https:// halifax – deviceauthentication (dot) com/

(The web address is a clickable link – I’ve added some spaces and the (dot) in place of ‘.’ to minimise the possibility of somebody else accidentally clicking it from this post…)

That domainname was regsitered through 1api.com in Germany about 40 minutes before the text message arrived!

Steve says:
16 October 2020

Same Scam now also using O2

Kevin says:
17 October 2020

Girlfriend had 02,saying payment failed please submit details

John Broadbent says:
16 October 2020

I’ve received 2 of these this week. Forwarded details to Halifax.

JB

Veronica Garrick says:
16 October 2020

I received a text from Halifax saying a new device had been paired to my account. It said if I had not consented to this I should contact them via the attached link. I have never had a Halifax account but I had set up a new phone on the date they stated.

Mrs Sylvia Wallace says:
16 October 2020

Yes I also received one of these and I didn’t open it. First of all it shocked me as I once had a Halifax account which I was sure I had closed so I needed to check it. When I had done this I tried to report it to the Halifax to make them aware but after waiting for a whole hour at 10.30 pm I gave up and hung up as I needed my sleep. I am 74 years old and I consider myself quite savvy about the scams around (although I had never had one on my phone before) but I know my husband would not have known what to do. I think more publicity needs to be out there to warn phone users.

DEBORAH CLEARY says:
16 October 2020

Also received a text saying a payment was attempted from a new device today at 12.23pm. Obviousley its a scam as I do not bank with Halifax, forwarded to halifax security but it did get my attention for a couple of minutes. How do they sleep at night. Deborah

Jashbhai Patel says:
17 October 2020

I had also received a Text message on 21st September 2020 from HALIFAX which read:
“New scheduled payment of £500.00 to Mustafa Khamil on 22/09/20020. If this was not you, cancel the instruction here: https://halifax.payeecheck.co.uk
I tried this website with no luck. Hence contacted the Halifax customer services who confirmed that there is no such a request received and that if Halifax receives any such request, no payment will be made. Halifax also advised that if I saw any unusual transactions in the next few days, call us immediately on 0355720040.
Fortunately, I have not seen any unusual transactions since then.
Jashbhai Patel
Which? member

Ken Roberts says:
17 October 2020

Deborah….they probably sleep fine on soft goosedown pillows, under a goosedown duvet with silk sheets all bought with their despicably-gotten gains!

Maybe they do sleep on soft goosedown pillows Ken but these thieves are criminals and much of their ill gotten gains will go on financing other crime, trafficking, drugs etc.

marina marshall says:
17 October 2020

If you get anything odd like this, just ring your Bank ON THE NUMBER YOU WILL HAVE.
I am 82 and was getting a few if these, but as soon as I said, “it’s ok, I’LL ring you direct, phone goes dead!

Some scammers are ready for this. /they wait for you to hang up, then play a recording of dial tine. You dial, someone else picks up the call, announcing themselves as the appropriate organisation, and say that they’ll put you through to Mr ABC who is dealing with your difficulty. Now you believe that they MUST be genuine, after all, you rang THEM!!!

I also received a scam Halifax text. I new it was a scam but was not sure how to report it. I just deleted it. Have had the scam HMRC ones also several times, just delete them also. Phone calls from numbers and countries l don’t no, l don’t answer them and block them on my phone. It really annoys me but that it’s so prevalent and probably no end to them as must be impossible to ‘police’.

I wouldnt say it is impossible. It needs political will, money and a determination by the authorities & law enforcement globally to track down these criminals and put them away for a very long time.

Holly says:
17 October 2020

Received the following:

HALIFAX: A payment was attempted from a NEW DEVICE on 16/10 at 20:10PM. If this was NOT you, please visit: https://payeesecurity-newalert.link

Hope it helps people out there. Made me panic for a second

I find it’s useful to check the email address, or telephone number if it’s a text, of the suspicious scam. If it’s a email address, it normally is a quick give away due to a mixture of a possible name, numbers nonsensical details. If it’s a text I check it against legitimate ones I’ve received from the correct number/chat previously. If in doubt check directly with the company they are claiming to be from.

Valerie Rainey says:
17 October 2020

Anyone receiving similar messaging from supposed Paypal services? I’ve had several emails and now texts too. All ignored but checked with genuine site.

DENNIS PEARCE says:
17 October 2020

I had a paypal one last weekend. I deleted it.

Arthur gray says:
17 October 2020

Received a number of calls with ! out of area ! I am using a call blocker and preference caller bar but they still get through

ROBIN SINCLAIR says:
17 October 2020

I received a, similar scam text allegedly from 02 saying they couldnt process my debit order and requiring me to verify my bank account numhber. The return address was very strange /obscure I jusrt deleted the whhole meesage without opening Some timeback i got an Royal Mail Email that what payment for an item wiith inssuffficient postage payment Looked 99 %genuine, but check with them in person Totally fake They didnt chose to pursue it
I also deleted without answering