Elizabeth Kirk, Senior Trading Standards Officer at Cornwall Council, said:
“These texts can seem very genuine, but the NHS, government or Public Health Cornwall would never send messages like this from a mobile phone.
“The most important thing is to remember that the scammers want you to click a link. If you click the link, you could enable them to download malware, viruses or other nasties.
“It might also give them access to your passwords for internet banking or any other sites you access from your phone.”
If you click the link accidentally:
- Close the web page it opened ASAP. This prevents further harm.
- Never enter passwords or other personal information onto any page you have opened by clicking a link.
- Reset any passwords you may have revealed.
- Update your phone’s operating system.
- Block the number that the text came from.
- Report the scam to Action Fraud (www.actionfraud.police.uk), the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber-crime, run by the City of London Police. Visit the website or call them on 0300 123 2040.
Cllr Martyn Alvey, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Protection, said:
“Scam calls and texts to mobile phones are a serious problem and some are extremely convincing.
“I would urge anyone who receives a text message that they are unsure about to think twice before clicking any links or divulging any personal information and seek advice.
Follow Cornwall Trading Standards on Twitter – @TSCornwall – for information on the latest scams and advice on how to avoid becoming a victim.
People can also undertake a 20-minute scam-awareness training programme offered by Friends Against Scams (www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk) – visit their website for more information. The Think Jessica campaign (www.thinkjessica.com) also has useful information and tips on avoiding scams.