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OCSIA has been made aware of a recent spate of text-message and WhatsApp scam campaigns where messages are being sent to many Manx residents from unknown numbers.

Scammers try to send messages that create worry, a sense of urgency, and exploit emotions to make it more likely that people will respond hastily.  A common scam is where the scammer pretends to be a son or daughter and asks for money to replace a broken phone.  Other scam messages claim to be from financial institutions (e.g. bank or retail store credit card departments) and warn people about suspicious transactions coming out of their account.   

Although scammers are experts at tricking people, there are things you can do to make it less likely that you will fall victim to a scam:

  • Unknown Numbers – the message from an unknown number may claim to come from a friend, family member, colleague, or business but it is not safe to assume this. If you receive a message from an unknown number, treat the message with caution:
    • do not reply straightaway;
    • read the message again carefully;
    • check whether it is written in a way consistent with what you would expect from that person or from that business;
    • contact your friend, family member or colleague on an already-saved number or by using email or on social media;
    • if the message claims to be from a business, try calling that business using their official contact details;
    • if you cannot verify a suspicious message for certain, it is safer to not reply.

  • Do not reply to the scammer – telling the scammer that you are aware of their scam might seem useful as a way of showing that they are wasting their time but your replies can be of great value to the scammer. The scammer now knows that your telephone number is active and monitored making you a good target for future scams, or even for scam telephone calls.  It is better to not reply, report the scam to us, and then block the Sender’s number.

  • Never click on links – scam messages often have phishing links that mimic legitimate websites and encourage the recipient to enter in personal, account login, banking details. Alternatively, these links could lead to webpages that contain malware (e.g. viruses, etc.).  Avoid clicking on any part of a scam or suspicious message. 

Knowledge is a powerful weapon to defend against scams. It is important that members of the public report scam messages and suspicious messages to OCSIA:

  • it helps us to send out timely warnings to the public;
  • identify the main threats to residents;
  • and helps us to see the tactics used by scammers.

It is also really important that you warn your friends, family, and acquaintances about common messaging scams and what they should look out for.  Doing so can help create a network of informed individuals who can help one another.

Please take a look at our latest, bi-monthly Cyber Threat Update for more information about the current cyber-threats affecting the Island. 

If you have been the victim of a scam, call your bank immediately and please make a report to us using our Cyber Concerns Reporting Form


Some examples of scam texts below


  • Smishing
  • Scam Texts
  • scam alert