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The five tell-tale signs in spotting scam texts… tell the fake from the true messages


Fraudsters have gotten ever more sophisticated within the ways they’ll con people out of their precious savings.

From fake eBay order despatches and ticket fraud to text messages claiming a recent direct debit has been arrange and WhatsApp scam messages.

Recognising the tell-tale signs someone is attempting to scam you and learning check if a message you could have received is real is becoming increasingly vital.

The National Cyber Security Centre offers guidance on recognise emails, texts, web sites, adverts or phone calls which might be attempting to scam you.

Fraudsters have gotten more sophisticated within the ways they con you out of your precious savings

Scams often feature a number of of those tell-tale signs: authority, urgency, emotion, scarcity and current events. 


Scams often feature a number of of those tell-tale signs.


Is the message claiming to be from someone official? For instance, your bank, doctor, a solicitor, or a government department. Criminals often pretend to be vital people or organisations to trick you into doing what they need.


Are you told you could have a limited time to reply (equivalent to ‘inside 24 hours’ or ‘immediately’)? Criminals often threaten you with fines or other negative consequences.


Does the message make you panic, fearful, hopeful or curious? Criminals often use threatening language, make false claims of support, or tease you into wanting to search out out more.


Is the message offering something in brief supply, like concert tickets, money or a cure for medical conditions? Fear of missing out on a superb deal or opportunity could make you respond quickly.

Current events

Are you expecting to see a message like this? Criminals often exploit current news stories, big events or specific times of yr (like tax reporting) to make their scam seem more relevant to you.

Source: National Cyber Security Centre

A useful setting on Apple iPhones can filter out phishing emails and unwanted scam messages.

With iMessage, you may filter messages from unknown senders, and you will not get notifications from them. 

All it’s essential do is go to Settings > Messages, scroll right down to Message Filtering, then activate Filter Unknown Senders. 

When this setting is on, you may only see messages from individuals who aren’t in your contacts if you go to Filters > Unknown Senders. 

Nevertheless, it’s important to notice that you may’t open any links in a message from an unknown sender until you add the sender to your contacts or reply to the message.

Within the Messages app, you can too block unwanted messages from a particular person or number.

In a Messages conversation, tap the name or number at the highest of the conversation.

Tap the data button, scroll down, then tap Block this Caller.

To view and manage your list of blocked contacts and phone numbers, go to Settings > Messages > Blocked Contacts.

Once you use iMessage, you may report spam messages to Apple. 

Depending in your carrier and country or region, you can too report spam you receive with SMS and MMS.

Within the list of messages, touch and hold the spam message, then tap Report Junk. 

Or, should you’ve opened the message, scroll to the underside of the message, tap Report Junk, then tap Delete and Report Junk.

The sender’s information and the message are sent to Apple and the message is permanently deleted out of your device.

Reporting junk or spam doesn’t prevent the sender from sending messages, but you may block the number to stop receiving them.

It was previously reported that fraudsters are using fake Apple Pay, Evri and NHS links in an try to scam Britons into revealing their bank details. 

With iMessage, you can filter messages from unknown senders, and you won't get notifications from them

With iMessage, you may filter messages from unknown senders, and you will not get notifications from them

Last yr, EE revealed that they block up to 1 million international scam calls each day. 


Do you receive quite a lot of spam texts?

  • Yes, I get them on a regular basis! 238 votes
  • I do occasionally! 302 votes
  • No, I’ve had this setting turned on! 27 votes

One man shared a screenshot of two texts he received from the identical number that were claiming to be from different firms.

This comes after it emerged that Britain has turn into the fraud capital of the world.

Nigel Lingham-Sutch received a message saying that his Apple Pay had been suspended and telling him to click on a link to proceed using contactless.

Just over per week later he got a text from the identical number, this time claiming to be from delivery company Evri, formerly Hermes, asking him to click on a link to reschedule a delivery.  

Mr Lingham-Sutch said he thankfully didn’t click on the links as he doesn’t use Apple Pay and was not expecting a delivery so he knew they need to be fake. 

But he said they ‘could appear real’ to people without awareness of phishing scams.

Nigel Lingham-Sutch said he got suspicious when he got two texts from the same number that were claiming to be from different companies (pictured)

Nigel Lingham-Sutch said he got suspicious when he got two texts from the identical number that were claiming to be from different firms (pictured)

Sue Hedges, 58, said she did fall for the Evri scam, paying a £1.45 fee to ‘rearrange’ her delivery after which giving out her details over the phone, considering it was a real call from NatWest. 

She said she was fortunately in a position to to cancel her card before any money was taken but worries about ‘older more vulnerable people’ who usually tend to fall victim as ‘scams get more sophisticated’. 

One other person said they’d received a text claiming to be from the NHS which said the recipient had been in close contact with someone who had Covid-19.

When she clicked on the link it asked for bank details to pay £1 for a PCR test and since the recipient was concerned about putting her 92-year-old mother in danger she tried to order the test before she realised it was a scam and cancelled her card.

John Whitney said he incessantly gets emails claiming to be McAfee or Norton telling him that his antivirus software has expired, while Valerie Bentley said she deleted an scam email from Yahoo which asked her to click on a link to just accept their updated terms and conditions.

Others said they’d nearly fallen for scam texts claiming to be from Santander and PayPal but could tell they were fake from typos within the messages.


Most phone providers are a part of a scheme that enables customers to report suspicious text messages free of charge by forwarding it to 7726

Should you forward a text to 7726, your provider can investigate the origin of the text and arrange to dam or ban the sender, if it’s found to be malicious.

iPhone or iPad: Find out how to forward a text message:

  1. Take a note of the number that sent you the message.
  2. Press and hold on the message bubble.
  3. Tap More.
  4. Select the message or messages you desire to forward.
  5. Tap the arrow on the underside right of your screen.
  6. Input 7726 and send.

You can even take a screenshot or screen recording of the text message and send it to us at report@phishing.gov.uk.

Why you need to report suspicious text messages

The aim of a scam text message is usually to get you to click a link. This can take you to a web site which criminals use to download viruses to your computer, or steal passwords or other personal information. This is usually generally known as ‘phishing’.

Reporting a suspicious text is free and only takes a minute. By reporting, you may:

  • reduce the quantity of scam texts you receive
  • make yourself a harder goal for scammers
  • protect others from cyber crime online

Source: National Cyber Security Centre

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