Scams and Security Issues

 

As our society makes greater use of technology in order to make life easier for the consumer and businesses alike.  So it encourages the criminal elements within our society to come up with more sophisticated ways of parting us form our hard earned savings (not that there is much on that about at present).  Previously the webmaster has placed items involving scams and other issues that could befall our membership on various pages on the website.

 

However it has been noticed that these items are not being viewed as often as they were, perhaps this is due to the fact that they drop further down the page as more news items are added, or it maybe that our members are becoming slightly complacent over this issue.

 

Identity theft is big business, and once your's has been stolen it is very difficult to get back to some form of normaility until suh time as those that you have dealings with accept that you are the genuine person and not the fraudster.  In order to assist our members we have introduced a single area onto the website where all the circulations we make can be located.  We trust that you will take the time to read them, hopefully you will never be the target of this type of criminality, but at least we have provided you with some usefull information and links to other sources that may help you.

 

Do You Think you've been Scammed ?

or have received something that looks like a SCAM!!!!!!

 

Don't know who to tell?

 

CONTACT:            www.actionfraud.police.uk

 

Should be used to report all scams.  They can investigate the email address and have it removed.

PHISHING & DODGY EMAILS - WHO YOU GONNA TELL !!!!!

The following has been received from our Branch Welfare Officer & Chairman Dave A'herne:

The National Cyber Security Centre... a branch of GCHQ have set up a suspicious email reporting service for the public to forward dodgy emails. Scam websites are being taken down. 

 

The link to the site is  report@phishing.gov.uk

06/2020

BEWARE THE TEXT SCAMMERS

The text sammers are opering some easy to fall for scams involving your bank accounts:

Recent scams involve a text message purporting to be from your bank, which states they have noticed a possible fraudulent transacation in the last 24 hours,  and ask that you immediately click on the link to confirm a refund of the monies paid.

The webmaster has had two in the last 48 hours, good job I don't bank with either of the banks in the message so saw that it was a scam straight away.

Lets all be on our guard, there are lots of scams going on especially surrounding COVID19 testing

The following is just in from our member Mr Steve Bartley:

Good afternoon 

There is currently an email being sent to people purporting to be from HM Courts and Tribunals Services relating to a fixed penalty notice and request you click on a link to make a payment.

This is a scam. It looks pretty convincing but it is designed to steal your money.

Do not click on the link.

Regards 

Steve  

10/2020

SCAMMERS ARE WORKING HARD

 

It seems the scammers are working harder than ever to get us all to part with our hard earned money.  Over the last 5 days the webmaster has received over 20 scam emails purporting to originate from the following :

TV LICENSING - The scam advises you that the payment could not be collected as the details of your account                                  have expired.  There is a request to click on the link which then takes you to a location where

                             you can enter your details and make the payment.

Thanks to Paul Oliver for drawing our attention to this one:

E-FIXED PENALTY NOTICE:  This scam invovles the sending of a fixed penalty in relation to the use of your                                                           vehicle on a restricted road.  The notice indicates to click on a link to make the

                                                  payment DON'T.  The telephone contact number has already been listed as a scam

                                                  contact point.  

MORRISONS LOTTO WIN:  This scam purports to originate from MORRISONS supermarket chain.  It suggests

                                               that by clicking on a link you will receive a prize. Its another scam, the link takes you

                                               to a location that asks for your bank account details in order for them to transfer the                                                money.  .... They will transfer the money from your account to theirs 

PLEASE TAKE CARE... IF IT LOOKS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE ..... IT PROBABLY IS

 

TIP  If you receive a phone call, e-mail or text message and you believe it to be false or fraudulent.  Try this go to the web browers line, clear its contents and type in the phone number and press return.  The internet will reverse trace the number and present you with a lot of records concerning that number or a batch of numbers within that group and advise you of any history concerning the number.  If in doubt try it and see what happens

SCAMMERS TRYING IT ON WITH YOUR BRANCH

The below emails extracts have been taken from emails sent to the narpocardiffadmin@virginmedia.com  address.  They are trying to use the 'YOUR DIRECT DEBIT HAS FAILED' scam on these two occasions..  It just shows that scammers will try to access all types of bank accounts.  There is no chance that either of these emails can be true on the basis that the email account used has nothing to do with ony of the branches payments to anyone.  These are undertaken via the treasurer and his email details are never published in any of our material:

SCAM 1:

Dear Customer,

We were unable to process the payment for your latest Virgin Media bill at this time. The billing information associated with your account may have expired recently. Your service is scheduled for disconnection. We have been trying to contact you. However, we are unable to reach you.

To ensure that your service has not been interrupt, we require you to confirm and verify your account billing information with us immediately in-order to avoid any interruption on your services.

https://myvirginmedia.com/billing_update73g1c3y

Kind regards,
The Virgin Media Billing Department

P.S. We don't pick up emails from this mailbox, so please don't reply to this email address. If you'd like to get in touch, you'll find all the details at virginmedia.com/contact instead.

Virgin Media Limited is an appointed representative of Virgin Media Mobile Finance Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Register number: 626215). Registered in England No. 09058868. Registered office: 500 Brook Drive, Reading, RG2 6UU.

SCAM 2:

Dear Customer,

While performing customers account maintenance and verification procedures, we have detected a slight error on your account billing information. We have been trying to contact you. However, we are unable to reach you. To protect all customers personal information and financial assets against unauthorised use at no cost, we have temporarily restricted access to your account and certain features within our online banking system. Such as (Receive payments, Make payments or withdraw funds). As a security measures.

To safeguard your account and financial assets against unauthorised use at no cost, we require you to confirm and verify your account information with us immediately by the reference button giving below. This would only take you a few minutes to complete and will help us in safeguarding your account & personal information from unauthorised access in future.

Get Started

 

How does it work?

If we detect either of the reasons above, we may decide that we want to confirm that it's really you. You must complete all steps otherwise you will not be able to use the online service until we have completed additional security checks.

Yours sincerely,

NatWest Online Security Team.

These emails have been forwarded to the National Cyber Security Centre.

10/2020

AMAZON PHONE SCAM IS BACK

Despite COVID etc, the scammers ploys to part you from your hard earned money never stops.  

The following has been received from Mr Richard Fullwood regarding this scam:

Hi Paul, 
 

This may be of interest to others if not already known: 
 

Had a voicemail message today but no telephone call first. The message was an automated voice telling me my Amazon Prime account had been compromised for an unintelligible item valued at £350 and to press 1 to speak to the fraud team!! (Brass neck or what??). 

I don't have an Amazon Prime account. 

Apparently this fraud was reported in the Daily Mail the other day. 

09/2020

COVID19 SAMPLING SCAM

The following details have been copied from a local Neighbourhood Watch circulation and reproduced here for your information.  It is a telephone converstaion between a local person printed in black and a scammer printed in blue.  Please be alert and share the information:

A telephone call received today. (Not me!) Be aware folks. X

‘Good morning, I'm calling from the NHS track and trace service. According to our system, you are likely to have been in close proximity to someone who has tested postive for COVID-19. This means that you now need to self-isolate for 7 days and take a COVID-19 test.'

'OK. Can you tell me who that person was?'

'I'm not able to tell you that. That is confidential information.'

'Right. Um... so ....'

'But you do need to be tested within the next 72 hours. So can I just get the best mailing address so that we can send a kit to you?'

'Ok (gives address)'

'Thank you - and I just need to take a payment card so that we can finalise this and send the kit to you.'

'Sorry - a payment card? I thought this was all free?'

'No - I'm afraid not. There is a one-off fee of £500 for the kit, and test results. Could you read off the long card number for me, please, when you're ready.'

'No - that's not right. This is part of the NHS so there's no charge.'

'I'm afraid there is. Can you give me the card number please - this is very important, and there are penalties for not complying.'

Puts phone down.

This is how scammers work. And vulnerable people will fall for it.

Don't fall for it...! — sharing a COVID-19 update.

06/2020

TV LICENCE SCAM

It seems to raise its ugly head around April - May most years Yes the TV licence scam is abck again in the form of an email, although are informed that a similar phone scam is also operating:

the email will look similar to the below  the personal details that appeared in the original have been removed  

Information about your TVLicence

6/2/2020 5:45:29 p.m.

TVLicensing Official


 Dear NAME DELETED 

Something went wrong with your payment.

We're sorry to let you know that the TVLicence could not be automatically renewed.

We tried to take the latest payment from your bank account but we encountered an error, so you must pay the amount by setting up a new Direct Debit.

Renew your licence before it expires on Thursday, 04 June 2020 to avoid prosecution.

How to pay?

Making a payment is easy - just click on the link below and follow the requested steps to set up your new Direct Debit payment. 

tvlicensing.co.uk/
your email address will be here/renew-your-licence

If you don't keep up with your payments, we may be forced to cancel your licence or pass your details to a debt collection agency. 

   

TV Licensing details

Exp date:06/04/2020 0:00

TVL No:2827282180

Time Remaining:(2) days

Ref:93520254601

Number of Licenses:1

Your Personal Details

Primary Email:NAME DELETED 

Registration:TV09UML81

Payment Method

Credit Card:Visa/MasterCard

Yes claims bonus

Number of points90

Reduction:%20 

Yours sincerely.

TVL Digital Broadcast Service Team

06/2020

BRITISH GAS SCAM

Residents in the Swansea area are receiving Emails making out to be from British Gas informing they have not paid their bill and for them to follow a link to make payment. An example of the email is shown below. This is a scam, DO NOT FOLLOW any links where they will ask for card details or down load any attachments. 

 

Should you wish to make any enquiries only use the telephone number from your bill not those shown on an email. Ensure you delete the email.

 

Additional advice can be found on the British Gas Webb site:

 

 https://www.britishgas.co.uk/help-and-support/my-account/if-you-get-a-suspicious-email

 

 

Example of email sent

 

We sent you a gas bill for £18.41, and we still haven't received payment. If you've paid it in the last five days, please ignore this email. To see if your payment has cleared you can

 

Nextsteps:

 If we do not receive a payment or hear from you in the next two days and we have to contact you again, you will be charged £140 to cover our reasonable costs

 If we have to visit your property to collect this debt you will be charged £540

 If the debt remains unpaid we plan to obtain a court warrant to visit your home and  either replace your gas meter with a pay as you go meter or disconnect your gas supply  this could result in additional charges ofup to £402

 If your gas supply is disconnected we will charge you £750 to reconnect your supply

05/2020

SCAM VIDEO ADVICE FROM SCLT

 

Our grateful thanks to Mr Steve Bartley fro advising us about the video created by the Senior Citizen Liaison Team (SCLT). Check the video out for yourself by clicking here 

AND 

 

Please help protect those vulnerable to fraud & scam activity during the Covid-19 emergency by sharing this fraud safety video, which will help people spot scams before they become victims and pass on the link below:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHNuxTaVHr4&feature=youtu.be

05/2020

LATEST SWP UPDATE 

 

The following has been received from the Crime Reduction team at SWP

Hope you are keeping well.  Sadly another scam doing the rounds.

 

I was asked to advise you of a scam phone call I received yesterday.  A man with a foreign accent rang me and told me that his name was Steff and he was from Cardiff Council.  He said that his records showed that I was on the NHS at risk list and that because I couldn’t leave my house for 12 weeks he wanted to know if I need Cardiff Council to get any shopping in.  I knew I wasn’t on any list so asked him for his surname which he glossed over. 

 

I told him that I am not on any list and for him to remove me from his list.  He had no caller ID.

05/2020

SCAM ALERT UK

A while ago we brought to our members attention the excellent work being undertaken by retired Det Sgt. Vince Donovan with regards to SCAM ALERT UK's facebook page where members can find lots of information about on going scams etc.

With the recent increase in SCAMS currently presenting themselves both on line in the form or emails or text messages to your mobile phone or conatcting yur from call centres advsing you to press button 1 or similar and see the money vanish from your bank account, it is appropriate to remind you of the excellent facility Vince operates.

But please don't forget to notify the authorities when you get a SCAM call, text or email, they need to know !!!

SCAMMERS UNCOVERED

Like me have you ever wondered what a scammer looks like, where do the operate from. etc.  Well maybe the link below will help you.  It was sent to me by a friend and is worth watching to see how a number of people around the World have reversed the process.  Please note this is about 15 minutes duration

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le71yVPh4uk

SCAMMERS ARE ALREADY BUSY IN 2020

So following Christmas and New Year the scammers are turning to some of the tried and tested SCAMMING METHODS: here are highlights of the ones that have come to our notice so far.  Please be vigilant, the sammers often sound genuine, or their emals and text messages do  REMEMBER IF SOMETHING APPEARS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE..... OR YOU ARE DOUBTFUL OF ITS ORIGINS DO NOT CLICK ANY LINKS OR PRESS BUTTONS.....A quick call to the genuine company or organisation usually proves its a scam... KEEP SAFE, and KEEP YOUR MONEY IN YOUR BANK ACCOUNT NOT THEIRS

1. AMAZON PRIME - A number of members have recently experienced robotic calls from a call centre advising

    them their AMAZON PRIME account has been suspended as the payments have not been received.  press

    button 1 to speak to an agent to rectify this.  The webmaster and wife have received several of these calls.  And

    merely hung up..... We don't have an AMAZON PRIME account. 

2. BT - Several of our members have received calls from BT advising them their service will be disconnected due

    to the standing order not being honoured by the bank.  Checks with BT proved this to another scammer at

    work. - They contacted the webmaster with a similar tale, and were  very politetly advised where to go they           insisted it was a geniune call.... My reply I am not a BT subscriber and have no account with BT, phone suddely

    went dead.

3. VIRGINMEDIA.  The following is an email received from what appears to be VIRGINMEDIA - it was sent direct to the NARPO email address of the webmaster.  Its a scam.  do not fall for it

Dear Customer,

We have been trying to contact you. However, we are unable to reach you. We were unable to process your last payment of bill.

This might be due to either of the following reasons:

1. A recent change in your personal information. (eg: billing address, phone)
2. Submitting incorrect Payment information during bill payment process.

Due to this, to ensure that your service has not been interrupted, we request you to confirm and update your billing information today.

https://my.virginmedia.com/home/

Kind regards,
The Virgin Media team

4. FACEBOOK  The following has been received from Mr. Alan Hill and is again circulated here to warn you of yet another scam

FACEBOOK INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD.
1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, California 94025. USA

Congratulations,

We are pleased to inform you of the result of the just concluded annual
final draws held by Facebook Lottery Group in Cash Promotion to encourage
Facebook users world wide.The online international lotto promo draws was
conducted from an exclusive list of 50,000.00 companies/corporate bodies
and 100.000.000 individual users email addresses around the Globe were
picked by an "Advanced Automated Random Computer Search Machine" from the
Facebook Platform. This is a promotional program aimed at encouraging
Facebook Users; NO TICKETS WERE SOLD".

After this automated computer ballot machine searched, your e-mail address
emerged as one of the twelve (12) winners that won the sum of Five Hundred
Thousand United States Dollars each aims to say a big thank you to all of
our users who make Facebook their number one means of communication,
relate and connect to their friends and families worldwide and of enjoying
the good characteristics of visitors to our website and also to help
people to fight against the general shortage and maintain a good standard
of living.

Below are some important numbers attached to your Winnings and you are
advised to write down this numbers on a safe paper and keep it safe
because it will be require in Future;

REFERENCE NUMBER: BGL/006194/240
BATCH NUMBER: B04/N450-28
SERIAL NUMBER : 00903228/06

You as well as other winners are receiving a cash prize of $500,000.00 USD
(Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars), each as payout for a
category winners. This is from the total prize money of US$6,000.000.00
(Six Million United States Dollars) shared among the 12 winners. Your
prize award has been issued in your Name and will be transferred to you
upon meeting our requirements, statutory obligations, verification,
validations and satisfactory Disbursement.

To begin the claims processing of your winnings prize you are advised to
contact the Disbursement Manager on the Below Email Address ( MR. B.B
KINGS ), you can reach him with the below information for the Claiming Of
Your Winning Fund;

DISBURSEMENT MANAGER

MR. B.B KINGS.
REPLY TO THIS Email: ( bbkings003@gmail.com )

*****************************************************

You are expected to contact the Disbursement Manager with your REFERENCE
NUMBER and BATCH NUMBER and you are also to provide the below information
about you for the immediate process on your Winning Fund.

1. FULL NAMES
2. YOUR AGE & SEX
3. YOUR OCCUPATION
4. YOUR DELIVERY ADDRESS
5. YOUR MOBILE/DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBER
6. YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS
7. YOUR COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE
8. REFERENCE NUMBER: BGL/006194/240
9. BATCH NUMBER: B04/N450-28

NOTE:

1.All claims are nullified after 10 working days from today.

2.Your Ref number must be in all your mails with the claims officer.

3.Do inform Disbursement Manager of any change of names or addresses.


The information transmitted is intended only for the person or entity to
whom or which it is addressed. Unauthorized use, disclosure or copying is
strictly prohibited. The sender accepts no liability for the improper
transmission of this communication nor for any delay in its receipt.

Contact your Claims Officer/Disbursement Manager immediately.

Yours Sincerely,
Mrs. Erica Jonathan
FACEBOOK INTERNATIONAL

'EE' TEXT SCAM

The following has been received from Mr Dave A'herne:

 

I have just received a spam text supposedly from EE stating that they are unable to process my payment from the bank. There was a link to it. It asked for

my bank details. 

 

Checking with EE they confirmed it was a malicious text trying to get my bank details. They are receiving lots of complaints about the spam.

 

Members receiving similar text would be advised to check with their phone provider.

KNOCK KNOCK --- WHOSE THERE ???

IT's A SCAMMER

We have received a number of complaints in relation to a scam that has been reported in Barry and Penarth.

 Please be aware of a current doorstep scam working the area.

 

These are calling themselves “Keep Britain Working” or “Nottingham Knocker’s” which are a very similar outfit (if not the same).  They are doorstep callers who target areas offering small household products for sale. These callers may claim to be ex-convicts attempting to mend their ways or ex-servicemen, however they are not part of any recognised rehabilitation scheme.

 Please warn your communities, particularly elderly or vulnerable neighbours, not to open the door to strangers or buy or sell on the doorstep. Some doorstep callers may offer poor quality goods at inflated prices and if a caller is not genuine, they may be gathering information for future crime. 

 Please keep in mind that if cold callers don’t get any sales in your area, they are less likely to return.

 How they work:

The sellers may say that they are on a “rehabilitation course” arranged by Probation Services or other organisations trying to find people work. This is not the case and often they are known criminals. Probation Services do not run such schemes. 

 They may show a card which claims to be a “Pedlars Licence” or work permit. This is not valid and they are breaking the law if they are using anything like this.   They may also hand over a card saying they are deaf or dumb.

According to the Police, the bag of household products is supplied by someone who employs them. The males / females are supplied with a full bag of household products (including the typical tea-towels!) and charged a minimal sum for the contents – it used to be £35. They can keep whatever they make, above this amount.

 Usually they are deposited in an area from a transit van and given a list of streets to work. An hour or so later they are picked up and dropped off in another location. They often work from 9am to 9pm.

 They will knock on a door, offering cleaning items which they know are cheap and of very poor quality; the householder also knows they are rubbish but that is part of the scam. Many people will purchase items and pay them out of their good nature as they have fallen for their storey or, just to get rid of them. There have been cases of elderly residents handing over large sums as these people can be very persistent and confrontational.

 The price for whatever has been purchased usually comes to a note – usually £10. The householder disappears to get this – this is when the scam begins, according to the police. When the note is handed over, the lad examines the condition and how long it took the person to get it.  If it is crumpled, they accept it and move on. If it is crisp flat and new – they are much more interested and may engage the person in more conversation, to obtain details about them. As they leave they will smell the note. If it is slightly musty – this is an indication that there is more in the property. 

Those addresses are noted. The addresses of elderly / vulnerable / gullible people are all noted.

These are handed to the employer and there is a small amount of cash handed over for each one.

These addresses are then sold in prisons and pubs. If there is a later break-in, the employer expects a further cut of the proceeds.

Police advise that in almost every case of a stop check – the lads have long strings of convictions for burglary and violence. They use the skills learnt during their criminal activity to identify possible targets.

GOVERNMENT GRANTS - SCAM

Please note this might not be of use to your personally, but couls be to members of your family or friends please pass this information on:

 

Action Fraud has received 63 reports about a scam in which fraudsters target people with offers of “low cost” loans or “free” government grants. What the victims aren’t told is that the money they’ll receive is actually an advance payment for Universal Credit.

 

The criminals use the personal information they’ve obtain under false pretences to make an application in the victim’s name. After the fraudsters have taken their “fee” from the advance payment, the victim is then left to pay back the total amount once their repayments begin. 

How you can protect yourself: 
• Never share your personal or financial information with someone you don’t know and trust, especially if it’s in response to an offer of “free money” or a “free grant”. 
• Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) staff will never approach you in the street or ask for your personal/financial details over social media. 
• If you have concerns about your benefits, you should visit www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus 
• If you suspect your identity may have been stolen, you can check your credit rating quickly and easily online.

 

You should do this every few months anyway, using a reputable service provider and following up on any unexpected or suspicious results. 

SOME HELP TO BEAT SCAMMERS !!!!

 

Normally we publish information concerning scams of various types, but on this occassion we are publishing some information on how you can make it a lot more difficult to be hacked thereby reducing the scammers access to your computer and its contents.  

 

Recently a friend attended the South Wales Police, Cyber Security Road Show in Barry.  There was a lot of information to take on board but he has sent me the following:

PASSWORDS CHECKER:

He typed in various password, past and present, to see how strong they were; and  got a shock how quickly they could be hacked! Just by typing in usual password and then adding something like "Barry" afterwards, it immediately changed to say the hackers would have to spend 100's of years to get in;

So if you want to check how secure your password is click the link below:

    https://howsecureismypassword.net/

HAVE YOU BEEN PWNED:

On this occasion he just typed in my email address and it told him when and if my address had been compromised. I was shown on their screen, at the top "Notify Me", that if my email address is compromised, it would advise him and then he could go straight in and change that password. 

It also showed sites that had been hacked, that he didn't recognise. He was immediately updated that his information would have been sold / passed on to other users of his data. 

So if you want to check if your email account has been pwned click on the link below:

https://haveibeenpwned.com/

PHISHING

Have you ever received an email that appaers to be from a friend which only contains a link to some obscure website and a message encouraging you to open it..... STOP, DON'T 

Instead  hove over the email address of the sender and you quickly see a strange address; not ".co.uk" or ".com", but from another country. the alarm beels should now be ringing. Before deleting this email from your system report it to the Police via the below link.  The Police will add this to the growing international intelligence database and with your help catch the villains 

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report-phishing

WEBMASTER COMMENT:  On average I get two to three such emails on a weekly basis.  I always report them as they invariably come from different sources outside the UK

DON'T PRESS TELEPHONE BUTTONS

Many thanks to Mr Dave A'herne for bringing this one to our attention

 

Telephone Scam.

 

Computer Active Magazine reports that some telephone scam operators give an option to press 1 and speak to the con artist or 2 to end the call. It is possible that pressing either option can connect the phone owner to a premium charge line.

Avoid the premium line con and significant cost by hanging up without choosing a number.

TV LICENCE SCAM

The image opposite is of an email received by one of our members who has kindly passed it onto us.

If you receive any emails of a similar nature they are a SCAM.  If you respond to them yo will be furnishing your bank details to the SCAMMER who will take great delight in showing you the error of your ways by emptying your bank account.

Please take the time to study the actions you should take regarding notifying authorities etc.

you can also update SCAM ALERT UK as above who will also publicise the SCAM

ROYAL MAIL - DELIVERY CARD SCAM

 

 

This scam has already been operating in the Vale of Glamorgan so please take heed:

 

HOUSEHOLDS have been warned about fake missed delivery cards posted through letterboxes that are designed to look like they have been left by Royal Mail postmen.

 

The convincing red "Something For You" notes urge people to phone the depot about a parcel - but victims say they have instead been charged £45 for making the call.

 

The cards are almost identical to the official Royal Mail notes with similar text, colours and layout - including the words "bring ID" in a circle in the top corner.

 

But crucially the Royal Mail crest is missing from the top.

 

A photo of one of the bogus cards shows the recipient's address handwritten in the top left box.

 

Other boxes mimic the genuine cards with the words “Sorry we missed you” and information on how to collect packages or have them redelivered.

 

Users online said when they called the number - which is not registered to Royal Mail - they were charged £45

 

The Royal Mail said: “Our security team is looking into this incident as a matter of urgency.

“Customers should check delivery cards very carefully to ensure they are genuine, and remain vigilant.

 

“Although this card is similar to one of our Something For You cards, the Royal Mail logo is crucially missing.

 

"Customers should also consider whether they are expecting a delivery from the company named on the card.

 

“If any customer thinks they have been a victim of fraud, they should contact Citizens Advice or Action Fraud for advice and guidance."

FAKE 'LINKED-IN' EMAILS

Watch out for these fake LinkedIn emails

We’ve received multiple reports about these fake LinkedIn emails. They claim that your LinkedIn profile has appeared in multiple searches and provide links you can click on to get more details. These links lead to malicious websites designed to steal your personal and financial details.

Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

​​​​​​​

Message Sent By
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

DVLA TEXT MESSAGE SCAM

Watch out for the latest scam via a text to your mobile phone. The text message indicates that there has been an error in relation to the taxation of your motor car for this and you are due a refund  and indicates the amount with the CLICK HERE  to obtain the refund link.  They contacted the webmasters wife recently and advised that she is due a refund of £47.50  Which is remakable as the car road fund duty is only £35.00 for the year needless to say she did not CLICK HERE andf the matter has been reported to both the DVLA and ACTION FRAUD.

Be on your guard they will try anything to get your bank account details.

ONE CLOSER TO HOME

The Following has been circulated by Paul Fenton and maybe of interest to those living in South Wales

 

 

I had this flyer delivered to my home in Penarth today. It’s obviously an illegal attempt to deposit into what looks like a personal account as it doesn’t appear to be a registered charity.

 

If anyone has information regarding the author allegedly MT Morgan I would urge them to contact the police.

For your information the Bank Sort Code relates to a Santander Account

 

ACTION FRAUD UPDATES 14/04/2018

 

 

Magazine Advertise Debt Alert

 

Victims receive a telephone call from someone purporting to be a bailiff enforcing a court judgement, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt. The fraudsters state the debt originates from the victim not paying a magazine advertisement subscription. 

 

A variety of magazine names and publishers are being used by the fraudsters, who also commonly use the names of certified Bailiff Enforcement Agents such “Scott Davis”, “Stephen King” and “Mark Taylor”. These are names of certified Bailiff Enforcement Agents employed by debt enforcement companies. 
 

The fraudsters request that the debt be repaid by bank transfer. If the victim refuses, they threaten to visit the victim’s home or place of work to recover the debt that is owed. 

 

Once the money has been transferred, victims are not provided with receipt details of the payment or contact details. Later when victims make enquiries, they’ll discover that the debt did not exist, and often that no advertisement was placed. 

 

This type of fraud is nationwide. Since 2017, there have been 52 Action Fraud Reports relating to this fraud. From the reports received, there are a range of different businesses and individuals being targeted.

 

Protection Advice:
 

1. Listen to your instinct: just because someone knows your basic details, such as your name and address, it doesn’t mean they are genuine.

 

2. Stay in control: always question cold callers: always contact the companies directly using a known email or phone number.

 

3. Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision: a legitimate company will be prepared to wait whilst you verify information.

 

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. 

 

Visit Take Five (takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/) and Cyber Aware (cyberaware.gov.uk) for more information about how to protect yourself online.

 

Online Marketplace Fraud Advice For Sellers

Action Fraud has received several reports indicating that sellers of items on online marketplace websites are falling victim to fraud by bogus buyers. Typically, the bogus buyers contact the seller wanting to purchase the item for sale and advise they will be sending the requested amount via PayPal or other electronic payment method. The seller then receives a fake, but official looking email stating they have been paid more than the asking price and to send the difference back to the buyer’s bank account. In reality, no money has ever been sent to the seller; the bogus buyer has spoofed an email and purported to be an online payment company. All contact is then severed with the seller. 

 

It is important to remember that selling anything could make you a target to these fraudsters however the NFIB has identified that those offering sofas, large furniture and homeware are particularly vulnerable.

 

Protection Advice

 

• Don’t assume an email or phone call is authentic. Remember criminals can imitate any email address. Stay in control. Always use a trusted payment method online, such as Paypal, and have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for payment like bank transfers.

 

• Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision.  Always verify that you have received payment from the buyer before completing a sale.

 

• Listen to your instincts.  Criminals will try and make unusual behaviour, like overpaying, seem like a genuine mistake.

 

Visit Take Five (takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/) and Cyber Aware (cyberaware.gov.uk) for more information about how to protect yourself online.

 

Courier Fraud Alert for South Wales and surrounding regions

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, in collaboration with the South Wales Police Economic Crime Unit has identified a number of reports from the public concerning courier fraud in the South Wales Police area and surrounding regions. 

 

Fraudsters are contacting victims by telephone and purporting to be a police officer or bank official. To substantiate this claim, the caller might be able to confirm some easily obtainable basic details about the victim such as full names and address. They may also offer a telephone number for the victim to call to check that they are genuine; this number is not genuine and simply redirects to the fraudster who pretends to be a different person. After trust has been established, the fraudster will then, for example, suggest:

 

- Some money has been removed from a victim’s bank account and staff at their local bank branch are responsible.

- A relative has been arrested and they require money for bail/assistance.

- Suspects have already been arrested but the “police” need money for evidence.


Victims are then asked to cooperate in an investigation by attending their bank and withdrawing money to hand over to a courier for examination who will also be a fraudster. The fraudster may also ask the victim to withdraw money via a different method such as changing an amount into currency via a bureau de change. The victim will then be given a safe word which will be repeated by the courier for further reassurance at the point of handover.

 

At the time of handover, unsuspecting victims are promised the money will be reimbursed but in reality there is no further contact and the money is never seen again.

GET YOUR OWN BACK FOR A CHANGE 

 

Not all SPAM mail is Spam Mail, that is a fact especially since lots of service providers have increased their security protocols as some of our members have found out when they have treated our ebulletins as SPAM

But for those of you who get the following type of SPAM emails then Mr Dave A'Herne has supplied us with an alternative to merely deleting them:

 

When you next receive a suspicious e mail promising a miraculous unexpected inheritance, an overseas investment opportunity or similar wealth proposals forward it to me@rescam.org before dropping it into the junk folder. The email will be analysed and if found to be a phishing scam you will receive a confirmation and an invitation to watch me@rescam.org have a hilarious conversation with the scammer.

 

In January the bot had 469,598 conversations with spammers wasting their time and reducing their capacity to spam.

 

At present my wife has sent 6 spams to the bot.

Phantom Debt Fraud 

 

Action Fraud has recently experienced an increase in the number of calls to members of the public by fraudsters requesting payments for a “phantom” debt. The fraud involves being cold-called by someone purporting to be a debt collector, bailiff or other type of enforcement agent. The fraudster may claim to be working under instruction of a court, business or other body and suggest they are recovering funds for a non-existent debt. 

 

The fraudsters are requesting payment, sometimes by bank transfer and if refused, they threaten to visit homes or workplaces in order to recover the supposed debt that is owed. In some cases, the victim is also threatened with arrest. From the reports Action Fraud has received, this type of fraud is presently occurring throughout the UK. 
 

It is important to recognise that there are key differences between the various entities who seek to settle debts or outstanding fees in England and Wales. These differences range from the type of debt they will enforce to the legal powers they possess. To learn more, please take a look at some of the helpful information and links on the Step Change Debt Charity website; 

 

https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/debt-collection/bailiffs-and-debt-collectors-differences.aspx 
 

Protect Yourself 

  • Make vigorous checks if you ever get a cold call. Bailiffs for example, should always be able to provide you with a case number and warrant number, along with their name and the court they are calling from; make a note of all details provided to you. 

  • If you receive a visit from a bailiff, they must always identify themselves as a Court Bailiff at the earliest possible opportunity. Ask to see their identity card which they must carry to prove who they are, this card shows their photograph and identity number. They will also carry the physical warrant showing the debt and endorsed with a court seal. 

  • If you work for a business and receive a call or visit, be sure to speak with your manager or business owner first. Never pay the debts yourself on behalf of the business you work for; some fraudsters have suggested employees make payment suggesting they can then be reimbursed by their employer when in reality the debt is non-existent. 

  • Exercise caution believing someone is genuine because you’ve found something on the internet; fraudsters could easily create fake online profiles to make you believe them. 

  • Double check with the court, company or public body they claim to work for to confirm whether the call is legitimate; if you use a landline make sure you hear the dialling tone prior to dialling as the caller could still be on the line and you could potentially speak to the fraudster(s) to confirm the non-existent debt. Also be sure to independently search for a telephone number to call; never use a number provided by the caller without carrying out your own research. 

  • Do not feel rushed or intimidated to make a decision based on a phone call. Take five and listen to your instincts. 

  • If you know you have a debt, keep in regular contact with your creditor and be sure to establish the debt type at the earliest opportunity if you are not aware. This will help you to understand who might be in contact with you regarding any repayments or arrears. 

You can report suspicious calls like these to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfaud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. 

HMRC - BOGUS PHONE MESSAGES

The Following has been received from Tony Rees:

On the off chance that members are not already aware, the latest is a bogus message being left on answering machines claiming HMRC are issuing a lawsuit against the individual, then stating “press 1 to speak to your caseworker”,
 

IT'S A FAKE / FORGERY 

Nice image of a £10 note ..... BUT IT's a FAKE

It has started! The fake new £10 notes. Just after the "£10" on the left hand side the orange logo that follows on this image should be a pure hologram - no orange surrounding border, the same for the hologram at the bottom.

So examine any £10 note handed to you and make sure its genuine

Please circulate this to as many people as you can.

 R U 75 or OVER - THIS SCAM MIGHT BE COMING YOUR WAY

At 75 Years of age you become entitled to a free Television Licence.  Now the scammers have a neat way of getting you to part with your money.

An official TV Licensing Authourity email may soon hit your in box.  It will tell you about the free licence and that an error has occurred and they now need to reimburse your last Direct Debit / Standing order payment.

In order to do this you will be requested to CLICK on a link that then takes you to a form they need you to complete in order that the refund can be made.  The form will ask for all you usual details and then request your bank sort code   account number  and security vaildation code in order that the repayment can be made.

The wording is very official looking and makes it look that you will be freceiving the monies into your account within 24 hours via BACS payment

It is a scam they will probably empty your bank account wiothin 24 hours .

One of our members has already received such an email and he attained 75 years of age last year.  He recognised it as a scam and wants everyone else to be on their guard.

Please pass this information on to anyone you know that is 75 and above or just about to become 75 years of age

BT - EMAIL SCAM

The following has been extracted from an email circulated by South Wales Police Neighbour Watch team and is the body of text within what appears to be a genuine BT e-mail  It is however a confirmed scam

Dear ........

Your monthly payment was recently declined.  The decline could be due to insifficient funds, card expired etc.

Since you have't provided us with new billing information yet, we thought we'd remind you to please provide us with updated billing information to avoid any billing problems with your account

Review Account Information

Thanks for choosing BT

The email has the BT Openreach logo on it 

TELEPHONE PREFERENCE - PHISHING SCAM


The following has been received from Mr. Allan Evans and highlights the need to maintain our vigil against those trying to access our identities for the purpose of fraud etc.

 

'Hi Paul, You may already know about this, but it's a new one on us. We usually get calls on PC issues, Home Surveys etc. Edit it as you like; circulate it; or keep it for your info.....

 

At 10.47 hrs, today, Thurs, 31st Aug, I received a 'phone call on my landline from an Asian woman (I was immediately wary). She said she was from a UK Govt Organisation, and she could stop all "unwanted" 'phone calls to my number, for Life! Their "Govt Organisation" covers BT, SKY etc., etc. (she named most of the 'phone Providers). She then quoted back to me my 'Phone number; address; postcode; my full name, to which I didn't respond. She told me that the "Stop" cover was for life, on one payment only. She then transferred me to her "Manager" in order to take my Bank details for the one-off payment.  As soon as he started, I put the 'phone down. She then rang back because I had cut her off, so I did the same again. The 'phone number she rang from was - 01238517321. (This is probably a false number)

WEBMASTER NOTE:

If you can obtain a number, or use 1471 to get the callers number after disconnecting simply type the number into your web browser and hit return.  If there are any records concerning calls from that number they will be shown to you.  When I checked the number supplied above there were over 170 records just with one organisation listing the number and its activities.

Please remember if you are contacted by this type of caller to report all such attempts to Action Fraud via their website

BANK PHONE SCAM

 

Fraudsters using the London area code 0208 are calling residents across the UK claiming to work for legitimate banks such as Lloyds & Nationwide, and are telling the call-taker that for various reasons they are able to pay the call-taker several thousands of pounds via bank transfer. 

If the call-handler declines, the fraudster will try and play the guilt-trip and say that the money will be donated to charity instead. At no point should you comply with these fraudsters. Terminate the call and if you are able to trace the phone number through dialling 1471, please inform Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 and provide the fraudster's phone number to them. 


The police cannot phone Action Fraud on your behalf so please ensure you make an individual report

SMISHING FRAUD ALERT:

 

Smishing – the term used for SMS phishing – is an activity which enables criminals to steal victims’ money or identity, or both, as a result of a response to a text message. Smishing uses your mobile phone (either a smartphone or traditional non-internet connected handset) to manipulate innocent people into taking various actions which can lead to being defrauded.
 
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has received information that fraudsters are targeting victims via text message, purporting to be from their credit card provider, stating a transaction has been approved on their credit card.
 
The text message further states to confirm if the transaction is genuine by replying ‘Y’ for Yes or ‘N’ for No. 
 
Through this method the fraudster would receive confirmation of the victim’s active telephone number and would be able to engage further by asking for the victim’s credit card details, CVV number (the three digits on the back of your bank card) and/or other personal information.
 
Protect yourself:

  • Always check the validity of the text message by contacting your credit card provider through the number provided at the back of the card or on the credit card/bank statement.

  • Beware of cold calls purporting to be from banks and/or credit card providers.

  • If the phone call from the bank seems suspicious, hang up the phone and wait for 10 minutes before calling the bank back. Again, refer to the number at the back of the card or on the bank statement in order to contact your bank.

  • If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, please report it to Action Fraud at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or alternatively by calling 0300 123 2040

ANOTHER SET OF MICROSOFT SCAMMERS

 

Action Fraud has received the first reports of Tech-Support scammers claiming to be from Microsoft who are taking advantage of the global WannaCry ransomware attack.

One victim fell for the scam after calling a ‘help’ number advertised on a pop up window. The window which wouldn’t close said the victim had been affected by WannaCry Ransomware.

The victim granted the fraudsters remote access to their PC after being convinced there wasn’t sufficient anti-virus protection. The fraudsters then installed Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, which is actually free and took £320 as payment.

It is important to remember that Microsoft’s error and warning messages on your PC will never include a phone number.

Additionally Microsoft will never proactively reach out to you to provide unsolicited PC or technical support. Any communication they have with you must be initiated by you.

How to Protect yourself:

  • Don't call numbers from pop-up messages.

  • Never allow remote access to your computer.

  • Always be wary of unsolicited calls. If you’re unsure of a caller’s identity, hang up.

  • Never divulge passwords or pin numbers.

  • Microsoft or someone on their behalf will never call you.

IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN SCAMMED:

  • Get your computer checked for any additional programmes or software that may have been installed.

  • Contact your bank to stop any further payments being taken.


Report fraud and cyber crime to Actionfraud.police.uk

METROPOLITAN POLICE 

The Little book of big scams

 

The Metropolitan Police have now issued versions 3 of the little book of big scams series and also the the little book of big scams - business edition.

Whether your in business or just a householder it matters not evidence proves that losts of people are being scammed in lots of ways thousands of times a day.  The best way to help prevent you becoming another staistic in this type of crime is to arm yourself with the knowledge of how these scammers try to part you from your hard earned money.

To do this why no click on the links to the books below and have a read.  You could end up saving yourselves thousands of ££££££'s if and when a scammer tries to fleece you.

 

CLICK HERE FOR VERSION 3

 

CLICK HERE FOR BUSINESS EDITION 

 

iTunes Gift Card Scams

Be aware of scams involving iTunes Gift Cards.

A string of scams are taking place asking people to make payments over the phone for things such as taxes, hospital bills, bail money, debt collection, and utility bills. The scams are committed using many methods, including gift cards. As the fraudsters are sometimes using iTunes Gift Cards, we want to make sure our customers are aware of these scams.

Regardless of the reason for payment, the scam follows a certain formula:

 

The victim receives a call instilling panic and urgency to make a payment by purchasing iTunes Gift Cards from the nearest retailer (convenience store, electronics retailer, etc.). After the cards have been purchased, the victim is asked to pay by sharing the 16-digit code on the back of the card with the caller over the phone.

It's important to know that iTunes Gift Cards can be used ONLY to purchase goods and services on the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or for an Apple Music membership.  If you're approached to use the cards for payment outside of the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or Apple Music, you could very likely be the target of a scam and should immediately report it to your local police department as well as the FTC.

 

Please do not ever provide the numbers on the back of the card to someone you do not know. Once those numbers are provided to the scammers, the funds on the card will likely be spent before you are able to contact Apple or law enforcement. 

 

PAYMENT DIVERSION SCAM


Fraudsters are emailing members of the public who are expecting to make a payment for property repairs. The fraudsters will purport to be a tradesman who has recently completed work at the property and use a similar email address to that of the genuine tradesman. They will ask for funds to be transferred via bank transfer. Once payment is made the victims of the scam soon realise they have been deceived when the genuine tradesman requests payment for their services.

Protect yourself

  • Always check the email address is exactly the same as previous correspondence with the genuine contact. 

  • For any request of payment via email verify the validity of the request with a phone call to the person who carried out the work.

  • Check the email for spelling and grammar as these signs can indicate that the email is not genuine.

  • Payments via bank transfer offer no financial protection; consider using alternative methods such as a credit card or PayPal which offer protection and an avenue for recompense.

 

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone 0300 123 2040.
 

NEW AMAZON SCAM

Now that Christmas is over the scammers have come up with another method of trying to get us to part with our money.

Action Fraud has received several reports from victims who have been sent convincing looking emails claiming to be from Amazon. The spoofed emails from “service@amazon.co.uk” claim recipients have made an order online and mimic an automatic customer email notification.  
The scam email claims recipients have ordered an expensive vintage chandelier. Other reported examples include: Bose stereos, iPhone’s and luxury watches. 
 
The emails cleverly state that if recipients haven’t authorised the transaction they can click on the help centre link to receive a full refund. The link leads to an authentic-looking website, which asks victims to confirm their name, address, and bank card information.
 
Amazon says that suspicious e-mails will often contain:

  • Links to websites that look like Amazon.co.uk, but aren't Amazon.co.uk.

  • Attachments or prompts to install software on your computer.

  • Typos or grammatical errors.

  • Forged (or spoofed) e-mail addresses to make it look like the e-mail is coming from Amazon.co.uk.

 
Amazon will never ask for personal information to be supplied by e-mail.
You can read more about identifying suspicious emails claiming to be from Amazon by visiting https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201489210
 
To report a fraud or cyber crime, call us on 0300 123 2040.
 

SUSPENDED BANK ACCOUNT SCAM:

The below is an extract taken from an e-mail sent to a friend of the web-master.  As luck has it he is quite used to receiving and identifying scam e-mails and recognised this as a scam immediately although the layout of the e-mail included the banks logo and also provided a link to the bank (DELETED) in order for the customer to click the link and provide the scammers with all the information they need to get access to the money

Please remember on line banks will not ask any customers to part with such information

Dear Customer,

Your internet banking account has been suspended

We're sorry but we have suspended your INTERNET BANKING account because our security team

noticed that your account was accessed from a different location.

You need to re-comfirm your access details immediately

If you do not do this, your account will be permanently deactivated.

This time the scammers contacted someone who knew about such things, but there are lots out there who don't so if it looks false it probably is so tell the action fraud team

BOGUS CITY OF LONDON POLICE - E-MAIL SCAM

There is a phishing email currently in circulation that claims to be from the City of London Police. The departments that it claims to represent include the ‘Fraud Intelligence Unit’ and the ‘National Fraud Intelligence Bureau’. The email is titled ‘compensation fund’ and has a letter attachment that claims to be offering financial compensation to victims of fraud. The letter uses the City of London Police logo. 
 
The letter states that in order for compensation to be arranged, the receiver of the email should reply disclosing personal information. It states that HSBC and the South African Reserve Bank have been chosen to handle the compensation claims. All of these claims are false.
 
The email and letter are fraudulent and should not be replied to. 
 
Protect Yourself

  • Opening attachments or clicking links contained within emails from unknown sources could result in your device being infected with malware or a virus. 

  • The City of London Police and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau will never email you asking for you to disclose personal information. 

  • If you believe you have become a victim of this fraudulent email get your device checked by a professional and make a report to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre: 

  •  http://www.actionfraud.police.uk

AMAZON - SCAM

Are you a shop aholic, or just someone who goes to Amazon when you need to.

It matters NOT, if you use AMAZON then you should be aware the scammers are as well.

The latest scam is you will receive an e-mail from what appears to be AMAZON in which they seek to confirm the details they have on record are correct.  This is a scam in order to get your credit card details. 

If you receive such an e-mail notify AMAZON by forwarding the e-mail to:  stop-spoofing@amazon.com  and also notify action fraud

Please remember Banks, building societies, HMRC, Police etc, will never contact you to ask for your security information,

HOLIDAY HOTEL - SCAM

This scam has happened before, but it appears to have started up again so be warned:

NEW HOTEL SCAM!! 

This is one of the smartest scams I have heard about. 
You arrive at your hotel and check in at the front desk. Typically when checking in, you give the front desk your credit card (for any charges to your room) and they don't retain the card.

You go to your room and settle in. All is good.


The hotel receives a call and the caller asks for (as an example) room 620 - which happens to be your room.

The phone rings in your room. You answer and the person on the other end says the following: 
'This is the front desk. When checking in, we came across a problem with your charge card information. 
Please re-read me your credit card numbers and verify the last 3 digits numbers at the reverse side of your charge card.'

Not thinking anything wrong, since the call seems to come from the front
desk you oblige. But actually, it is a scam by someone calling from outside the hotel. They have asked for a random room number, then ask you for your credit card and address information. 

They sound so professional, that you think you are talking to the front desk.

If you ever encounter this scenario on your travels, tell the caller that you will be down to the front desk to clear up any problems. 

Then, go to the front desk or call directly and ask if there was a problem. If there was none, inform the manager of the hotel that someone tried to scam you of your credit card information, acting like a front desk employee.

 

This was sent by someone who has been duped ........ and is still cleaning up the mess.


Please, spread the word by forward passing this message onto friends and family.  Who knows, you might just help someone avoid a nasty experience.

Thanks to Paul and Anne Oliver who found this item on the internet and shared it.

HM Revenue and Customs E-Mail Scam

 

The following has been received from John Waud and shows the scammers are still at it:

 I recently received and E-Mail from HM Revenue and Customs regarding a pending Tax Refund, I have checked with HM Revenue and Customs today by telephone and confirm this is a scam.

Please alert our membership, do not Start the Claim an unknown source is trying to access details. Best wishes John Waud.

LATEST APPLE iCloud SCAM

 

Fraudsters are sending phishing texts and e-mail messages to members of the public, claiming to be from Apple. The messages typically state that the recipient’s iCloud or iTunes account is out of date and that they need to follow a link to avoid account suspension. Once the link has been followed, victims are prompted for personal information, such as their bank account details. 

Protect Yourself:

• Don’t open web links contained in unsolicited texts or e-mails.
• Never provide your personal information to a third party from an unsolicited communication.
• If you have provided personal information and you are concerned that your identity may be compromised consider    

  Cifas Protection Registration which can be found here: https://www.cifas.org.uk/protective_registration_form.
• If you receive what you believe to be a phishing message purporting to be from Apple, report it

  to reportphishing@apple.com

If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

 

MICROSOFT SCAMMERS

 

It always seems to be around this time of year or just after the release of a Microsoft system update that the scammers phone you anf try to tell you there is something wrong with your computer and theat they are authorised by Microsoft to sort the problem out for you by way of remote access to your system.

 

They tried and failed with the webmaster this afternoon. I let them rabbit on about the supposed problem, and how easy it was to fix via remote acces.  At one point the Asian sounding gentelman who called himself 'Joe' advised me that he was able to see what the issue was on my computer and that he could fix it straight away.  A bit difficult as 1. My computer was not switched on at the time and 2. I operate an Apple Mac so don't run on the Windows platform.  After advising him of this he promptly put the phone down no doubt cursing me in the process as i had wasted at least 20 minutes of his time.

 

Do not allow anyone to remote access your system unless you are already aware of an issue, and had reported it to your service provider etc. Take care once they can access you computer, they access your personal data etc.  If in doubt hang up.

 

E-BAY FRAUDSTERS:

 

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud have noticed a rise in the reporting of victims being recruited via Facebook to sell items for suspects on eBay – often stating that it is a quick way of making money.

The items are said to be bankrupt stock, purchased via auctions, and need to be sold on quickly. The majority of the items reported have been Apple Mac Book Pro/Electrical Items.

The victim places the items on eBay and once the items are sold, the victim will get paid and transfer the funds to the suspect/recruiter.

Once the suspect/recruiter gets the funds, the purchasers are claiming that they have received empty cereal boxes or often no goods at all, leaving the victim being reported as the actual suspect, and leaving them out of pocket as their account will be debited.

Protect yourself: 

 

  • Consider conducting research on other information provided by the seller, for example: a mobile phone number or email address could alert you to negative information associated with the number/email address online.  

  • Be very cautious of unsolicited emails or approaches over social media promising opportunities to make easy money. 

  • When accepting offers, verify the company/entity details provided to you and check whether they have been registered in the UK. 

  • If you think the deal or offer is too good to be true then it probably is!  

 

 If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

HMRC - TAX REFUND SCAM

 

Fraudsters are texting members of the public offering a tax rebate. The text message contains a link to a website and requests to provide personal information, such as bank account information, to claim the nonexistent rebate. 

Protect Yourself

 

  • Don’t click on web links contained in unsolicited texts or emails.

  • Never provide your personal information to a third party from an unsolicited communication.

  • Obtain the genuine number of the organisation being represented and verify the legitimacy of the communication.

  • HMRC will never use texts or emails or tell you about a potential rebate or ask for personal information.

  • If you have provided personal information and you are concerned that your identity may be compromised consider Cifas Protection Registration.

FOOTBALL TICKET - ON LINE FRAUD

 

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has recently received an influx of reports that fraudsters are targeting the public, via social media, in relation to football tickets.
 
Fraudsters are posting pictures or statuses online telling members of the public to contact them via Direct Message for football tickets. This then leads to a mobile messaging conversation. During the conversation, bank details are provided by the suspect so that the tickets can be purchased.
 
After the victim has paid for the ticket the fraudster blocks them to stop further conversation, leaving victims without the tickets and out of pocket. 
 
Protect yourself:

  • Check the security of the website and validity of the post 

  • Avoid taking the conversation offline to private messages

  • When purchasing any products over the internet always try to make the payment via PayPal or a credit card where you have some sort of payment cover

 
If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

FAKE E-MAIL ADDRESSES

 

This alert is a reminder to be aware of emails that appear to have been sent from a legitimate organisation. Fraudsters often use fake email addresses designed to encourage recipients to open attachments or links. You are advised that if you are in any doubt as to the origin of an email, do not open it. Consider that emails can be spoofed and used to generate spam to recipients far and wide. If you receive a spam email, you MUST NOT open it. Instead, delete it from your email system to avoid infecting your device. If you have opened an attachment from a spam email, you should get your device checked over by a professional and change the passwords for all your bank, email and online shopping accounts.
 
Protect yourself: 

  • Do not click or open unfamiliar links in emails or on websites.

  • Make sure you install and use up-to-date anti-virus software. 

  • Have a pop-up blocker running in the background of your web browser.

  • If you have opened an attachment and ‘enabled macros’ it is very likely that all your personal data will have been breached. You MUST change all your passwords for personal accounts, including your bank accounts.

  • Ensure Adobe, Flash and any similar software is up to date on your computer.

 
If you think you have been a victim of this type of email you should report the email to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre: www.actionfraud.police.uk If you do make a report please provide as much detail as you can about the email and any effects it has had on your computer. Additionally if your Anti-Virus software detects any issues in relation to this email please provide us with the details. 
 

GOOD CITIZEN AWARD - FRAUD

 

Action Fraud has been receiving reports of an advanced fee fraud whereby suspects phone a member of the public and claim to be calling on behalf of the UK (or British) Government Grant Department.They go on to state that the individual has won a Good Citizen Award – of typically £8,000 – and that the grant can be released for a fee (of around £210).

 

Fortunately, very few members of the public have lost any money as a result of this scam but have reported to Action Fraud in order to help build a picture of this fraud and protect others from falling victim to it.Protect yourself:There is no genuine ‘Good Citizen Award’ scheme in the UK that operates by cold calling “winners” and asking for an upfront fee to release a grant.

 

If you receive a call that claims to represent such a scheme, it is a scam. End the phone call – do not give out any personal or financial data.If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

RENEWED SCAM INFORMATION / UPDATE

 

This is an update to a previous alert sent from Action Fraud in November 2015.

Fraudsters are setting up high specification websites advertising various electrical goods and domestic appliances. These goods are below market value and do not exist. The website will state you can pay via card; however when the purchaser goes to pay, this option is not available and the payment must be made via bank transfer. 

The fraudster entices the purchaser and reassures them it is a legitimate purchase by using the widely recognised Trusted Shop Trustmark. They then use the Trustmark fraudulently and provide a link on the bogus electrical website to another bogus website (which purports to be Trusted Shops). This website shows a fake certificate purporting to be from Trusted Shops and provides thousands of reviews for the bogus electrical website. These reviews are all fraudulent. The website has not been certified by Trusted Shops and therefore the purchaser is not covered by the Trusted Shop money-back guarantee. 

Protect yourself:

  • Check the authenticity of the website before making any purchases. Conduct a ‘Whois’ search on the website which will identify when the website has been created- Be wary of newly formed domains. You can conduct this search using the following website – https://who.is/

  • Conduct online research in relation to the website, company name and the business address provided to identify any poor feedback or possible irregularities. 

  • Check the Trusted Shops Facebook page where warnings about websites using their Trustmark are published. If you are in doubt about the legitimacy of a Trustmark then you can contact Trusted Shops on 0203 364 5906 or by email service@trustedshops.co.uk. They will confirm whether they have certified that website. 

  • Payments made via bank transfer are not protected should you not receive the item. Therefore always try to make the payment via PayPal or a credit card where you have some payment cover should you not receive your product. 

  • If the item advertised seems too good to be true, then it probably is.  


If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

 

E-MAIL RECEIPT SCAM

 

There is a scam where e mails which appear to be from government depts are sent purporting to enclose receipts for fixed penalties etc.  Opening this type of e-mail will launch a virus onto your computer.

 

Below is an example of the e mail address of the alleged sender.

FPO.CC.55@vosa.gsi.gov.uk

 

Source:Rich Clarke

IF YOU THINK AN E-MAIL IS A SCAM

 

Try this place the cursor on the senders name e.g. HMRC and you will be able to see the senders details.  In a recent case one of our members did this and identified that the e-mail address actually related to a window company whose address had probably been highjacked by the scammer

 

So if you think an e-mail is too good to be true - the chances are that it isn't true and by doing the one small step you might identify the fraudulent site before being scammed.

 

Then report the matter again to Action Fraud via their website.


 

TELEPHONE SCAM - TALK TALK 

True Experience - Courtesy Mr. John Morgan  

 

I was one of the people whose details were stolen in the cyber attack on Talk Talk last year. Over the last couple of days I have received calls from a person purporting to be from TalkTalks technical department telling me my computer was allegedly connected to suspicious I.P. addresses in India and China.

 

My computer wasn't on at the time. The person wanted me to log on to the computer and I realised this was a scam and disconnected. I contacted TalkTalk who confirmed it was a scam. The next stage would have been to get me to download something to my computer and this would have allowed them to take it over and steal passwords and bank account details etc. I continued to receive calls from the same number and person.

 

I have reported the matter to TalkTalk again who say they will block the calls at a network level and I have reported it to ActionFraud Police. The scam calls came from a Swansea number 01792 417623 and this is obviously intended to convince people that the calls are coming from a legitimate, local call centre.

 

Members and their families please be aware that if you receive an unsolicited call purporting to be from a telephone company or from Microsoft or a company that deals with internet security this will be a scam and you should never download anything to your computer or give them any information from your screen. You should immediately report it to your telephone company and Action Fraud on 0300 1232040.

 

My experience shows these scammers can be very persistent.

SECURITY SOFTWARE 

 

 Our member Egryn Dafudd apGriffudd - elis has provided us with the following information which may be of benefit to those of you seeking to ensure you computer is kept as SCAM free as possible 

 

Egryn advises us that he has it on his  PC and it works well against anything - including email attachments.  I tried it free for 30 days and bought it.  Renewable every 12 months.

 

https://www.malwarebytes.org/mwb-download/

 

 

SEIZED PACKAGE - FRAUD:

 

raudsters are sending out virus infected emails that claim a package has been seized by HM Revenue & Customs upon arrival into the United Kingdom. The official looking scam emails claiming to be from Royal Mail contain a link to a document which will install malicious software on your computer designed to steal credentials like account names, email addresses and passwords. 
 
An example email reads:
 
Title: Your parcel has been seized
Royal Mail is sorry to inform you that a package addressed to you was seized by HM Revenue & Customs upon arrival into the United Kingdom.
A close inspection deemed your items as counterfeit and the manufacturers have been notified. If your items are declared genuine then they will be returned back to you with the appropriate custom charges.
You may have been a victim of counterfeit merchandise and the RM Group UK will notify you on how to get your money back. Please review the attached PDF document for more information. 
Document (RM7002137GB).Zip
Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.
 
To help the spread of the virus, the email also says: “you will need to have access to a computer to download and open the Zip file”. If you receive one of these emails, do not click on any links or download any attachments and report it to Action Fraud. 
 
Protect Yourself

  • Royal Mail will never send an email asking for credit card numbers or other personal or confidential information.

  • Royal Mail will never ask customers to enter information on a page that isn’t part of the Royal Mail website.

  • Royal Mail will never include attachments unless the email was solicited by a customer e.g. customer has contacted Royal Mail with an enquiry or has signed up for updates from Royal Mail.

  • Royal Mail have also stressed that they do not receive a person’s email address as part of any home shopping experience. 

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraudor by telephone: 0300 123 2040

 

 

TIME SHARE RELATED FRAUD:

 

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) is warning people of the dangers of Recovery Room fraudsters targeting former victims of Timeshare fraud.
Recovery Room Fraud refers to a scam whereby fraudsters contact the victims of previous frauds, often by way of cold calling them, and claim to be able to recover previously lost funds. In July 2014 the Financial Services Authority (FSA) estimated that 30% of people who had lost money through Investment fraud would also fall victim to a Recovery Room fraud.

When Recovery Room fraudsters target victims of timeshare frauds they usually claim to be a legal professional or a representative of a government agency (normally within the country where the original timeshare property was based) in order to legitimise the scam. The fraudsters know personal details about the victim and their previous investment which gives them credibility. They claim that the advanced fees requested are for ‘local taxes’ or ‘litigation costs’ incurred during the recovery of the funds. It is suspected that the persons behind Recovery Room frauds are often the same people involved in the original scams even though these crimes may have occurred years earlier.

Initially, a small fee, typically in the region of £200-400, is requested by the fraudsters which they often claim is refundable as part of a ‘no-win no-fee’ basis.  The fraudsters rely on the victims seeing this as a nominal fee compared to the amounts lost, which often run into the tens-of-thousands of pounds, and therefore worth paying if it facilitates the return of their money. Once paid, various excuses are made by the fraudsters to explain delays in the recovery of the funds.  Subsequently, further larger amounts are then requested by the fraudsters.  Needless to say, no refunds ever materialise and no money is ever recovered.

 

Protect Yourself

  • Never respond to unsolicited phone calls – if in doubt, hang up.

  • Always check that the details of the organisation or company contacting you (such as website, address and phone number) are correct – the fraudsters may be masquerading as a legitimate organisation.

  • Don’t be fooled by a professional looking website as nowadays the cost of creating a professional website is easily affordable.

  • Be wary of any firms or individuals asking for advanced fees.

  • Consider seeking independent legal and/or financial advice before making a decision.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone: 0300 123 2040
 

 

FAKE E-MAIL WARNING 

Courtesy Mr. Ian Cannon


THIS IS A NEW VIRUS OUT TODAY B E W A R E

 

Should you receive an e-mail with  the subject of Purchase Order 0000035394 customer 09221 pretending to come from Clare Harding it will contain either a malicious word doc or Excel XLS spreadsheet attachment.  It is another one from the current bot runs which try to download various Trojans and password stealers especially banking credential stealers, which may include cridex, dridex, dyreza and various Zbots, cryptolocker, ransomware and loads of other malware on your computer.

 

They are using email addresses and subjects that will entice a user to read the email and open the attachment. A very high proportion are being targeted at small and medium size businesses, with the hope of getting a better response than they do from consumers.

 

The email looks like: Purchase Order 0000035394 to Alligata Dear , Please find attached a copy of our order (reference 0000035394), your reference . If you have any questions regarding the purchase order please contact us using the details below. CLARE HARDING Purchasing Manager , Packaging House, Wilson Way, Pool, Redruth, Cornwall, TR15 3RT Fax: +44 (0) 1209 315 600 www.carterspackaging.com purchasing@carterspackaging.com

 

IF YOU GET ONE - DO NOT OPEN IT - DELETE IT COMPLETELY FROM YOU COMPUTER

 

PENSION POT SCAM

 

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has been alerted to a pension scam whereby cold callers continue to target members of the public aged 50 to 60 years old to release and transfer their pension early. Suspected firms who advertise and arrange pensions are offering investments in alternative commodities such as hotel developments or property in Cape Verde, and operate as unregulated collective investment schemes. 
 
Often, the cold calling ‘pension companies’ involved are neither regulated nor qualified to give financial advice and classify themselves as a ‘trustee’, ‘consultant’ or an ‘independent advisor’ and offer exceptionally high return rates for investors.  
 
Some victims have signed documents that authorises a limited company to be set up using their personal details, including utilising a Small Self–Administered Scheme (SSAS). Whilst SSAS accounts and limited companies are essential for legitimate schemes, the fact that victims are unaware that this will happen suggests that the scheme may not have been fully explained to them, increasing the likelihood that there may be an element of fraud involved.
 
Protect yourself:
 
Further advice can be found at:
http://www.fca.org.uk/your-fca/documents/protect-your-pension-pot
http://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/financial-services-products/pensions/protect
http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/individuals/dangers-of-pension-scams.aspx
 
Ensure that you request that the risks and growth rates are explained and that you fully understand them before transferring your pension
 
Check whether the pension arrangement company is registered with the FCA. Registered companies can be checked using the FCA register online at: https://register.fca.org.uk/ 
 
Remember that if the offer seems too good to be true, then it generally is
 
If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraudor by telephone 0300 123 2040.
 
 

COUNCIL TAX SCAM

 

Fraudsters have been phoning victims telling them that they have been placed in the wrong council tax bracket for a number of years and are entitled to a rebate. They normally say that this rebate should be worth about £7,000. Once the victim is convinced, the fraudster tells them that in order to receive the rebate they will need to pay an administration fee in advance. The payment they ask for varies between £60–£350. The victim provides the details and makes the payment, but then is no longer able to make contact with the person they spoke to on the phone. When they phone their council about the rebate and the fact that they are in the wrong tax bracket, the council will confirm that they know nothing about it and that they have been contacted by fraudsters.

The fraudsters have mainly been targeting both male and female victims who are aged 60 and over and live in the Sussex area, but it is likely that the fraudsters will also start to target victims in other areas. 
 
Protect Yourself:

  • Never respond to unsolicited phone calls.

  • Your local council won’t ever phone out-of-the-blue to discuss a council tax rebate. If you receive a call of this nature, put the phone down straight away.

  • No legitimate organisation will ask you to pay an advanced fee in order to receive money, so never give them your card details.

  • If you think you have been a victim of fraud, hang up the phone and wait five minutes to clear the line as fraudsters sometimes keep the line open. Then call your bank or card issuer to report the fraud. Where it is possible use a different phone line to make the phone call.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone 0300 123 2040.

BARCLAYS E-MAIL SCAM

 

The following information in respect of a Barclays Bank e-mail scam has been brought to our attention by Mr. Ian Cannon and is supplied for your information:

 

Hi, Beware today I had an e mail purporting to be from Barclays with an attachment, supposedly a security document. I was instructed to click on the attachment. I didn't. The e Mail address of the sender was barclays@barclays.co.uk

 

I contacted them it is false I forwarded it to  internetsecurity@barclays.co.uk Given the proximity of the e mail addresses it is a good one.

 

So please be aware, if something does not appear right, do not open it, and contact the alleged sender, never reply to the e-mail as it proves to the possible fraudster that your e-mail address is correct

 

 

APPLE iPHONE ISSUES

 

Do you own an iPhone?

 

Have you upgraded to ios9?

 

If the answer to these two questions is YES................ YOU NEED TO READ THIS NOW!!!!!! if you don't but know someone who does GET THEM TO READ IT 

 

From Webmaster, it is happening I have already been thanked by several friends for letting them know about it....

If you’ve got the new iPhone or iOS9, you could be in for a shock when your next bill rolls around.

 

This is because a new feature called ‘WiFi Assist’ will be eating away at your data allowance without you even realising it.

 

The setting is designed to switch your phone to 4G if your WiFi connection isn’t strong enough.

For example, if you’re walking away from your house while listening to music or checking Facebook, and you’re still weakly connected to your home wireless, it’ll automatically switch to your data instead.

 

It’s a useful way to avoid buffering if you have a lot of data in your plan – but if not, it could cost you quite a bit of money.

But don’t panic – there’s a simple way to switch it off. Here’s how:

 

1. Go into ‘Settings’ from your home screen

 

2. Click on ‘Mobile Data’ (Or ‘Cellular’ if you’re in the US)

 

 

3. Scroll right down to the bottom, and underneath your apps you’ll find the ‘WiFi Assist’ setting. Switch it off using the toggle.

 

And there you have it! We just shaved hundreds of pounds off your next phone bill.

 

If you want to know more CLICK HERE - NOW

 



 

UNWANTED TEXT MESSAGES:

 

Are you receiving unwanted / unsolicited TEXT messages?

 

If you are, then there maybe a cure send the text message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad) the message is then sent to your service provider who will instigate the necessary procedures.  If you want to know more about this facility do a web search on the number 7726 there is lots more information out there.

 

 

 

POSSIBLE HMRC BASED SCAM

 

the following information has been received from Mr Steve Cotterell:

 

I have received an E-mail purporting to come from HMRC saying I am due a refund of £469.00p.  My name does not appear other than my E-mail address. No National Insurance No,  but a request to fill in a form so that the money can be paid directly to my Credit Card or Savings Account.  Sounds iffy to me but I don't know if anyone else has had one. 

 

If you have had a similar e- mail please make contact with Action fraud via the above website, ensure that you send them the e-mail,they have facilities to track the sender of the e-mail via things such as the IP address etc and will be able to advise if it is a scam etc.

 

 

GOING ON HOLIDAY? - AWAY FROM HOME FOR A WHILE?

 

DON"T ADVERTISE THE FACT TO CRIMINALS - LET KEEPSAFE HELP

 

 

Going away? Don't advertise your absence with a pile of mail building up on the doormat. With Keepsafe, you can enjoy a carefree break. Our team will hold on to your letters and parcels for up to 66 days and deliver them once you’re safely home again. Keepsafe:

  • set up within 5 days

  • helps prevent identity fraud

  • delivers your letters and parcels the first available day after your return

"The Home Office Identity Fraud Steering Committee supports the use of Royal Mail's Keepsafe to reduce risk of identity fraud when you go away as it ensures you do not leave any obvious clues such as a heap of mail on your doormat."

 

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION:

 

http://www.royalmail.com/personal/receiving-mail/keepsafe

 

 

TESCO FRAUD ISSUE???

 

The following information has been received from Mr. Steve Cotterell:

 

He recently received a message from Tesco Bank , the letter purported to have come from Steve Rubenstein of the Tesco Accounts Team the letter did not mention Steve's name. This message confirms Tesco Bank account is now suspended due to a violation of our terms of service which was left unresolved. To attempt to restore access to the account please visit our update-assistance page immediately.  Should you receive any similar letters Do not do anything about it or contact any of the numbers within the letter.  This is believed to be a con to obtain your personal details.

 

Steve's suspicions were raised as soon as he read it ----- why ----- Because he does not have a TESCO BANK ACCOUNT.

ANOTHER MOBILE PHONE SECUITY ALERT:

 

The below has been received from Mr Dave A'herne

Lookout send these alerts to all their users. It is provided free to EE mobile phone customers. Lots of free anti mobile phone virus programmes for both android and i phones but strangely can't find any for Microsoft phones.

 

Last week a new security vulnerability that affects Android devices was discovered, called "Stagefright." We take our promise of giving you peace of mind seriously, so we wanted to reach out to explain the risk and provide a few steps you can take to protect your Android device.

What can Stagefright do?


Stagefright could allow an attacker to remotely control and steal data from an Android device by simply sending a victim a multimedia message (MMS) infected with an exploit. There are a number of apps that an Android device can use to receive MMS content such as Google Hangouts and the default messenger app. In order to fully be protected from this vulnerability, you will need to wait for a security update from your carrier, device manufacturer, or Google, who are the only ones who can patch this vulnerability.

What about my existing Lookout app?


The Lookout app you already use will protect you from potential malware that could take advantage of Stagefright exploits, but you will need to wait for an upcoming security update from your carrier, device manufacturer, or Google to ultimately patch this vulnerability.

Am I affected?


To check if your device is vulnerable to "Stagefright" and to learn how to disable MMS auto-fetching for added protection, download our new Stagefright detector app now.

 

 

 Rental Fraud: Targetting Empty Properties 

 

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has received several reports of rental fraud whereby empty premises are being targeted and the locks are being changed for the purpose of adding legitimacy to a rental fraud. 
 
The suspect(s) will find and enter an empty property for the purposes of changing the locks and then advertising it on online platforms, such as Gumtree, as a rental property. The suspect(s) then invite interested victims to visit the property for a viewing. Those victims which are interested in renting the property are then requested to pay a deposit and/or rent upfront in cash. 
 
In some instances the victims have moved into the property only to be evicted by the real property owner, or have found that the locks have been changed, once they have received the keys. There are several instances where this fraud has left victims homeless.
 
Property Owners:

  • If you or someone you know currently has an empty property, encourage them to visit the property regularly to make sure that the locks have not been changed and no damage has occurred. 

 Prevention Advice:

  • Avoid communication with only email or mobile phone, request to see the property owner and ask for valid ID. You can also check ownership of the property using the Land Registry. 

  • The landlord will carry out their own due diligence and should request all of your details, references and proof that you will be able to afford to rent the property. Make sure that these checks are completed prior to paying a deposit / rent. 

  • Always view the property and the tenancy agreement before paying any upfront costs.

MOBILE PHONE / DEVICE - SECURITY ALERT

 

Recently, unidentified attackers breached an Italian company called Hacking Team that sells spyware to governments and other organizations.

As details continue to emerge surrounding the breach, we've compiled what you should know to help you stay safe.

Spyware is a kind of targeted malware on both PCs and mobile devices that collects a broad amount of data about a person or organization without their knowledge. It then sends this data to the attacker(s) who typically gather that data for the purpose of espionage (spying) or criminal/financial gain. 

Does Lookout protect against this?
Yes, Lookout's customers, on both Android and iOS platforms, are protected from all current forms of Hacking Team spyware products. 

Why should you care?
Mobile devices store and access a huge amount of data, and that data is extremely valuable. By keeping yourself protected, you can stay ahead of threats and safeguard your security and privacy.

This kind of targeted malware can get on your device in 2 ways:

 

1.An attacker gains physical access to your device.

2.An attacker tricks you into downloading an app via an email, SMS, or other message.

How can you protect yourself?

•Keep a passcode on your phone. A lot of spyware sold on the market requires that the attacker have physical access to the target device to install this software. Putting a passcode on your phone makes it that much harder for them.

•Don't download apps from untrusted third party marketplaces or links online. Spyware can be distributed through all of these means. Only download from official and vetted marketplaces such as the Apple App Store and Google Play.

•Don't jailbreak your device unless you really know what you're doing. Because jailbroken iOS devices are inherently less protected, they are more vulnerable to attack when security protection measures aren't properly enabled.

•Lookout stops attacks before they do harm, so check in to the Lookout app to make sure everything is OK.

 

The above information has been Supplied by Mr Dave A'herne.

 

NB LOOKOUT IS PROVIDED FREE TO EE Members, There are many other FREE Anti Virus applications for both Mobile Phones and PC's available.  Why not contact your network service provider 

 

ADVANCED FEE - FRAUD ALERT

 

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has been alerted to an Advanced Fee Scam whereby mainly persons of Asian descent are targeted by the suspects who cold call the victim, purporting to be from the Home Office UK Visa and Immigration department, and inform them that a case has been received by the department against the victim, sometimes with a request to deport.
 
A request is then made for money to be paid mainly by Ukash vouchers or MoneyGram. Occasionally, money is requested to be paid into a bank account.
 
Also on occasion, victims have been asked to provide bank account details.
 
A telephone number is given which is a genuine contact number for the Home Office to give the call a form of legitimacy.
 
The UK Visa and Immigration department would not make any request for payments in this form.
 
Protect yourself:

  • Never respond to any such communication;

  • Any unsolicited contact followed by a request for an advance payment/fee is a good indication that someone is trying to defraud you. Do NOT pay any fees unless you are 100% of what you are paying for!!!

  • Never, ever disclose your bank details. 

 

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraudor by telephone 0300 123 2040.

CLONED FACEBOOK ACCOUNTS & FRAUDS

 

Due to the complex methods being used to create the frauds against people using Facebook and the fact that a friend and even a family members account maybe cloned in order to create a fraud against others. We have extracted the relavant data and created a document which can be accessed from the link below.  Please if you are a facebook user take the time to read the document to realise how vulnerable you and your friends / family can be and take the suggested counter measures.

 

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE DOCUMENT:

 

TORRENT LOCKER ALERT

 

A scam email is currently being sent to victims fraudulently claiming to be from British Gas or The Ministry of Justice. The attached document or link leads to the TorrentLocker ransomware.
 
This malware encrypts files on the victim’s system and requests a ransom be paid in order for the files to be decrypted; one reported amount has been £330 worth of Bitcoins.
 
It has been reported that some anti-virus vendors are detecting this and stopping the pages and or documents from being opened.
 
Protect yourself
 

  • If you receive an email that you are suspicious of do not follow any links or open attachments until you can verify that the email is genuine. To do this contact the organisation that the email has come from by sourcing the number independently from the email received.

  • If you believe the email to be fake, report it to your email provider as spam.

  • Ensure your anti-virus software is up to date this will help to mitigate the potential for virus to be downloaded. It should be noted that anti-virus software is constantly being updated and may not stop all viruses especially if they are new or been adapted.  It has been reported that some anti-virus vendors are detecting this and stopping the pages and or documents from being opened.

  • If you have opened an attachment or followed a link which you believe to be suspicious it is recommended that you run your anti-virus and/or take your machine to a reputable company to have it cleaned.

  • In cases where files have been encrypted it can be very difficult to retrieve them, and in most cases they will be lost. It is recommended that you always back up all files on a separate device or cloud storage to ensure they are not lost. Please remember that if a device is attached to the infected machine the files on this could also be encrypted with the virus so ensure they are kept separate.

 
If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone 0300 123 2040.

LIGHT/LITE LOANS FRAUD ALERT

 

Fraudsters are targeting individuals who have recently expressed an interest in an online loan. Unsolicited calls are made by fraudsters who appear to be calling from a genuine company. They state that the recently applied for loan has been agreed, but an "advance fee" is required before the money can be transferred.

Once these “fees” have been paid, either directly to the fraudsters’ bank accounts or through a money service bureau, they are unrecoverable.

In many cases, fraudsters have asked for multiple upfront “fees” to address issues arising with the loan. 
 
Protect yourself:

  • Authentic credit companies do not charge fees in advance.

  • Be wary of anyone calling who says they represent a credit company.

  • Report any instances of a credit company attempting to request fees in advance of a loan to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

MARKETING CALLS - Thanks to Stephen Bartley for this input which may benefit our members

Hi Paul,

 

This information may be of interest. An elderly relative has recently been receiving numerous calls from companies trying to sell products which were not required. I contacted one of the companies to find out why they had called as the relative is registered with the Telephone Preference Service. I was informed that the company had bought license data from Data Partnerships 0844 5611123. I contacted this company via their website and found them to be most helpful and have agreed to suppress my relatives details from their files.

Well worth knowing.

Cheers 

Steve
 

 

WINE INVESTMENT FRAUD

 

 

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) wishes to remind investors that fraudsters are still active and are using various methods to dupe victims into investing in fine wine.
 
Whilst it might be easy to identify a fraudulent investment in non-existent fine wine, there is another tactic which is much harder to detect that relies on limited knowledge of the investor in this specific area. 
 
In many cases, the fraud relates to the value of the wine as opposed to the existence of the wine. Therefore, fraudsters will be able to prove to the victims that they have the wine in stock, however the wine in stock will be significantly cheaper than the inflated price the fraudsters ask the victims to pay.
 
Whilst it may look like a ‘real deal’, the dramatically inflated prices make the promise of any returns unrealistic. 
 
Assessments of reports show that fraudsters charge victims an average of 47% more than the comparative market values at the time of sale.
 
The brokers who typically cold call victims boast that an increasing market in China will guarantee tax free profits. When questioned about risk, fraudsters will convincingly say that it is “extremely low”.
 
How to protect yourself against investment fraud:

  • If you’re considering any type of investment, always remember: if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. High returns can only be achieved with high risk.If you get a call out of the blue, be wary; if in doubt don’t be polite, just hang up.

  • Take the time to seek independent legal or financial advice before making a decision.

  • Always check the credentials of the company you’re dealing with. Check for known fraudulent organisations at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it 

APPLE PAY - FRAUD ALERT

Fraudsters are targeting classified advertisement websites like AutoTrader to advertise vehicles for sale. Buyers are then contacting these ‘sellers’ to find out more about the vehicles and are being told to pay for them via ‘Apple Pay’. In this case the fraudsters are not using the genuine Apple Pay service and potential victims pay money directly to bank accounts in control of the fraudsters. Individuals receive emails claiming to be from Apple Pay with a web link to a cloned website with false terms and conditions of the ‘escrow’ service. Any money remitted to the fraudsters is then unrecoverable and the vehicles are not delivered.

 
Protect yourself:

  • Meet the seller ‘face to face’ and view the vehicle before parting with any money. 

  • Be cautious of web links in an email. They may not direct you to the genuine website. 

  • Report scam advertisements to the classified advertisement websites.

  • If the vehicle is below market value, consider whether this is an opportunity too good to be true!

FLIGHT TICKET FRAUD ALERT:

 

People looking for cheap flight tickets are being targeted by fraudsters. New websites are continuously being created with slight changes to the company names with the intention to deceive the public. They offer tickets at bargain prices and usually request for payment via bank transfer. These tickets do not materialize and the funds are retained by the fraudsters.

Protect yourself: 

  • Where possible, buy from well-known company names. If you've never heard of a company, conduct some due diligence.

  • Use the internet. Type the name of the company/site you are buying from and look for reviews of what others customers are saying about the company. Bad customer service feedback usually finds their way online quite quickly.

  • Use companies that are ATOL or ABTA Registered. You can check this here: http://abta.com/go-travel/before-you-travel/find-a-member or http://www.caa.co.uk/application.aspx?catid=490&pagetype=65&appid=2

  • Check the authenticity of flight booking websites before making any reservations. A “whois” search on the website will identify when the website has been created, so be wary of newly formed domains. This search can be conducted using http://who.is     

  • Never send money to bank accounts. If possible pay using a credit card – that way you have some protection and avenue for recompense.  

  • Sign up to Action Fraud Alert https://www.actionfraudalert.co.uk/ to keep you updated with what’s going on.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone 0300 123 2040.

POST OFFICE E-MAIL SCAM:

 

Royal Mail Email Scam
A scam email is currently being sent to victims fraudulently claiming to be from the Royal Mail. Attached to the email is the CryptoLocker virus.
 
The victim receives an email purporting to be from the Royal Mail stating that they are holding a parcel/letter for the victim. The victim is then required to contact the Royal Mail to arrange for the item to be resent/collected.

By following the instructions within the email the CryptoLocker virus is subsequently downloaded to the victim’s computer. This virus encrypts files on the victim’s system and requests a ransom be paid in order for the files to be decrypted.

Additional incentive is added for early repayment as the ransomware states that the cost of decrypting the files will increase the longer the fine is outstanding.
 
Protect yourself:

  • Look at who the email is addressed to. Is it generic or specifically addressed?

  • Look at the quality of the images included on the email. Are they of sufficient high quality that they could come from Royal Mail?

  • Do not open attachments from unsolicited emails regardless of who they are from.

  • Do not click on the link supplied. Instead, go to the relevant website and log in from there.

  • Check the address of any email received to see if it appears legitimate.

BAILIFF FRAUDS

Action Fraud has seen an increase in the number of small to medium sized businesses being contacted by fake bailiffs requesting payments for a phantom debt. 
 
The scam involves the business being cold called from someone purporting they are bailiffs working on behalf of a court, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt. The caller will then request payment by means of bank transfer and if this is refused, will threaten to visit the premises to recover the debt that is owed. 
 
A range of different businesses are being targeted; including Nurseries, Manufacturers, Hotels and Taxi Services. 
 
Protect Yourself

  • Confirm what the debt is regarding; bailiffs are only used to recover certain debts such as council tax, child support and compensation orders. Bailiffs are not used to recover debts relating to private advertisement; these would be collected by debt collectors. Debt collectors do not have the same legal powers as bailiffs and will not have special court authorisation to act. For more details regarding this, please look at the Citizens Advice website. 

  • Double check with the Court or originating company to confirm whether the suspects are legitimate; if you use a landline make sure you hear the dialling tone prior to dialling as the suspects could still be on the line.

  • Request details of the debt in writing to access its legitimacy. 

  • Do not feel rushed or intimidated to make a decision based on a phone call. 

 

PAY-PAL FRAUDS

 

Fraudsters often target ‘goods for sale’ adverts on popular online auctions sites, so watch out whenever you’re selling anything online. 


How does the fraudster operate?

The fraudster will contact the seller to say that they want to buy the advertised item.
The seller then receives what looks like a genuine PayPal email, to confirm that the money has been paid by the buyer into their account.

With confirmation of payment, the seller will then send the item to the buyer’s address. The seller will later find that the PayPal email is fake and that the money has not been paid. The seller ends up losing out twice as not only do they not have the money, but they no longer have the item to sell.

Protect yourself:

• Check your PayPal account to ensure that the money has been paid in and has cleared into your bank account before you send the item to the buyer.
• Do not be bullied or rushed into sending items before you know that the payment has cleared – a genuine purchaser will not mind waiting a day or two for you to send them their item.
• If you are selling a vehicle, think carefully when selling to overseas purchasers – especially if they tell you they will send an extra payment for shipping – check that the funds have cleared before arranging this.

 

TROUBLESOME TEXT MESSAGES:

 

 

In the last couple of months various companies have been pestering members with text messages; just like the nuisance phone calls. Well, you can get your own back!  see below, on how to report these nuisance text messages. 

Have you been pestered? click on the link for more information.


 https://ico.org.uk/concerns/marketing/2

 

NUISANCE PHONE CALLS:

 

We all get them either from abroad or here in the UK.  We also get the computerised dialing systems that randomly ring your number then when answered will connect you to a taped message.

 

There is something you can do about it, and whilst it may not eliminate all the nuisance callers it will reduce them.  Register with the Telephone Preference Service using the link below and hopefully there will be a lot fewer calls than before:

 

https://secure.dma.org.uk/cgi-bin/session.pl

WHY IT MIGHT NOT BE GOOD TO TALK TALK!!!!  ARE YOU A CUSTOMER??  TAKE HEED

 

Recent scam reported by Steve Cotterell involving TALK TALK

 

I received a "Scam E-mail" purporting to come from TalkTalk my E-mail and telephone provider.  It was addressed to Dear spc1793@talktalk.net.  The message said that they had been unable to process my last bill and it was intended to disconnect the service from the 13/5/2015. 

 

They wanted me to update my billing information.  We have just received our latest bill by post and we are due to pay by Direct Debit on the 18th.  I spoke to TalkTalk and they confirmed that no such message had been sent to me. 

 

The E-mail address was yourbill.talktalk.net.fz43892kzmmjnmt82417@sentinelmgmtnj.com. 

 

I am letting you know in case you receive a similar message.    Steve

SECURITY ALERT - FRAUDSTERS AT WORK!!!!!

 

MOTORISTS are being warned not to fall victim to an email from fraudsters asking them to verify their driving licence details.
A message claiming to be from the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) asks recipients to click a link in the email which leads them to an online form to fill in their personal information.
The fraudsters then use these to steal from their bank account or copy their identity.
The DVLA advises anyone who receives the email to ignore it.
There are fears scammers are trying to exploit confusion at the recent industry overhaul.
The DVLA has issued the alert just four weeks after confusion at changes which saw the end of paper tax discs. Since October 1, drivers need only apply online for their tax disc, which is logged into a database. Anyone who hasn’t paid their tax will be detected by cameras on the roads.
 
You've gotta hand it to them. If there's a scam going, they'll find it!!
Stay alert folks and keep your peace of mind.
If anything seems odd(ish), then question it. Doesn't hurt to be cautious.

 

Courtesy Steve Cotterell & Leighton Love

 

ANOTHER  FRAUDSTER WARNING

The following is an alert provided by Mr Jeff Barley

 

On Saturday 31st Jan I received an email purporting to have been sent to me by the Nationwide Building Society, a building society that I use. The email was meant to inform me that persons unknown had made a number of unsuccessful 'log in' attempts to gain access to my account and that for safety reasons my online access had been suspended.

 

The email went on to say how Nationwide take customers security very seriously and were looking after the interests of customers by sending the email..

 

It then went on to say that if I clicked the link that was part of the email they would restore access to my account.

 

I was instantly suspicious and telephoned the help line at Nationwide who confirmed that my account had not been suspended.

 

I then forwarded the email to the Fraud Department at Nationwide who this morning confirmed that it was indeed a scam email which would not have been sent to me alone. ( a phishing exercise)

 

Please notify our members to be alert, the email was very professional and it could be quite easy for any unsuspecting recipient to take the action as requested in the email.  The watchword must be, if an email of this kind is received, do not act upon it but call the society direct.

 

Regards ...Jeff Barley