Almost 21 million reports have been made to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS), resulting in the removal of over 235,000 malicious websites.
SERS was launched by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the City of London Police in April 2020 to enable the public to forward suspicious emails to an automated system that scans them for malicious links. Since its launch, almost 21 million reports have been made to the service.
Mobile phone providers also offer a service that allows customers to report suspicious text messages, by forwarding them to the number 7726. The service is free of charge and enables providers to takedown malicious websites and block malicious texts from being sent across their network.
As of 31 May 2023, 54,000 text message scams have been removed as a result of suspicious texts forwarded to the 7726 service.
Commander Nik Adams, from City of London Police, said:
“Every year, thousands of people in the UK are scammed by a fraudulent email or text message. Phishing scams, whether it’s a text message claiming you have missed a delivery and are required to pay a redelivery fee, or an email claiming to be from your bank are a common security challenges that both individuals and businesses across the UK face on a daily basis.
“If you receive an email or text message that you think might be a scam, don’t respond to it or click any links in the message or email. Instead, contact the organisation directly using contact information from the company’s official website, and not the links or numbers provided in the message itself.
“If you think you have been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. By reporting phishing scams or suspected fraud, you are directly helping us in our work to identify and stop these criminals and helping us protect others from these scams. If you are in Scotland, I ask that you report the fraud directly to Police Scotland by calling 101.”
How to protect yourself from scam emails and texts
Received an email or text that seems suspicious? Report it. Your reports enable us to remove the emails and websites criminals use to commit fraud and cyber crime.
1: Forward suspicious emails to email@example.com . Send emails to this address that feel suspicious, even if you’re not certain they’re a scam – we can check.
2: Forward suspicious text messages to 7726 (it’s free of charge). Your provider can find out where the text came from and block or ban the sender.
3 – If you’ve lost money or provided personal information as a result of a phishing scam, notify your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Please note: Sometimes a forwarded email may not reach us because it is already recognised by spam detection services. You can also take a screenshot of the email and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org