These days most of the emails I get seem to be scams. Either that or I'm really good at winning foreign lotteries and extremely lucky in love with ladies from Eastern Europe. However, I'm not generally accustomed to receiving texts with dodgy links in them, well except from my mate Dave, so this particular scam is new one on me.
A member of staff this morning got an SMS claiming to be from the DVLA with a link in it. Now it's never advisable to click a link in a text message from a number that you don't recognise, but we're an inquisitive bunch here and we clicked that URL so that you don't have to. Following the hyperlink sends you to a fairly professional looking page asking for the usual sort of information that you really shouldn't hand over to just anyone - date of birth, bank account details etc.
Continuing down the page the scam really goes in to quite a lot of detail, even asking for NI number, driving license number and mother's maiden name!
If you were to hand over all of that personal information you could easily have your identity stolen and could end up out of pocket by a fairly hefty amount!
As ever with these things it pays to be careful and super suspicious, so remember the following rules:
1) Bank and government authorities will never ask you for your personal details in an email or text message.
2) Scams will often have mistakes or poor quality images so keep an eye out for these clues, that said, scammers are getting better all the time so also be wary of seemingly professional looking messages too!
3) Check the actual source of the message (email address/phone number) does it look legitimate?
4) Never follow a hyperlink in an email that you're unsure about, it's better to be safe than sorry.