HSBC warning as scammers use new technique – the phone number you need to look out for

Martin Lewis shares tips for checking scams

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HSBC is a familiar name which is sadly being exploited by unscrupulous individuals looking to line their own pockets with Britons’ hard-earned cash. While text scams which prompt people to click on a link are unfortunately common, scammers have seemingly modified their techniques to confuse more savers. Britons are being told a transaction for a sizeable sum has gone through their account, but instead of clicking a link, the text prompts individuals to call a supposedly official telephone number. 

The text reads: “Your One Time Pass code is 734243 for a payment of £355.53GBP to BOOTS – reference: RBSJ.

“If this was NOT you, please call our dedicated fraud team on 0330 175 5294.”

The number which the text cites has been identified as a non-geographical phone line, but present in the UK.

Telephone numbers which begin with ’03’ are charged at standard rates, but Britons will incur a tariff for calling back.

It could be suggested that the longer a person is kept on the hook to resolve the supposed issue, the more likely they are to lose money through a phone tariff.

However, this is not the scammer’s ultimate aim, and instead, it is hoped Britons will part with their personal details to “secure” their account.

As the transaction does not belong to the individual concerned, they may be lulled into a false sense of security to share information.

A caller could ask for details such as name, address and bank account information, all of which could be dangerous if falling into the wrong hands.

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While Britons may think they are securing their bank account from fraud, cybercriminals are instead making detailed notes about their circumstances.

They can then make off with large amounts of cash through transactions and identity fraud.

A number of people have highlighted the scam, reporting the specific telephone number online.

One person said: “Scam number, don’t ring. Sending text about HSBC payment of £355 – I don’t even bank with HSBC.”

A second wrote to HSBC on social media, stating: “HSBC, please advise if you send text messages like this.

“I have not ordered anything from Boots and no longer have an HSBC account.”

While another simply remarked: “Fake HSBC Number. Criminals!”

Thankfully, fears have been allayed as HSBC has confirmed this is a scam, taking to its social media to state: “This is most likely a scam message.

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“The number doesn’t match any of our numbers for the Fraud department.

“If you would like to check with them, you can always call 03456 081 878 and the team can take a look for you.”

Aside from reporting the matter to HSBC’s real fraud team, individuals may also wish to take further action.

Britons are generally encouraged to reach out to Action Fraud, the national cybercrime reporting service, who may be able to investigate the matter further.

This is likely to help in finding the source of the scam and removing it so others are not targeted in the same way. 

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