Help and Support

Fraud and Phishing advice

Fraud, phishing and smishing advice

Fraud advice

It's important to keep an eye out for all types of fraud. You can find more information on the Action Fraud website.

If you've had any texts, emails, letters or calls saying you've bought any of our products or services when you haven't, or if money has been taken from your bank account for something you haven't bought, you could be the victim of identity or impersonation fraud.

You should report any suspected fraud activity to us and give us details of what's happened, including any police/action fraud crime number, mobile or account numbers you might have received correspondence for and your contact details, so we can get back to you.

If money has been taken from your account, or from a credit or debit account, let your bank or card provider know immediately, and they'll stop any further use. They'll also tell you how to get your money back. You should report this to Action Fraud straight away.

If you think there's been some fraudulent activity on your O2 account, contact us immediately. It might not be fraud, but it's best to check.

Phishing, smishing and vishing

Phishing is when fraudsters attempt to get hold of sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details, by pretending to be a trustworthy source in an email. When this happens through text message, it’s sometimes known as smishing. When someone calls you, it’s vishing.

Phishing scams work by sending you an email, text, or by someone calling you pretending to be from your bank, service provider or other company. The message or caller might ask for personal or financial information such as personal security details, bank details or passwords, or they might ask you to visit a fake website that looks real. The site will have a form asking for personal information like usernames, passwords, bank account details or pins.

These messages or calls can be very convincing and look or sound like genuine messages sent by organisations you already deal with. They might even appear within an existing text message string from an organisation you know.

Remember that O2 and other mobile phone operators will never ask you for your pin or password by text or email.

Signs of a phishing or smishing scam

Signs that a message or call might not be genuine:

  • it contains spelling mistakes
  • there’s a generic 'dear customer' header
  • it asks you to provide sensitive personal or financial information, passwords, or to make transactions by following a link in the message
  • there are suspect links or there’s a name in the header with extra letters, numbers or substitutions. For example, a phishing scam trying to imitate O2 might replace the letter 'O' with the number zero
  • it asks you to call a certain number you don’t recognise. In this case, call your bank on a number that you trust, like the one on the back of your card, to check the message is authentic
  • the sender uses an urgent tone, telling you to act now.

Receiving a suspicious text, email or voice call won’t harm you in any way. It’s only dangerous if you interact with it. Remember:

  • don’t click on links unless you’re 100% sure they’re genuine
  • take a moment to stop and think. Trust your instincts. If it looks suspicious or too good to be true, there’s probably a catch
  • don’t give away any of your personal details.

Remember that O2 and other mobile phone operators will never ask you for your pin or password by text or email.

If you're suspicious about an email, text or call, report it immediately.

Reporting a phishing email or text

Some phishing scams might pretend to be from O2, or from an organisation you already deal with. It's important that we see examples of phishing emails, texts and websites so we can investigate and shut down scammers. To report a suspicious email, text or website:

  • forward the text message, including phone number or company name, to 7726. It won’t cost you anything and it means we can investigate the sender
  • for emails, forward the message to the organisation that it claims to be from. You can look up the email address to send it to on that organisation’s website
  • for suspicious emails claiming to be from O2, create a new email draft with ‘Phishing’ as the subject. Attach the suspicious email and send it to phishing@o2.com
  • get in touch with the Information Commissioner’s Office by calling 0303 123 1113.

Remember: If someone calls you saying they're from O2 and they ask for personal information, including bank details, make sure you check who they are first. Ask where they're calling from and take a number to call them back, before giving them any of your details. If you have any doubts, call us to check - these may be nuisance calls, so see our advice on what to do about them.

For more information:

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