Hello again Everyone
We have been informed of several scams where payment is requested by iTune cards or vouchers. ITunes have a warning on their page as follows:
‘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 Action Fraud.’
Along similar lines, Amazon have put out this warning:
Amazon UK customers have again been targeted by a new email scam that attempts to access their personal accounts through the promise of a £50 gift card.
A fresh batch of fake emails offering a voucher for amazon.co.uk have been circling the inboxes of their UK customer base.
This is the second time in under a month that British users of the world’s leading e-commerce company have been the recipient of phishing emails.
Last month Amazon users were subjected to an attempted trick that claimed there was a problem with a recent order from the shopping site.
This time around customers are thanked for their loyalty before being invited to click a link that reveals the remainder of a code which will entitle them to £50 of online store credit.
This scam email has been arriving in some customer's inboxes
Clicking on the hyperlink connects the visitor to a fraudulent third-party phishing site instructing them to complete a quick survey about their customer experience with Amazon.
However, each time you click on the link to “reveal the full code”, you are connected to a different survey site, which then in turn offers a reward and not the gift card as promised.
This latest scam comes after fraudulent emails had been distributed to Apple iPhone users and Netflix subscribers, as well as one claiming to be from HMRC.
Amazon does offer advice on its website to help customers identify fake emails or phishing attempts.
Finally, I have also been hearing about a number of residents suffering from ‘Ransomware’ where a pop-up appears on your computer screen claiming that your computer is infected by a virus (often this is ‘scareware’ and it isn’t really!). Please do not call the number or pay, a local gentleman lost £300 to these scammers. To protect yourselves from this take a look at the ‘Get Safe Online (GSO)’ website. However the GSO top three ways to protect yourself are using strong passwords, installing anti-virus software (up to date and turned on) and installing system updates as soon as possible. If everyone took these simple steps GSO claim it would cut 80% of computer scams, and it is easy to follow advice.
Keep well and enjoy Christmas shopping,
Community Protection Officer
People and Communities Directorate
Telephone: 01954 286006 or 07810153604