People in Leeds are being bombarded with thousands of spam texts a day, many of which are being sent from difficult to trace numbers, as experts last night warned some are being sent to glean personal details that can be used to commit fraud.
The warning comes as figures obtained by the Yorkshire Evening Post show there were over 55,000 cases of personal fraud – including identity theft and cases where a person’s account is hacked into and used to buy goods – recorded at homes across Yorkshire throughout last year.
The figures from CIFAS, the UK’s fraud prevention service, show urban areas including Sheffield, Leeds and Bradford are being hit especially hard.
The Leeds postcode area saw 11,452 cases of personal fraud. While there were 7,579 cases recorded in Bradford.
Such is the scale of the text nuisance it has been estimated that as many as 8.7m spam texts are being sent a day in the UK.
Stuart Andrew, the Tory MP for Pudsey, said of the spam texts: “They are a nuisance and they are increasingly becoming a greater nuisance.”
Last night a spokesman for Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said: “Tackling nuisance marketing calls and spam texts is a priority issue.”
Unwanted messages are often sent at random and without permission about accident claims, Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) by rogue companies operating under the radar and if a person responds their number is then sold on as somebody interested in making a claim.
In some cases the Yorkshire Evening Post has discovered criminals are behind unwanted texts.
They pose as somebody from a bank or other organisation or claim people have won the lottery to try to get them to part with the personal details they need to commit fraud.