City of London police have issued a warning about a surge in fake emails and text messages purporting to come from TSB bank with the aim of defrauding customers.
The police said the Action Fraud service, the national fraud reporting service, received 321 complaints about scam communications, known as phishing, since the start of May, a vast increase on the 30 complaints received in the whole of April.
TSB has been in the spotlight in recent weeks after a series of technical problems with its online banking systems meant some customers were unable to access their accounts or were able to see the account details of other customers.
The police said opportunistic fraudsters have been attempting to use the recent publicity around TSB to contact customers of the bank in an attempt to defraud them.
No bank will ever ask anyone for a pin, password or full memorable information, so such communications are fraudulent.
Fraudsters are using specialist software which changes the sender ID on text messages so that it looks like messages are being sent by TSB. In some instances, this spoofed text is being added to existing TSB message threads on victim’s phones.
Should someone click on the link within a spoofed text message and enter their personal information, the fraudsters then call the victim back and persuade them to hand over their one off code from their mobile phone. The fraudsters can then empty the victim’s account.
A TSB fraud spokesperson said: “While our systems are safe and secure, unfortunately fraudsters are increasingly sophisticated and looking to take advantage of situations like these by approaching customers.
"We are doing all we can to ensure customers don’t become a victim of fraud, whether they bank with us in branch, online or via the telephone and this is something we are working on with Action Fraud and a number of external organisations.
"We are also working with these organisations to help them identify fraudulent sites so we can take them down as quickly as possible.”