Enter your email to read this article
Read news on any topic, in one place, from publishers like The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more.

Martin Lewis issues warning over police texts and how to check if they're real

Martin Lewis has urged people to keep an eye on their phones as the Metropolitan Police are texting potential scam victims.

Even those who don't live in London are being told to be aware as the force will be contacting people across the UK. Over 70,000 messages are being sent over a 48-hour period that started at midnight on Thursday, November 24.

The money saving expert has warned that you shouldn't ignore this text if you get it - contrary to his usual advice, which is to always ignore messages from the 'police' as they're often scams.

Posting to Twitter, the finance guru said: "Spread word. Normally I say ignore texts pretending to be police scam warnings as they're scams. Yet for the next 48hrs 70,000 people across UK will get LEGIT texts from the Met, don't ignore them."

He also issued some advice on how to tell if the text is legitimate or not, stressing that this situation was an exception to his usual rules around scam texts.

The savings expert urged people to be "on the lookout" for a text from the Met Police for a 48-hour window starting from midnight on Thursday, November 24 as even those living outside of London may still be contacted.

You should never give away any personal information on the phone (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Martin explained on MoneySavingExpert : "If you do get it, there won't be a link in it, but you will be directed to the website met.police.uk/elaborate (if there is a clickable link, or the website is different, it could be a scammer spoofing it, so be careful). There you will be able to help police investigate a vicious form of spoof-fraud that has stolen people's cash and had a big mental health impact on many.

"There is also a very slight chance – I don't want to overblow it – that some of the people who have been defrauded by these scams could get a little of their money back due to this investigation. So it is even more worth co-operating with the police in those circumstances."

It comes after more than 200,000 people worldwide allegedly fell victim to a 'number-spoofing' scam and lost at least £48million.

Scammers are believed to have paid a subscription to a service called iSpoof to use technology that lets them trick victims into believing they were being called by someone else.

The Met Police have since shut iSpoof down and made 120 arrests so far.

Detective Superintendent Helen Rance, who leads on cyber crime for the Met, said: "By taking down iSpoof we have prevented further offences and stopped fraudsters targeting future victims.

"Our message to criminals who have used this website is we have your details and are working hard to locate you, regardless of where you are."

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond. Sign up to our daily newsletter here.


Top stories on inkl right now
Related Stories
Why you shouldn't ignore this text message over the next 48 hours as police issue warning
Households up and down the country are being urged not to ignore texts from the Metropolitan Police - even if you don't live in London - as it could help them crack down on scammers
From analysis to the latest developments in health, read the most diverse news in one place.
Urgent police text warning as people told 'not to ignore' important message
The Metropolitan Police are sending out around 70,000 texts to people across the country in the coming days, with Scots being reassured the texts are not fraudulent.
Why you shouldn't ignore this text message from police over the next 48 hours
People are being urged not to ignore the texts, as it will help the police to track down any scammers.
Met Police to text fraud victims: What to do if you’re contacted and how to know if it’s legitimate
At one stage, almost 20 people every minute were being contacted by scammers hiding behind false identities using spoofing website iSpoof.cc.
Urgent police text warning as people urged not to ignore message
The Metropolitan Police are sending out around 70,000 texts to people across the country in the coming days, with those in Scotland now being reassured that the texts are not fraudulent.
One place to find news on any topic, from hundreds of sites.
Warning signs you may be have been scammed in biggest ever UK phone fraud scandal
The Met Police say the biggest fraud in the UK saw thousands of victims contacted by criminals posing as their bank or other officials, with millions of pounds stolen