Action Fraud warning about ‘Sarah’ fake text message scam that asks for mobile phone voucher code

A new text message scam is doing the rounds which hopes to play on victims’ concern for a friend and their generous nature.

Fraudsters are texting people a message, which generally reads something along the lines of: “Hi its Sarah. I need you to do me a favour if possible. I had a small accident and broke my fibula and left elbow. Can you text me back once get this message x”

The message may seem plausible, but replying could see anxious friends being asked for £20 by the scammers who say the victim needs to buy a pay-as-you-go phone voucher and reply with the code.

This is how the conversation can progress:

Your Local Guardian:

The texts are a variation of a scam which did the rounds last year, in which victims initially receive a text message supposedly from a loved one which says they are in hospital and that the only way they can make contact is via text message.

A spokesman from Action Fraud, which is warning about the scam, said: “These messages can quite easily evolve into more elaborate scenarios and are designed to play on your emotions and get you to react quickly without thinking.

“If you receive one of these text messages, don’t send any codes or money, delete it and report it to us.

“If a family member was hospitalised, they would never be forced to use a mobile phone that required credit to activate it.”

To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

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