Action Fraud

Online Fraud – be aware


70+ Scams and How to Avoid Them – a comprehensive A-Z list of common scams, schemes and online fraud published by CompariTech.

July 2020 Police are aware of a number of different SCAMS which have been taking place across the County.

  1. Amazon Prime Account
    Fraudsters are telephoning residents stating they are wish to refund an amount of money to their Amazon Prime Account and request remote access to their victim’s computer in order to make the refund. This is a scam. Do NOT give any details or allow access to your PC.
  2. HMRC
    Fraudsters are contacting residents saying they are from HMRC and threatening them with arrest or prosecution if they do not pay a sum of money to them which they say is owing. This is a scam. Do NOT give them your bank details or any other personal information (ie National Insurance Number) and do NOT agree to pay.
  3. Courier Fraud
    Fraudsters are contacting residents by telephone and pretending to be either police officers or bank employees. They will invent a story about your bank card being cloned, or about counterfeit currency at their local bank branch. Victims have been tricked into handing over their bank cards or cash, while others were instructed to purchase high value jewellery to give to a “courier”. Should you receive any such calls, try to note the callers telephone number by dialling 1471 immediately after the call. Contact your Bank to ensure everything is OK and let them know what has happened.
  4. O2 / Mobile telecommunications providers
    Fraudsters are informing people that there are issues with their Direct Debit making it impossible to process the latest bill. They suggest that in order to avoid fees, you should update your billing information via the hyperlink provided. If you receive a text message like this, do not click on the link(s) or follow any instructions given to you.

 

GENERAL ADVICE
NEVER disclose your PIN number or give out your bank details or withdraw cash. Do not engage in conversation and if in any doubt, hang up the telephone.
Many of these fraudsters tend to target the elderly. Please share this information with elderly relatives, neighbours and friends, so that those who are most likely to be targeted are aware.
If you suspect that you may have been the victim of fraud please report this to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

The following warning has been issued by Neighbourhood Alert on 30th January 2020.

Courier Fraud – Stroud Area 30th January 2020

We are aware that a number of people in the Stroud area have received phone calls from fraudsters claiming to be Police Officers who have said they are conducting undercover investigations into ‘fraud rings’ and have asked victims to withdraw large amounts of cash before handing it over to a courier.

Neither the Police, nor your bank, will ever ask you to withdraw or move your money as part of an investigation.

If you receive a call like this, please hang up and report it to us via 101 – preferably by using another phone to ensure the fraudsters are not still on the line.

The following warning has been issued by Neighbourhood Alert on 9th November 2019.

Scam Warning – Amazon Prime

Criminals are targeting members of the public with automated calls stating that the recipient has been charged for an Amazon Prime subscription. The callers use this lure as a way to gain access to the recipient’s online banking account.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

  1. The victim receives an automated call stating that they’ve been charged for an Amazon Prime subscription. They’re asked to press 1 to cancel the charge, this connects them directly to the fraudster.
  2. A fraudster, posing as an Amazon customer service representative, then tells the victim that the Prime subscription was purchased fraudulently and that they need remote access to the victim’s computer in order to fix a security flaw that will prevent it from happening again.
  3. The victim is asked to download an application called Team Viewer, which grants the fraudster remote access to the victim’s computer.
  4. The victim is then asked to log onto their online banking account whilst the criminals are able to monitor everything via Team Viewer.

Other variants of the crime involve fraudsters stating the recipient is due a refund for an unauthorised transition on their Amazon account.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
Personal information: Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.
Stay in control: Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information. It’s easy to feel embarrassed when faced with unexpected or complex conversations. But it’s okay to stop the discussion if you do not feel in control of it.
Remote access: Never install any software or visit a website as a result of a cold call. Unsolicited requests for remote access to your computer should always raise a red flag.

Please report any scam to Action Fraud: National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre or call 0300 123 2040

The following warning has been issued by Neighbourhood Alert on 28th May 2019.

Watch out for these FAKE TalkTalk emails about a refund

Action Fraud has received over 100 reports this week about fake emails purporting to be from TalkTalk. The emails state that the recipient’s TalkTalk account is in credit and that they’re owed a refund. The links in the emails lead to malicious websites.

Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.

The following warning has been issued by Neighbourhood Alert on 29th March 2019.

Fraudsters send fake Virgin Media emails threatening ‘automatic disconnection’

Action Fraud has received over 100 reports about fake emails that purport to be from Virgin Media. The emails threaten the recipient with “automatic disconnection” due to “invalid billing information”. The links in the emails lead to genuine-looking phishing websites that are designed to steal your Virgin Media account login details.

Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.

For more information about how to stay safe online, visit cyberaware.gov.uk

The following warning has been issued by Neighbourhood Alert on 9th January 2019.

Fake Tv Licensing Emails

Action Fraud has received more than 5,000 reports about fake emails and texts purporting to be from TV Licensing. The messages contain links to genuine-looking websites that are designed to steal personal and financial information.

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.

For more information about how to stay safe online, visit cyberaware.gov.uk

The following warning has been issued by Neighbourhood Alert on 11th December 2018.

Beware Of Doorstep Pedlars

We are aware of a number of reports across the Stroud District relating to males going door-to-door offering household goods under the guise of an organisation called Helping Hands. These males purport to represent an organisation called ‘Helping Hand’ or similar, and say they are part of a prison rehabilitation scheme. There appears to be no such charity registered in England or Wales operating this kind of scheme and it is believed that the individuals taking part in these activities may be committing a number of different criminal offences.

Unsolicited doorstep selling can often be a tactic used by burglars and fraudsters who may try to identify vulnerable people or premises within our community. I would urge anyone who encounters these individuals to call 101 and report this to the police as soon as possible so that we can identify, locate and stop this behaviour.

For more information, please visit our website. Remember, we’re unable to accept reports of crime through Your Neighbourhood Alerts. If you need to report something, please call 101 or report online. Always call 999 in an emergency.

The following recent notices have been published by Action Fraud the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre which provides a central point of contact for information about fraud and cyber crime.

Cyber criminals send victims their own passwords in extortion scam

Password Extortion

  • Watch out for these fake Netflix emails

  • Watch out for these fake British Gas refund emailsWe’ve had an increase in reports about fake British Gas emails claiming to offer refunds. The links provided in the emails lead to genuine-looking British Gas phishing websites that are designed to steal the usernames and passwords for British Gas accounts.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.
  • Watch out for these fake LinkedIn emailsThere have been 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.
  • Alert – Rise In Fake Amazon EmailsThese fake emails are after your Amazon login details! We’ve had an increased number of reports about these fake emails purporting to be from Amazon. The subject line and content of the emails vary, but they all contain links leading to phishing websites designed to steal your Amazon login 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.
  • Scam Alert – Fake Argos Texts

  • These fake text messages purport to be from Argos and claim that you’re owed a refund. The link in the messages lead to phishing websites designed to steal your personal information, as well as payment 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.For more information about how to protect yourself online, visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk and takefive-stopfraud.org.uk.If you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, report it to us at www.actionfraud.police.uk, or by calling 0300 123 2040.
  • Follow Up Calls Computer Software Service FraudThere is concern that victims of previous Computer Software Service Fraud (CSSF) are being re-targeted for ‘owed money’. The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) reports that CSSF scammers are returning to contact previous victims, requesting that they pay money owed for a fake malware protection service they had provided. Alternatively, the fraudster will ask for a new subscription fee in return for protection from a new threat. The victims that have made payments to the fraudsters have done so via credit/debit card payments. In some instances threatening and aggressive language has been used against victims, as part of the attempt to coerce them into sending money.Computer Software Service Fraud involves the victim being contacted, told that there is a problem with their computer, and that for a fee this issue can be resolved. The aim of the fraudster at this point is usually to gain remote access to the victim’s computer and, subsequently, access to their online banking account. No fix actually occurs. The victims will often be cold-called or will receive a pop-up on their computer, prompting them to phone the suspect.Since the beginning of this year (2018), the total loss for repeat victims of CSSF has been reported as £16,712.85. The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has noticed an increase in such reports since the beginning of May.Protect Yourself
    • If you receive such an unsolicited call or pop-up, do not make a payment. Always ensure you know who you are talking to. If in doubt, hang up immediately
    • Do not allow remote access to your computer
    • Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. Under no circumstances would a genuine bank, or another trusted organisation, force you to make a financial transaction on the spot; they would never ask you to transfer money into another account for fraud reasons. Remember to stop and take time to carefully consider your actions
    • Listen to your instincts. If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. Criminals may lull you into a false sense of security when you are out and about or rely on your defences being down when you’re in the comfort of your own home. They may appear trustworthy, but they maynot be who they claim to be

     

    For more information about how to protect yourself online, visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk and takefive-stopfraud.org.uk.

    If you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, report it to us at www.actionfraud.police.uk, or by calling 0300 123 2040.

  • Watch Out For These Fake Texts About Your Ee Bill

These fake text messages purport to be from EE and claim that you haven’t paid a bill. The link in the message leads to a phishing website designed to steal your EE account login details, as well as personal and financial information. Don’t be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details. Never automatically click on a link or attachment in an unexpected email or text.

 

 

For more information about how to protect yourself online, visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk and takefive-stopfraud.org.uk.

If you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, report it to us at www.actionfraud.police.uk, or by calling 0300 123 2040.

  • Courier FraudThe National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has identified an increasing number of reports submitted to Action Fraud from the public concerning courier fraud.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 their full name 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 some 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
    • Suspects have already been arrested but the ‘police’ need money for evidence
    • A business such as a jewellers or currency exchange is operating fraudulently and they require assistance to help secure evidence

    Victims are then asked to cooperate in an investigation by attending their bank and withdrawing money, withdrawing foreign currency from an exchange or purchasing an expensive item to hand over to a courier for examination who will also be a fraudster. Again, to reassure the victim, a safe word might be communicated to the victim so the courier appears genuine. At the time of handover, unsuspecting victims are promised the money they’ve handed over or spent will be reimbursed but in reality there is no further contact and the money is never seen again.

    Your bank or the police will never:

    • Phone and ask you for your PIN or full banking password
    • Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping, or send someone to your home to collect cash, PIN, cards or cheque books if you are a victim of fraud.

     

    Don’t assume an email or phone call is authentic just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and address or even your mother’s maiden name), it doesn’t mean they are genuine. Be mindful of who you trust – criminals may try and trick you into their confidence by telling you that you’ve been a victim of fraud. Stay in control – if something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information.

    For more information about how to protect yourself online visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk and www.takefive-stopfraud.org.uk.

  • TSB Phishing AttacksThere has been a sharp rise in fraudsters sending out fake text messages (smishing) and phishing emails claiming to be from TSB. The increase in the number of reports corresponds with the timing of TSB’s computer system update, which resulted in 1.9 million users being locked out of their accounts. Opportunistic fraudsters are using TSB’s system issue to target people with this type of fraud.Fraudsters are commonly using text messages as a way to defraud unsuspecting victims out of money. Known as smishing, this involves the victim receiving a text message purporting to be from TSB. The message requests that the recipient clicks onto a website link that leads to a phishing website designed to steal online banking details. Although text messages are currently the most common delivery method, similar communications have been reported with fraudsters using email and telephone to defraud individuals.Protect Yourself:
    • Don’t assume an email or text is authentic – always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Phone numbers and email addresses can be spoofed, so always contact the company directly via a known email or phone number (such as the one on the back of your bank card).
    • Don’t be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected text or email. Remember, a genuine bank will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your full PIN or password.

     

    If you have received a suspicious TSB email, please do not respond to it, report it to us www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_phishing and also forward it to emailscams@tsb.co.uk If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to us online or by calling 0300 123 2040.

  • Fraudulent Cryptocurrency Investments and Fake EndorsementsFraudulent websites alleging to offer cryptocurrency investments are dishonestly using the image of Martin Lewis, the founder and editor for moneysavingexpert.com, as an endorsement for their companies. The adverts using Martin Lewis to promote illicit schemes can be found on social media and other websites. Clicking on the advert takes you to the full article where Martin Lewis image is presented along with fake quotes recommending investments in bitcoin and other digital currencies with the fraudulent ‘company’. Alternatively clicking on the advert will take you to a page where you are required to input your contact details, the suspect company then phones you and encourages you to invest.Martin Lewis has published a warning to the public saying ‘I don’t do adverts. If you ever see one with my face or name on it, it is without my permission, and usually a scam’. The full article can be found here: blog.moneysavingexpert.com.Similarly these fraudulent websites are also misusing images and fabricating recommendations from the investors on Dragons Den. These adverts also claim the investors on the panel trade in cryptocurrencies using their services to try and legitimise their company.What you need to do:
    • Don’t assume it’s authentic: Professional-looking websites, adverts or social media posts don’t indicate that an investment opportunity is genuine. Criminals can exploit the names of well-known brands or individuals to make their scams appear legitimate.
    • Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision: A genuine bank or financial organisation won’t force you to make a financial transaction on the spot. Always be wary if you’re pressured to invest quickly or promised returns that sound too good to be true.
    • Stay in control: Avoid unsolicited investment offers, especially those over cold calls. If you’re thinking about making an investment, get impartial advice from an independent financial adviser – never use an adviser from the company that contacted you, as this may be part of the scam.
    • Visit the Take Five website and Cyber Aware(cyberaware.gov.uk) for more information about how to protect yourself online.

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