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Beware of text message phishing

25 January 2019

Scammers are sending out large numbers of fake text messages in an attempt to get hold of people’s confidential data. The practice is known as smishing. Many of the text messages which are currently in circulation pose to come from a number of leading Dutch banks and from a telephone service provider.

The text messages supposedly sent by banks contain a link to their website. Recipients are urged to visit these sites for various reasons, including cancellation of payments or ordering a new card. We have received reports about fake messages pretending to come from ING, Rabobank and other Dutch banks.

Other reports are about smishing scams hijacking the name of the international telecommunication company Vodafone. These scams also tempt recipients to click on a link for various reasons. These include technical failure or the verification or blockage of an account.

Here’s an example of one these smishing scams (click to enlarge):

All the links in these text messages lead to fake websites. People who leave their data on these sites, for example punching in their code after logging in, will disclose this information to criminals. These can then use these data to log on to the real websites and obtain free access to their account.

If the message is supposedly from a bank, the criminals can then transfer money from your account.

The messages posing to come from Vodafone tell people that they will receive a bill for ordering a telephone. Some of these SMS text messages only give a code. Victims will then be called by someone who asks them for this code. The callers may already have access to victims’ accounts and are trying to get the code in this way.

Our advice
If you’ve received a similar text message from ‘Vodafone’, please contact the provider by using the number given on its website. Make sure to change your login details. Please contact the police if you find that products have been ordered in your name.

Have you disclosed your user credentials by filling out an online form after receiving an SMS text message supposedly coming from your bank? If so, please contact your bank first before reporting to Fraud Help Desk.