If you own a smartphone then you’ll almost certainly have received a fake text message over the past 12 months. 2021 was one of the worst on record for scams with cyber cooks using new methods, including sending messages that appear to come from delivery firms such as DHL or the Post Office, to try and trick people.
Many of these texts are now highly sophisticated with them often featuring links that take consumers to fake websites that look incredibly realistic. It’s a growing problem that can leave people’s personal data and bank details in the hands of criminals.
Now it seems Vodafone is trying to tackle this nightmare with the UK network boasting that its new anti-fraud defences are blocking many of these nasty texts.
In fact, the company says it has reported “a sustained decrease in overall reported fraudulent text messages” during the busiest shopping period of the year.
Thanks to this new SMS firewall technology, which looks at where the text has come from and who is the recipient, average volumes of scam texts fell by 76 percent in December compared to May, with over 45 million phishing messages blocked since the end of August 2021.
Along with blocking messages, Vodafone says that it has also made it easier for Android users to use its ‘7726’ service to report suspicious texts. Available to all customers free of charge, the service lets users share suspicious texts with Vodafone by forwarding them to the number 7726 for investigation. Android owners can report suspicious texts in Google’s Messages app simply by tapping a button.
Speaking about the news Ross Doherty, UK Senior Fraud Manager at Vodafone said: “We can all fall for a fraudulent message, which is why we continue to work really hard to beat the scams and prevent them from getting through.
“The December figures are really encouraging, but fraudsters continue to find new ways to attempt to scam customers into sharing personal and financial information. So, we continue to ask our customers to remain vigilant and report any suspicious text activity to us at 7726.
“This will help ensure we continue to keep one step ahead of the scams.”