ALERT: Sheffield residents warned about alarming 'text from Sarah' scam

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Fraudsters are swindling money from innocent people by sending out alarming text messages claiming to be their daughter in a crisis.

Action Fraud is warning Sheffield residents to be wary if they receive a message from someone claiming to be 'Sarah', which is costing phone users £20 a time.

One text read: “Mum I did try and phone from some else phone signal is really bad, there has been a terrible car accident.

“I’m in the ICU ward in hospital my phone ain’t switching on and needs charging. I’m on this mobile number please make sure you reply to this number, my friend didn’t make it he died before we got to hospital and his sister’s fighting for her life.

“Mum I had my seatbelt on, I’ve got a head injury but I’m ok. Going into X-ray to be seen, please make sure you message me back and don’t phone cause mobile phones aren’t allowed here so please text in case I’m in there.

“I will go outside and phone you mum its really bad I need you to do me favour before it’s too late, as soon as you get my text please reply by text I need you to do me a favour mum, time is running out and i need you to do something mum.”

But once a phone user responds to the text, they are charged £20 for a mobile top-up code.

A spokesperson for Action Fraud 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."

Contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.