The Metropolitan Police is sending text messages to over 70,000 mobile phone users who it believes have been contacted by fraudsters posing as their bank, instructing them on how to take action and reporting it to Action Fraud.
As officers build cases against suspects, those who receive the text message are directed to the Action Fraud website to register their information. The 70,000 people contacted are linked to calls made by people known to police. Genuine police messages will be sent on Thursday or Friday, detectives said, and any other texts should be considered fraudulent.
The scammers used a website called iSpoof to disguise their phone number, so it appeared they were calling from a trusted source, a technique known as spoofing. According to detectives, the iSpoof website, which has since been taken down by the FBI, was critical in allowing scammers to access one-time passcodes and passwords.
Following the discovery of an online fraud network, Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley described an “enormous effort” in gathering evidence.
There have been over 100 arrests so far, and those arrested have been charged with participating in scams in which they posed as representatives from banks such as Barclays, Santander, HSBC, Lloyds, Halifax, First Direct, Natwest, Nationwide, and TSB, and tricked victims into handing over money or one-time passcodes to access bank accounts.
The sources for this piece include an article in ZDNet.