/ 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

Today I received a text from +44 7377 219679 saying:
“HALIFAX ALERT:A new device was successfully paired onto your account on 24/10 at 16:52. If this was not you please visit https://halifax-deviceauthorisation.com

No mention of my name or other personal details. I do have a Halifax account but found this extremely suspicious. I fear for less IT fraud savvy customers who will fall for this. I carried out a Whois search on the web address but it turned up nothing.
[Moderator: this website is likely a fraudulent or scam website. We’ve retained the text of the URL for your information, however we’ve redirected the URL to our guidance on spotting fake or fraudulent websites ]

Gary says:
26 October 2020

I received the same text yesterday but under the heading Lloyds Alert, with a different link.

No mention of any personal details but I don’t have Lloyds account anyway so obviously a scam.

The number was +44 7956 074121, which is now blocked, I never answer my phone if I don’t recognize the number.

Have reported it to Lloyds.

Louise Pigot says:
29 October 2020

I have had exactly the same message. I am not a Halifax customer presently, but used to be.
The number that came up for me is: +44 7908 179874.
I have reported it to Security@halifax.co.uk and have deleted it.

Karen says:
5 November 2020

I received a text yesterday from LLOYDS BANK: An attempt to pair your account on to a new device was made. If this WASN’T you, please visit…” and a https: link was included in the text. No mention of my name or other personal details and I do not have a Lloyds account. However, it is worrying these scammers have my mobile number.

Claire Hallam says:
7 November 2020

The no. that came from Halifax was 07956 033312. Please be careful, Already tough times. I fell for it

Irene says:
24 October 2020

I have had a text message from the Halifax which say… A new device was successfully paired onto your account. If this was not you please visit https://halifax-deviceauthorisation.com.
I rang Halifax on my land line who have said its a scam

[Moderator: this website is likely a fraudulent or scam website. We’ve redirected the URL to our guidance on spotting fake or fraudulent websites ]

Aman says:
9 November 2020

Did you click on the link. Did anything happen to your device?

DerekP says:
10 November 2020

I’ve tried a few of these links from a test pc. They took me to a fake login screen, where I gave my user id as “R U Kidding” and password as “unlucky”. Nothing much seemed to happen after that.

Sally says:
26 October 2020

Received Halifax Alert from +44 7539 011496 advising successfully paired new device, if not you please visit https://halifaxdevices.cc/cancel/ do not have a Halifax account so must be a scam.

[Moderator: this website is likely a fraudulent or scam website. We’ve retained the text of the URL for your information, however we’ve redirected the URL to our guidance on spotting fake or fraudulent websites ]

Steve says:
27 October 2020

I received the same text from 07377 429945, HALIFAX ALERT; A new device was successfully paired onto your account.

Suspiciously i received this text while an Ocado driver had been sitting outside my house for a while.

Jayne says:
27 October 2020

Just got a text message from Halifax-Alerts saying a payment plan to Mr M Smith for £389.99 on 26/10/20 has been suspended . If you did not authorise this please visit Halifax-Banking.net. Reading all your messages I’m taking this as a scam?

Mccarthy says:
27 October 2020

Got same message at same time, Mr Smith is busy 😂
I say scam, plus its not correct web address for official Halifax site

Forwarded from +44 7539 011493:
HALIFAX: You registered a new device for Mobile Banking on 28/10 at 18:57. If this was not you, please visit https://halifax-verifymydevice.com/

SCAM TEXT received this evening.

Louise Pigot says:
29 October 2020

I received another scam SMS with the following:
HALIFAX: We would like to verify a recent payment from your account. Please follow our link for more details: https://halifax.co.uk.app-review-1485.info
The mobile number listed was +44 7908 179874.

Reported to security@halifax.co.uk and deleted

[Moderator: the link shared here appears to be pointing to a scam or fraudulent website. We’ve kept the text here to help others identify it, however the link now points to Which?’s guide to spotting fake websites. Remember to be cautious and check the website is valid before sharing any personal data.]

I received the same text today from 44 7930 385545

Gwen says:
31 October 2020

Hello, I got the exact same message on 30 October from the same number. I phoned the number and got the EE answer machine!
My husband got the same message the previous night, from a different number, and unfortunately we did respond in part. We phoned Halifax up who said it was genuine- but I don’t think the man knew what he was talking about. Any genuine text gives your name, or part of your account number. Nonetheless it is still worrying.

Suzie says:
9 November 2020

I have received that SMS today from +44 7398201914.

susan lindsay says:
30 October 2020

I received a text saying “You attempted payment from a new device on 30/10. If this was NOT you please visit halifax.new-device-authenticate.link”

Susan – That is a trick to get you to give your log-in password for access to your data. Don’t do it.

This is true, but many legitimate services provide clickable links in email for authentication, so many people will have been conditioned to use links.

Yes, that’s one of the problems with official-looking e-mail messages but this came as a text message and requests the recipient to log-in directly using a suspected fraudulent web page address. So far as I could see, the one quoted in the text message is not in the usual Halifax format and does not go to an official Halifax site.

Susan does not say whether or not she is a Halifax customer and, if so, did attempt to use a new device to make a payment on 30 October, but I presumed not. The “if this was not you” opener is a cunning lure.

Luckily, anyone trying to access the stated site would soon see the Which? Conversation scam warning listed in the search engine but no doubt some unwary people get trapped.

Unfortunately, it would seem that a criminal has Susan’s mobile phone number and possibly more.

warren crewe says:
3 November 2020

got the text just now i wiped out my phone did not answer it hope i did the write thing

Abbie says:
3 November 2020

Received a text tonight from +44 7958 284051 saying “ Halifax: You setup a new recipient MRS K ADAMS on 03/11 at 18:56. If this was NOT you, BLOCK the payee here: security-halifax.co.uk”. This was entirely fake as I am not even registered with Halifax.

Looking at the reports of the fraudulent fake-Halifax “if this was not you” scam it seems clear to me that the perpetrators do not have the recipients’ mobile phone numbers, and do not know who has received their text message, until someone supplies it via the link.

As I suggested previously, the lure “if this was not you” is a cunning psychological tripwire. Obviously, if someone has not set up a payment from a different device to their usual one, no action is required; if they have done that then they should inform the Halifax directly by telephone or e-mail, not by using a link.

Because of the prolific use of cookies and of data synchronisation across multiple devices – all in the name of convenience and an “improved on-line experience” [for fractional savings of time] – we are actually compromising our security and enabling companies, especially our internet service providers, to know far too much about us. Scammers only need a small opening in our defences to get in and cause a lot of harm. and letting them have a mobile phone number and other personal details can create that opening.

Warning says:
6 November 2020

FYI had the same here, again not a Halifax customer so was clearly a phishing scam.
Phone number it came from was seemingly +447496878351
web address was reverify-access.cc

Rachel says:
6 November 2020

Has the following text message today…. HALIFAX: You registered a new device for Mobile Banking on 06/11 at 16:39. If this was not you, please visit https://halifaxverifydevice.com/
Never registered a new device. Phone placed it straight into spam. Mobile number to look out for is 07932 455081

[Moderator: the link shared in this comment appears to be a scam or fraud website. We’ve kept the text of the URL to help you identify it, however clicking on it will instead take you to Which?’s guide on spotting fake, fraudlent, or scam websites. Remember to always doublecheck the domain name, and don’t share any payment or personal info unless you’re absolutely sure.]

Mark says:
7 November 2020

Text received today
HALIFAX: You have successfully registered a new mobile device for Mobile Banking 0n 07/11. If you did not register this device, please visit: halifax-secure-my-account.com to secure your account.
I stupidly clicked the link, I had been speaking to HCBC yesterday and they advised would be setting me up, they had this phone number. Not concentrating, did not register “Halifax” till after I added my name and a password. I have changed all my others account passwords. Should have known better, read what is there, concentrate. I do not have an account with the Halifax!

Richard Irving says:
7 November 2020

I’ve just received this and on your advice (thank you) reported it to the Halifax Security address, only to receive and Delivery Status Notification that the Security email account failed to receive my report as their system blocked my email! Something gone wrong with their system of stopping fraudulent messages it appears?
HALIFAX:: A new device has successfully paire onto your account on 07/11 at 23:06PM. If this was NOT you please visit http://halifax.new-devicelogin.com/

[Moderator: the link shared in this comment appears to be a scam or fraudulent website. We’ve kept the text of the URL to help you identify it, however clicking on it will instead take you to Which?’s guide on spotting fake, fraudlent, or scam websites. Remember to always doublecheck the domain name, and don’t share any payment or personal info unless you’re absolutely sure.]

lindsey says:
9 November 2020

Same pairing text overnight. Phone number +447951154207. Reported to Halifax.

Suzie says:
9 November 2020

Twice in the past two weeks, I have received the following scam SMS apparently from Halifax. I am not even a Halifax customer.

HALIFAX: We would like to verify a recent payment from your account. Please follow our link for more details: https:///halifax.co.uk.app-review-3804.info.

Anton says:
10 November 2020

I had two texts today claiming to be from the Halifax saying that my account had been paired and directing me to a weblink. I dont have a Halifax account but yesterday I took out car insurance with the Halifax so this is probably where they got my phone number. I rang Halifax to report this and they said that there had been a number of these texts recently. The numbers used were 447376308027 and 447904967158.

Received this evening from 07376 792389

HALIFAX:: A new device has successfully paired onto your account on 12/11 at 19.45PM. If this was NOT you please visit https://halifax.add-newdevice.com

Looking at other comments it seems they use a different phone number and address each time.

Reported to Halifax.

Mr Jones says:
13 November 2020

Received email earlier from halifax-verify-device. Com, saying new payee set up (I don’t even bank with them). They wanted my user name and password. Something random was put in. Think they have gone. Have to admit though, the website I was directed to did look very realistic.

Rita Donnelly says:
14 November 2020

I received a text in messenger which said Halifax: a payment was attempted from a new device. Please visit and it quoted a link. I’ve not clicked on the link as I believe it’s a scam unfortunately I can’t forward it to security at Halifax