Halifax warning: Britons attacked in ‘new payee’ scam text message – ‘block and delete!’

Martin Lewis advises caller who lost £8,000 through a scam

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Halifax is used by millions for their banking needs, but unsuspecting Britons are unfortunately being attacked by a new text scam. Many have reported receiving a text claiming to be from the bank and urging them to take action to secure their account. One such scam message reads: “HALIFAX: You have successfully set up a new payee Mrs Claire Wilson on 21/02/21 at 17:53:22. 

“If this was NOT you, please BLOCK this payee. HALIFAX PLC.”

Another variation of the scam informs Britons there has been “unverified access” to their account, and that details must be confirmed. 

The text message also contains a link which Britons can click to supposedly resolve the issue.

However, this is just the latest example of a scam known commonly as “smishing”, which people should be aware of.

Criminals send out text messages claiming to be from an official source, which often contain links for Britons to click and provide further information.

The websites people are redirected to, though, are scams designed to look like a legitimate landing page.

Often people will enter their bank details to try to resolve the alleged fraud which has taken place on their account.

But this presents cybercriminals with the opportunity to harvest the personal and sensitive details of the unsuspecting individual who has been duped.

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Following this, these details could be used for nefarious purposes such as identity fraud, and could mean a person’s bank account is compromised and they lose their hard-earned cash.

Often by the time people realise fraud has taken place it is too late, and they will have to approach their real bank to see if the situation can be rectified.

Understandably, a situation such as this can cause a great deal of stress, and so taking precautions to avoid it occurring is key.

Britons should never click a link contained within a text they receive out of the blue, and should always source the official link for their bank independently. 

In regards to this particular text, Halifax has stated its security team have now been made aware of the scam messages circulating and are attempting to take action.

It encouraged: “Report as spam, block the number and delete the message.”

Several Britons went online, contacting the bank with their worries, and urging others to stay alert. 

One said: “Just had a fraudulent txt message from someone claiming to be Halifax.

“Worryingly it had my name in the message. Took a screenshot with the phone number.”

Another told the official bank: “Not a customer but had a dodgy text. Just thought you should know. I haven’t clicked through.”

And a third warned: “Beware text scam purporting to be from Halifax.

“Whatever you do DON’T click on any links in the text. They get all your details and your account is compromised.”

Halifax has confirmed it will never ask people to share account details such as a User ID, password or memorable information.

Customers will also never be asked for a PIN code or card expert date, or to move their money around. 

People who suspect they have been in contact with a scam can forward the message to Halifax’s fraud team, or their own network provider on 7726.

Most of all, as the bank recently stressed, deleting the message and not replying to it are key steps to take. 

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