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Smishing – The ever-changing nature of fraudulent activity

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The Metropolitan Police has recently published a press release that confirms that two men have been jailed for money laundering through a 'smishing' scam.

What is smishing?

The 'smishing' method uses SMS text messages to target individuals and companies in order to induce victims to share their personal bank account information. Typically, victims receive a text message that appears to be from their bank which requests a call in relation to an unusual payment.

The SMS text message, at face value, looks like a genuine message from the bank and it appears in the same message thread in which messages are typically sent from the bank, thus deceiving the victim into assuming that it is a legitimate message. The telephone number that the victim is asked to call is not a genuine banking number and rather, puts the victim in direct contact with the fraudsters posing as banking staff.

Tim Williamson commented: "This case illustrates the ever-changing nature of fraudulent activity. It is important that businesses of all sizes and in all sectors are aware of the many different ways in which fraud may be perpetrated on their business and on their employees.  We would encourage all businesses to continually review their own 'anti-fraud' policies and procedures, highlighting the risk to employees whilst doing so."

Mitigating your risk

Foot Anstey's Fraud team works closely with businesses and individuals to evaluate and mitigate the risk to their business posed by fraudulent activity.  For advice on reducing such risks, or if you suspect your business (or you directly) have been a victim of a 'smishing' scam please get in touch with our Fraud team.