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Fishing, Phishing or Smishing

You will know one, you may know two but do you know all three?

Fishing - a gentle pastime popular among millions.

Phishing - the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information or data, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details, by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication, usually an email. (according to Wikipedia)

Smishing - when you receive a text or WhatsApp message on your phone that claims to be from a reputable source. It’s really another criminally-minded move to get you to part with sensitive data or to make a payment of some kind.

Instances of smishing include:

Covid-19 Track and Trace messages claiming to be from the NHS but requesting your bank details.

A variation of this text is requesting you to download a NHS Track and Trace app but takes you to a fraudulent lookalike site.

A text that tells you you're in line for a tax rebate/business grant or some other kind of free money.

Here are some tips that may prove valuable in protecting you against this rising trend.

- Never open a link in a text message from someone you don't know.

- Never reply to text messages that ask for or show an interest in your finances.

- Remember banks never text you asking for information. If you receive such a text call them on the number on your ATM card NOT a number in the message.

- Received a text from a number you don't recognise? – Google it. These numbers often flag up as being sent from scammers.

- BEWARE of any texts that say you need to take urgent action, this is a common technique of scammers.

- Received a a text that seems dodgy, trust your instinct, because it usually turns out to be a smishing scam.

If you are a victim of a such a scam then report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040.

Whether online, on the phone or in the real world at Whitegates Keighley we are urging all our clients and colleagues to stay safe.

And while we may not be able to track down smishers, we can play a big part in helping you find your next home. Call us on 01535 669588

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