Fraud to watch out for

Update for iOS users

Our ability to protect you from fraudulent links is impacted by iCloud Private Relay.

There are many ways that fraudsters will try to gain access to an account or private information. We’re committed to supporting victims of fraud in the following ways:

Most common types of fraud

Spam SMS

Spam messages are usually marketing messages that are sent to you without you requesting them. The people who send these messages may be trying to access your personal information (smishing), sell you a premium rate service or encourage you to contact them so that you can be referred to another company that will try to sell you something.

Legitimate marketing messages will usually be received from a shortcode or company that you recognise because in the past you've asked to receive their messages or used a service from them. Find out more about shortcodes.

Report the message to us by:

  1. Forwarding the unwanted message free of charge to 7726
  2. Forwarding the number of the person who sent you the message free of charge to 7726
  3. If you're worried about the spam messages you've received, you can also report your message to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) who will be able to help you
  4. It may not be possible for the ICO to follow up individual complaints if you haven't got any details about the company.

Smishing

Text spam (known as SMS Phishing or Smishing for short) is something scammers use to trick you into going to a website or to call a specified number. If you respond, they’ll ask you to provide confidential details, attempt to infect your device with malware, or get you to respond to a premium rate service.

These messages can be very convincing and they might look like they’re from organisations you’ve used before.

Scammers can make Smishing look like genuine messages, but keep an eye out for some of these clues:

Smishing might make you think:

  • You’re going to be locked out of your account, or that your account has been compromised
  • You've won something or can get something for free or at a bargain price if you reply quickly.

Remember: you have to reply to one of these messages to put your device at risk, so they’ll always ask you to take an action.

They might want you to:

  • Click on a link (which might install malware on your device)
  • Enter confidential info like a password or date of birth
  • Phone a number so they can ask you for sensitive info or get you to call a premium rate number

If you think that you have been sent one of these messages don't worry – just remember:

  • Don't click on links unless you're 100% sure they're genuine
  • Think about whether the sender would contact you in this way – most companies won't ask you to confirm bank details over text message
  • Remember that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is

Don't respond to any suspicious messages, you can also report the message by:

  • Forwarding the message to 7726 for free so we can investigate and act.

If you're still not sure, get in touch with the organisation that seems to have sent you the message to see if it's from them.

Just make sure you don't use any of the contact details from the text – go to their website to find more info.

Three will never ask you for personal details. Our URL links on our SMS comms will always be ‘3.UK’ or ‘Three.co.uk’. If you receive a message with a variation of these links, please report it.

For more information on smishing, please visit our article what is Smishing?

Receiving malicious or nuisance calls

If you receive malicious or nuisance calls, the following action may be useful:

  • If the caller makes a direct threat of harm, call 999. If the threat isn’t immediate, call 101 - the non-emergency number for the police
  • Wait for the caller to speak first
  • Keep calm, don’t talk to the caller and hang up quickly
  • Don’t share any personal information

If you’re worried about receiving malicious or nuisance calls, the following action may be useful:

  • Don’t leave your name and number on your voicemail
  • Don’t reply to texts from numbers you don’t recognise

You can also report the number of the nuisance caller by:

  • Texting CALL followed by the number of the nuisance caller to 7726

For more details on how to manage nuisance calls, please visit:
Ofcom
Telephone Preference Service (TPS)

More types of fraud

Wangiri fraud

Phishing

Spoofing- Nuisance Callers Changing their Caller ID

New account fraud

Account takeover

SIM swap fraud

Call diverts

Porting

Mobile contract fraud