Fraud, often called Scams, is the fastest growing area of crime and is often not reported.

ActionFraud is the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre.

They provide a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime.

Click here to download a leaflet about Action Fraud.

 

Facebook Messenger Scam

For those of you that use Facebook Messenger, be aware of the following scam.

The intended victim receives a message via Facebook messenger from a ‘friend’.

The ‘friend’ asks the victim if they could use their mobile number for a text verification.

When the victim supplies the mobile number, they later receive a text message asking them to verify a purchase.

When the victim replies ‘y’ for yes they are informed that they have been charged for the items and the amount will appear on their next phone bill.

It appears that the ‘friends’ Facebook and/or Messenger account will have been hacked.

This scam works because of an automatic trust between friends. If in doubt, contact the friend by a tried, tested and trusted means ideally a voice call, and ask them whether or not they had sent the message. Please also consider, this type of scam could be achieved through other instant message service platforms such as WhatsApp.

The word hack, suggests a high level of skill and knowledge to break into an online account, generally this is not the case and it is down to a weak password.

To help prevent your online accounts being unlawfully accessed, please ensure you have a strong and unique password on each of your email and social media accounts. Use three random words including upper and lowercase, numbers and characters.

Enable two-factor authentication.

NHS Test and Trace Scam

Based on local information, (not verified by myself) it would appear that an elderly person has received a telephone call purporting to represent NHS test and trace service.

The suspect told the person answering the phone, that they had been in contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19 and that they now needed to be tested within 72 hours.

The caller then said there was a charge of £50 for the test and took bank card details over the phone. (The long card number, expiry date, name on the card and CVC code giving the criminal all the detail they need to fraudulently use the card)

Any test under the NHS Test and Trace service is free.

Read more: NHS Test and Trace Scam

Ten Covid-19 and Lockdown Scams

UK Finance unveils ten Covid-19 and lockdown scams the public should be on high alert for and how to spot them
Criminals are preying on a worried public by tapping into their financial concerns due to coronavirus, asking for personal and financial information
New animation video from Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign warns people to remember criminals are sophisticated at impersonating other organisations
Using the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity, fraudsters are using sophisticated methods to callously exploit people, with many concerned about their financial situation and the state of the economy. To coincide with the launch of its new animation urging people to follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign, UK Finance today reveals ten Covid-19 and lockdown scams which criminals are using to target people to get them to part with their money.

Read more: Ten Covid-19 and Lockdown Scams

New Telephone Scam

telephoneA Cambridgeshire resident received  a call on their landline yesterday from 01438042813.

It was a recorded message stating that their internet was going to be turned off within the next  four hours and it wanted me to press 1 to connect to my internet provider.

The resident thought this was suspicious and disconnected the call. .

They contacted their Internet provider and they confirmed that this was not something that they would do.

Remember:

STOP - Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.

CHALLENGE - Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

PROTECT - Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.

Unexpected PPI related company call

This scam relates to an unexpected telephone call in which the caller stated their name was Jessica and they were calling on behalf of CLAIMS.NET Ltd (PPI related company)

The number displayed on the caller ID 02393880028

The caller was described as having a strong eastern European accent.

Not only did the scammer know the name of the person they were calling, but they had knowledge of a genuine PPI claim they had made. (It is not known how they obtained this information)

The scammer asked for an email address so a PPI claim form could be sent to them, signed and then returned.

The suspect email address ended @yandex.ru

It was only after a series of emails and telephone calls that the intended victim thought to check the Financial Conduct Authority website which warns people of PPI related scams. They knew what to do when the scammers called again.

Always be alert to any unexpected communication. Text, telephone, email, instant message, mail.

Just because someone knows your name does not mean they are genuine.

We are up against organised criminal gangs from all of the world, with technical means to steal information and use it against us.

If in doubt, invite the caller to write to you, but don’t give them your address.

Criminals will play on your emotions, it is urgent, you need to act now, the police will arrest you, bailiffs will take property, you have to act now, prizes, money, wins.

Two types of telephone, the one when you recognise the callers voice and the other type in which you don’t recognise the voice, and if you don’t, then assume they could be absolutely anyone.

If in doubt, always contact the caller using a previously tried, tested and trusted means. Use a different phone if possible, to the one you took the suspicious call on.

Always check there is a genuine dial tone, criminals can use a recording of a dial tone to fool people when the line has actually been left open.

If necessary, unplug the phone from the socket for a few minutes, reconnect, check for dial tone.

If you have not already looked at www.haveibeenpwned.com then have a look and enter your email address in the search bar and see if criminals already have your email address.

STOP – Take a moment to stop and think before parting with money or information about yourself

CHALLENGE – Could it be fake? It is ok to reject, refuse or ignore any request.

PROTECT – Contact your bank immediately if you think you have fallen for a scam. Then report to Action Fraud.