West Lothian woman warns of £300 ‘fraud alert’ scam text in Santander

A West Lothian woman has expressed her confusion when she received a text from a bank across the UK alerting her to a recent payment on her card – despite not having an account with them.

The anonymous reader contacted Edinburgh Live this morning to discuss the mixed feelings she had about this scam – as she might have spotted the obvious fraud, but others might not be so sure.

Talk to Edinburgh Live the 22-year-old said: “When I first saw the text I freaked out – as anyone would when they see a ‘fraud alert’ in all caps.

READ MORE – West Lothian Police appeal for information on anti-social bikers

“Then I stopped to think for five seconds and my brain caught up with my panic – I’m not even counting with Santander!

“The text was very convincing and even contained the number of a random freephone number, which when I looked it up is a scam not only for Santander but also for AirBnb.

“I contacted Santander and reported the scam to them, as many others I saw had responded on an online forum.

“I just want to warn others because it’s a very simple thing that others who aren’t as familiar with scams might not recognize and might be cheated out of their own money.

“I’m just glad they targeted me, and not someone like an older relative, because I don’t think any of my grandparents would have noticed this scam and thought it was genuine. C It’s a different generation, I guess.”

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The text reads: “SANTANDER FRAUD ALERT: We have withheld a recent payment from your account for £372.60 – REF: *****. Please call Fraud now on 08001026139 for further assistance.”

The fraudulent message on the West Lothian woman’s phone.

When searching for this number online, the notes that appear for WhoCalledMe.Uk read: “This number was provided in a text message (apparently Santander), asking me to call if I didn’t recognize a card credit card that had just been attempted. He said it was the fraud department. It just looked very suspicious and I reported it to the bank as a scam.

Another wrote: “A text message allegedly from Santander saying a unique access code for Airbnb with the phone number if you didn’t ask for the code I tried calling from the house phone and it said you need to call from your registered phone and have bank details ready. Looked up number and saw others had same message.”

On the Santander website, here’s what they had to say about scam texts: “While fraud and scams are nothing new, advances in technology are giving criminals more ways to try to gain access to your money.

“Getting to know the techniques they use can help protect you and your money.

“Examples of fraud would be skimming your card, identity theft, and computer malware that steals your details. In these cases, you don’t know what the criminals are doing and you don’t not given your permission.

“Examples of scams would be when a criminal tries to convince you to send them money, provide access to your bank details or launder money.

“The scams actively involve you as the owner of the account and work to create a situation to make you believe it’s genuine, so you give permission.

“If you think you’ve responded to a scam or been the victim of fraud, Contact us right now.”

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