Warning over text scam targeting parents

Parents are being targeted as part of the scam. Image, Action Fraud
Parents are being targeted as part of the scam. Image, Action Fraud

Action Fraud are warning of a new scam sending distressing messages to parents that their loved one has been hurt, and asking for a reply.

Victims initially receive a text message from a loved-one which says they are in hospital and to text them back one they have seen the message.

One message reads: “Mum I did try and phone from some else phone signal is really bad, there has been a terrible car accident. I’m in the ICU ward in hospital my phone ain’t switching on and needs charging. I’m on this mobile number please make sure you reply to this number.”

After responding to the message, the fraudsters ask victims to purchase a mobile phone top-up code and text it back to them. Once the fraudsters have the code, they can get the cash credited to their own mobile phone account.

Other shorter versions of the message are also being circulated with Action Fraud warning parents to be on the lookout for the scam.

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Action Fraud are urging users to report any variations of the scam and have reminded customers that if a family member was hospitalised, they would never be forced to use a mobile phone that required credit to activate it.

To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

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The scam started last year, however, many media outlets are reporting that the scam has once again been reported.