Barclays issues warning on ‘very believable’ scam: Sign it’s fraud may hide in plain sight

Number spoofing scam: Woman says to delete messages

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The bank has warned scammers are stepping up their efforts in the hopes of duping Britons. The con-artists are sending out text messages which claim to be from Barclays, even “spoofing” official phone numbers in an effort to add legitimacy to their claims.

Affected individuals receive a text with a one-time passcode (OTP) – which claims to authenticate a person for a single transaction or login to their account.

They could even be told a payment has been attempted from their account to someone they do not know.

One Briton recently shared an example of this text, which read: “Barclays Alert. Your One Time Passcode is 083635 for a payment of 402.65GBP to ASDA. If this was NOT you, call our fraud team on 0330 165 9503.”

However this is only the start of what could be an elaborate and gradually unfolding scam.

A worried person may call the attached number, or click on a link which connects them to fraudsters.

Barclays has also warned individuals that a caller may say they will need to transfer their money to a supposed “safe account” to protect funds.

But these claims are untrue, and any offers of a safe account totally illegitimate.

This is because it serves as a way for Britons to transfer money to scammers, so they can make off with the hard-earned cash of their victims. 

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Barclays has urged individuals to always check the company’s name as scammers often get it wrong.

The bank explained: “For example, they might say ‘Curry’s’ instead of ‘Currys’ or ‘AIRBNB’ instead of ‘Airbnb’.”

In a recently circulating scam, the web address attached uses a subtle spelling mistake of Barlcays, for example.

The bank also said Britons should always treat messages they are not expecting with caution.

Numbers should never be called if not recognised, nor should links be opened or attachments opened if not expected. 

A Barclays spokesperson confirmed to the number was not associated with the bank.

They added: “Scammers will often make calls and text messages look like they’re coming from a well-known company or organisation, such as a bank or the police.

“We encourage customers to be cautious of any unexpected text messages, calls and emails they receive and to be extra cautious if they are asked to call a number or open a link. Customers should never reveal personal information, their PIN, PINsentry codes, mobile activation codes, QR codes, one-time passcodes or Online Banking passcodes.

“Anyone that isn’t sure the call is from us should immediately end the call and telephone us back using the number on the back of their debit card or the ‘Direct call’ option in the Barclays app.”

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@2MeterDistance recently issued a warning on the scam via social media, writing: “I don’t bank with Barclays, so definite scam text.

“Doubt Mrs Ally is getting anything from my non-existent account.”

@CllrKellyMiddleton said: “Be careful! I had this text so checked my Barclays account on the app and they had a warning about the scam. Don’t call the number.”

While @GorseFox stated: “We ended the day with a very credible phishing text message (purportedly from Barclays).

“I phoned their fraud line to double-check. Confirmed it was scam. Beware – this was very believable.”

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