There’s been a huge rise in the numbers of people using online or mobile platforms through the pandemic. And this has led to a colossal growth in financial crimes. Studies found that account takeover fraud increased by as much as 650%. Online fraud rose by 250% and mobile banking by 200%. We’ve also seen a jump in text messaging fraud like Smishing.
However, you can rest assured that we’re doing all we can to protect you. Here are some examples of how we’re tackling this.
We’re investing more than £2 billion into our network and IT systems to enhance our customer experience. This includes new technology, which is designed to block spam and fraudulent texts. It currently blocks millions of malicious messages per day. And it allows us to identify trends and categorise suspicious messages while still respecting our customers’ privacy. Since we’ve had this, our spam share has reduced by a massive 90%. Spam share is the volume of traffic reported to the Spam Reporting Service on 7726.
The recent Flubot scam also showed how effective these systems are. Despite the ever-changing shifts, we were still able to stop 90% of these messages from reaching our customers. This meant that our customer impact was lower than any other network. We’re still working alongside the government and law enforcement agencies to strengthen the UK response.
We have a dedicated team of experts who investigate any fraudulent websites that use our brand to gather personal information. They use a mixture of detection techniques and monitoring of the customer reporting service. Over the past 12 months, we’ve already identified and brought down more than 2,000 fraudulent websites. And we’ve been responsible for 30 arrests for fraud crimes.
We’ve introduced Multi Factor Authentication or MFA, which adds another layer of security. It helps us to verify when a genuine customer is trying to access account information. With MFA, we’ve seen a 95% fall in reports of SIM swap and PAC fraud on our network.
Despite all our safety measures, we can’t catch every Smishing text. So, as a further precaution, we send out regular fraud alerts or information through our app and in our monthly newsletter. We’ve also set up a Safety hub so that you can search for more information about fraud whenever you want to.
We know that fraudulent calls or texts can have a huge financial or emotional impact. But there’s many things that you can do to keep yourself safe.
Report it: Please report any suspicious messages to 7726. It’s free and it means that the networks and law enforcement agencies can monitor and record what scam messages are circulating. This gives us the chance to improve our protection and lets the agencies focus on the most significant cases. You can also call Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime, on 0300 123 2040.
Add a memorable name or place: Adding this will give your account extra security. And it’ll also help in faster verification if you need to contact us.
Don’t click on any links: If you’ve received a suspicious text, be careful not to click on any links. Get in touch with the company that the message is supposed to be from. They’ll be able to confirm if it’s genuine or not. At Three, we only use the URLs of ‘3.uk’ or ‘Three.co.uk’ for anything financial or account related. So, if you receive a message that says it’s from us but the URL is different, then it’ll be a scam.
Don’t respond: If you think you’ve been targeted by a fraudulent message, just ignore and delete it. Responding to a Smishing message can encourage more attacks in the future.
We’re committed to doing everything possible to keep you safe against fraudulent activity. Make sure you keep up to date by reading our latest fraud alerts or articles and check out our Safety portal.