Scam reports pre 2015

12 December 2014 Essex Police Fraud Booklet

An informative new booklet warning about a range of frauds is now available to download from the EP website at:  http://www.essex.police.uk/be_safe/fraud.aspx .

 8 December 2014 Hoax Scam (see below 2 December)

A variation on the theme has been reported with a rather dubious looking CrimeStoppers link and reference to Trading Standards. The same advice applies - it is a hoax and should be treated with the contempt it deserves. Likewise variations on the theme

4 December Action Fraud - The 12 online frauds of Christmas.

In the countdown to Christmas millions of people living across the UK will go online to buy presents for friends and family, search for holidays, book tickets or send an electronic Christmas card. With this in mind Actionfraud have launched a national campaign regarding online frauds.

Please click the link (or copy and paste to your browser box) for full information -http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/sites/default/files/12%20Frauds%20of%20Christmas%20Leaflet.pdf

3 December - Little Book of Scams

The Metropolitan Police have published a very useful guide to avoiding scams and being scammed. It can be downloaded via 

www.met.police.uk/docs/little_book_scam.pdf

27 November

To download presentation of the Fraud isn't just a scam its a crime presentation - click here

16 October - Get Safe online

A document giving advice on how not to get scammed online and published by National Neighbourhood Watch Association can be downloaded here

 

 

ACTIVE SCAMS 

5 March Fraud of the Rings (with apologies to JRR Tolkien)

Please look out for a fraud which is being reported around the South-East of England at the moment.

Whilst driving, the victim is flagged down by a man (or men) next to a broken down vehicle. The man states that he needs money to get petrol. As payment, the man offers the victim one to three “gold” rings and may also provide a business card suggesting links to Berlin, Germany or Glasgow, Scotland. The amount of cash taken is between £20 and £300. However, the rings are worthless and definitely not precious.
 
Offences are occurring on ‘A’ roads and slip roads at major junctions in the South of England. One victim reports seeing the same offender(s) back at the same spot (the A41 bypass near Tring, on this occasion) two days later at approximately 12:50pm.
 
All suspects are described as male and with dark hair. The description of the “broken down” vehicle varies.
 
Offenders seem to target men over the age of 55.
 
Prevention advice:

  • Do not accept jewellery as payment!

IF YOU NEED TO REPORT A FRAUD PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL, REPORT IT TO ACTION FRAUD ON 0300 123 2040 OR USING THE ACTION FRAUD REPORTING TOOL VIA THE ACTION FRAUD WEBSITE - http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

5 March On Line Auction Scams

Online auction sites are regularly targeted by fraudsters advertising desirable items for sale which are below market value, but do not exist. Fraudsters use a variety of techniques to persuade the potential buyer that the item is genuine and that any advanced payment will be protected or reimbursed should the product be faulty or not received.

Protect yourself:

  • Stay within the auction guidelines stipulated on the website.
  • Payments made via bank transfer, money transfer or e-money are not protected, should you not receive the item.
  • View the item in person if possible.
  • If the item advertised seems too good to be true, it probably is.


IF YOU NEED TO REPORT A FRAUD PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL, REPORT IT TO ACTION FRAUD ON 0300 123 2040 OR USING THE ACTION FRAUD REPORTING TOOL VIA THE ACTION FRAUD WEBSITE - http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

13 February Pop Ups and Free Offers

Action Fraud has seen an increase in the amount of victims signing up for free trials for unapproved or misleading pharmaceuticals or supplements.

The scam usually involves a ‘pop up’ on your computer or a text message advertising a free 14-day trial. In signing up to this trial you are asked for your credit or debit card details and after the 14 days have elapsed, recurring payments are taken.

Recurring payments or continuous payment authorities are similar to a direct debit, but can be much harder to cancel or identify who is debiting your account. In most cases victims are finding it extremely difficult to cancel the subscription and the products are either not delivered or are inferior. 

Common pharmaceuticals or supplements being advertised are teeth whitening products, food supplements and slimming tablets.

Protect Yourself

  • If you desire such products speak to your GP or a local pharmacist.
  • Be vigilant of free trials and always read the Terms and Conditions.
  • Conduct basic online research of the company before registering your details and financial information.

It is important to remember that in most free-trial cases because you have paid for a product and received it, this cannot be recorded as a fraud. If you have already entered your card details on one of these websites, call up you bank immediately to stop these payments and give us a call on 0300 123 2040 for advice.

11 February Courier Fraud

Essex Police continue to receive reports relating to Courier fraud.

Courier fraud is where members of the public are cold called by fraudsters posing as bank officials who ask for your bank details such as your account numbers and security details.

These fraudsters are ever finding new ways to deceive you and obtain the details they need to access your bank accounts.

The current trend is to change the number they are calling from to match the fraud reporting telephone number that can be found on the back of your bank cards. This number is programmed to show up on your caller ID display and is designed to make you think it really is the bank calling you.

Remember do not give your bank details to anyone. A genuine caller will never ask for these. Take all necessary steps to assure yourself that the caller is genuine before you discuss anything with them.

If you would like any further information then please call Essex Police on 101.

5 February - Parcels scam

Action Fraud has issued advice on a new scam involving postcards that have been delivered to householders advising that a parcel awaits delivery - at a cost!! Details can be found at www.actionfraud.police.uk/news/alert-we-are-holding-a-parcel-in-your-name-scam-postcards-delivered-to-residents-homes-feb15

27 January - BT Scams

There are currently a spate of bogus emails which are becoming ever more sophisticated and have cloned the look and feel of real ones from BT. Listed below are the "From" and "Subject" of known current examples. DO NOT OPEN ANY OF THESE - DELETE IMMEDIATELY

  • From "BT"
  • IMPORTANT
  • An important update for you
  • Payment for your BT bill is due
  • From "BT SERVICE"
  • Your account is about to expire
  • Your BT Account Has Been Suspended
  • Important Notice
  • Notification Update
  • Warning Notification
  • Important Notice: Verify Your Account

 

The scammers and phishers are getting ever more sophisticated. Their emails look identical to real emails from BT, including the overall layout and signatory of Libby Barr, BT Director - hyperlinks in their emails appear to point to the proper BT website, including such links as ?bt.com/help? ? but this is actually rerouted by them to their cloned BT Website lookalike.

If you have any queries regarding your BT service, account details or bill payments, contact BT directly by phone, or log in to your ?My BT? account separately, NOT from any link in the suspect email. 

24 January - Who wants to be a millionaire?

The following e-mail is doing the rounds - I cannot imagine that too many people would be taken in by it, but who knows!!! The best approach with this, and similar, is to consign it to the bin by using delete.

How are you doing dear? I' am trying to reach you on your Email about few hours now, just to inform you, that agent conveying your box has arrived your airport with your package, his name is Mr. Mast JOHN, He is with your package which contain $3.700.000 USA Dollars.

Email Him your address on how to get to your door step including your phone number. Don't let Him know how much the package contained, try to follow the instruction as I told you, Email him right away.

Contact Diplomat Mr. Mast JOHN Email: Details provided but deleted by webmaster

Your required to provide your information listed below to enable him complete your delivery to your doorstep.

1.Your Full Name:___

2.Your Delivery Address and City:_____

3.Your Cell Phone:________

4. Your Nearest Airport:____

5. A copy of your ID or Passport. 

Best Regards, 

Hon: Mrs. Sonia Dill

23 January The Peoples Postcode Lottery

Earlier in the week an Uttlesford resident received an unsolicited letter purporting to come from the above lottery, advising him of a win, and asking him to contact a named person on an inner London telephone number. As the recipient had never entered this, or any other, lottery, suspicions were raised. Enquiries revealed that whilst the letter was an attempt at fraud, the lottery is real. Following contact from the chair of the Essex NWA, the following letter was received from the genuine lottery

Unfortunately there are a small number of criminals out there who on occasion steal the branding of organisations such as ourselves for their own gain.

The police and ourselves are aware of these letters, calls and emails and are continuing investigations, but in the meantime please do not contact or give any details to the people who have contacted you. If you have already done so, we would recommend you contact the police and either your bank or card provider if any payment details were concerned.

People's Postcode Lottery is a subscription-based lottery in which there is a winning postcode every day. You can find out more at www.postcodelottery.co.uk or by calling us on Freephone 0808 1098 765.

 

12 January 2015

A Southend co-ordinator received an unsolicited e-mail from a person named Susan Alessima, congratulating him for his successful transfer of funds to his "nominated bank account" directing him to a download to view his receipt etc and asking for confirmation of banking details - the usual formula in other words. Anyone receiving such a communication is strongly advised to report the matter to Action Fraud

18 December - Stan Baker

 No, not the late actor - this is another phishing scam doing the rounds via e-mail. It reads as follows: 

  I really hope you get this fast. I could not inform anyone about our trip, because it was impromptu. We had to be in Philippines for a Tour..the program was successful, but our journey has turned sour. We misplaced our wallets and cell phones on our way back to the hotel after we went for sight seeing. The wallet contains all the valuables we have. Now, our luggage is in custody of the hotel management pending when we make payment. 

  I am sorry if i am inconveniencing you, but I have only very few people to turn to now. I will be very grateful if I can get a short term loan of ($2,450) from you. This will enable me sort our hotel bills and get my sorry self back home. I will really appreciate whatever you can afford at this moment. I promise to refund it in full as soon as I return. Please let me know if you can be of any assistance.

 

Thanks

Stan

16 December - Computer fault scam

One of the Southend NHW co-ordinators received a call at the weekend from a male person with an Asian accent claiming to be from Global Computer Services and advising that he had detected an error message on the recipient’s computer. The recipient, recognising that it was a scam, terminated the call.

A 1471 check revealed a Leeds number. The criminals using this number have been active across the country using scare tactics to convince their potential victims that a problem has been identified on their computer and persuading the victim to enter some coding that enables the criminals remote control of the victim’s computer, hard drive, confidential codes and address book. The coding, also known as Ransomware will be removed by the criminals in exchange for a substantial sum of cash. Be warned and be aware!!

15 December - FedEx Phishing scam

There is an e-mail in circulation stating it is from FEDEX. It has the FEDEX logo ( a poor copy) and there is even a named support manager and a telephone number. The e-mail will claim that they have failed to make a delivery to your home about 2-3 days before hand. The worrying thing is that it contains a link to a zip file, which, if opened, can infect your computer hard drive rendering it useless and placing malware on your hard drive which could compromise your address book, online banking etc
 

2 December - Hoax Parcel Delivery Scam

Below is the advice given by the Police and Action Fraud about the chain e-mail.
If you receive this email just delete it and do not to forward it to anyone.

PhonepayPlus, is aware that a chain e-mail about an alleged postal scam is being 
circulated on the internet. The email refers to the Royal Mail, Trading 
Standards and ICSTIS (PhonepayPlus' former name).

PhonepayPlus appreciates that recipients of the email may want to find out more 
information about the alleged scam and has therefore issued the following 
statement:

* The chain email refers to a service (operating on 0906 6611911) that was 
shut down by PhonepayPlus (then ICSTIS) in December 2005.
* PhonepayPlus subsequently fined the company that was operating the 
service, Studio Telecom (based in Belize), £10,000.
* The service is NO LONGER running and has NOT been running since December 
2005.
* You do NOT need to contact PhonepayPlus, or the Royal Mail, about this 
service as it was stopped almost eight years ago.
* If you receive a copy of the email warning you about the alleged scam, 
please do NOT forward it to others. Instead, please forward this statement from 
PhonepayPlus.
* If you receive a delivery card through your letterbox which you do not 
believe is genuine and which asks you to dial a premium rate number, you can 
contact PhonepayPlus on 0800 500 212 (Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm) for further guidance.

For more detailed information about PhonepayPlus’ work, please visit 
www.phonepayplus.org.uk<http://www.phonepayplus.org.uk/>.

Please note: Action Fraud is not responsible for the content on external 
websites.

To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud 
reporting tool<http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud>.

26 November - Unwanted Telephone Calls

Southend Neighbourhood Watch has been advised of residents receiving unwanted telephone calls over a few days. These are followed by a call from a male person offering a service to restrict the calls that are being received for a regular mothly payment, Anyone receiving such a call is strongly advised to report the matter to Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06. Furthermore, they are advised NOT to enter into any agreement with the caller

25 November - Middle Eastern Scam

The following was received by an Uttlesford resident who suspected a scam. The originator, yclept Abdul Aziz, has been active in contacting Western businesses since early 2013 inviting them to invest in Middle Eastern projects involving considerable sums of money. Needless to say, the projects are non existent - anyone investing can expect to be the loser. The e-mail reproduced below is a variation on a theme, this time using the dire situation in Syria as the bait. Anyone receiving such an e-mail is strongly advised to forward it to Action Fraud and then delete the original

Greetings from Syrian Arab Republic,

Kindly accept my apology for sending unsolicited mail to you.

Although we have never met before but I have every reason to believe that you are a highly respected personality, considering the fact that I sourced your profile from a human resource profile database on your country from the internet.

Though, I do not know to what extent you are familiar with events and fragile political situation in Syria but it has formed consistent headlines in the CNN and BBC news bulletins and many international newspapers.

I am Abdul Aziz, Investment officer, representing my boss and his colleagues. Due to the war crisis, the political situation in our country at the moment is very fragile and because of this and so many other internal problems we are facing that nobody knows what will happen tomorrow, we would like to appoint you as our business partner to assist in securing and managing some of our funds for the purpose of investments in your country on our behalf.

If our offer is acceptable to you, just rest assured you stand to benefit heavily from us at no risk to you. I cannot go into much details at the moment until I hear from you.

Please contact me by email at [Removed by Essex NWA Webmaster] for further details. 

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Abdul Aziz. Email: [Removed by Essex NWA Webmaster]

20 November - Business Registration Scam

There is a new scam doing the rounds of the business community where an unsolicited letter is received by a company from an organisation claiming to be part of Companies House and requiring a fee to be paid to complete registration. The scammers are working under the name of New Companies Register (Digital) and are using a fictitious London address. Their headed notepaper includes a logo which resembles a Royal Crest. On the letter that I saw, payment of £37.50 by electronic transfer was demanded, but researching this scam onthe Internet reveals that demands ranged from £37.50 to £140. Any contact from New Companies Register should not be acted upon and the details passed to Action Fraud via www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud 

10 November PPI refund scam

A Leigh co-ordinator received  a phone call from 020 4309 5294 a short time ago   The caller had a thick Indian or Pakistani accent. He said that the recipient had a PPI refund of £3000 due and he needed to verify his bank details and bank details so that they could make the refund, he had his address correctly!  There are no London telephone numbers beginning with 4, only 3, 7 or 8.

The standard advice applies – do not enter into conversation with such callers and terminate the call. A variation on this theme is where the caller claims to be speaking on behalf of the recipient’s bank and wishes to arrange a refund! In this case he simply wanted the recipient’s date of birth

7 November - yet another variation on the BT Scam 

If you receive the following by e-mail, do not click any of the links - simply forward to Action Fraud on  phishing@cityoflondon.police.uk and delete the original

 

 Dear BT member, [NB If this was genuine BT would use the customer's name]

The card details we have on file for your BT Internet service needs to be re-confirmed to bill you on 05/11/2014 for your most recent service fees. For this reason, your service could be placed on hold. Please visit our Account Information pages, located at.
You must update your billing information immediately in order to avoid any interruption to your services. Once your card information is updated, you will be charged immediately, as soon as payment is received. You can update your card simply by clicking on link below:

Click the below link to Log In into your account and resolve the problem. [Link removed by Webmaster]

Note that failure to update your card information after reading this message would affect your next payment due date.

Director of BT Technical Team.

Thank you for your co-operation.

BT Account Support

Warning Code :ID67565434

 

 

3 November - Amazon Birthday Scam

There is a phishing e-mail purporting to come from Amazon doing the rounds where it states that that as a valued customer clicking a link will give him or her a massive 90% discount on purchases. Clicking the link will place a trojan on the victim's hard drive which could compromise the computer's security. Beware!!

16 October - A variation on the BT Scam

In August we reported a BT Internet scam where unsuspecting customers were asked to click a link to validate their account. Now the criminals have come up with a new twist aimed at My BT customers. They are invited to click a link to verify their account. Once again the logos and branding make it look like a genuine BT communication. Anyone receiving such a communication is advised to forward the e-mail to Action Fraud - details can be found below - and then delete e-mail

15 October - Computer Scam - a variation on a theme

A Leigh resident received one of the we have identified a problem on your computer calls from a telephone number which looked like a London one. The resident was actually addressed by his surname, in the scammer's hope that a personal approach would be far more convincing. In this case, the recipient simply terminated the call. As the target is listed inthe BT telephone directory, it seems likely that the scammer's are utilising this in order to appear more credible. Be aware!!

10 September - Peter Pan Virus

There is a new phishing e-mail doing the rounds which advises the recipient that their invoice for six pantomime tickets is overdue and they are required to pay £145 immediately. Helpfully, the invoice can be accessed via a link - so they say. In reality, the link will infect the victim's computer hard drive, as the whole thing is a scam. Once infected, control of passwords, address book etc, is accessible by the criminal gang behind it. Anyone receiving an e-mail from an unknown source with a clickable link, is strongly advised to delete it WITHOUT clicking any links. There is an old adage which says, curiosity killed the cat! Clicking a phishing link could kill your computer, figuratively speaking, that is

28 August - Job Opportunity

The following just received: We have brought to you a job offer provided by Walmart, one of the biggest agency in the United States.
For the moment they are hiring people for the position of freelance market researcher.
This job is both full-time and part-time.
If you want to know more informations about the company and the job offer you can visit the online application by clicking [LINK REMOVED]

Apart from the fact that it would be a long commute, I rather think that clicking the link could have disastrous consequences for my computer

21 August - BT Scam

The following, resplendent with BT look alike logos,  is now doing the rounds. Such e-mails should be deleted without clicking any links

Dear BT Customer,

This e-mail has been sent to you by BT Internet to inform you that we were unable to process your most recent payment of bill.
This might be due to either of the following reasons:

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

Confirm your payment detail. NB The link has been edited out by the webmaster to avoid accidental activation

15 August - three new scams etc

Number one is a variation on a theme this time from someone claiming to be on a short holiday break in a war zone! It reads

Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. I'm in Kharkov, Ukraine right now for a short holiday trip and i'm short on cash right here, I tried to access my account from the cash machines here and it's not working, i went to the bank to withdraw and i was informed that i cannot withdraw money from my account in some countries,that it's network errors, I'm thinking if i could get a quick loan of £1,500 from you or anything you can afford to loan me so that i can clear some little things here and also take a cab to the airport. I promise to refund it as soon as i get back home on Sunday, let me know so i can send you my details.

Waiting to read from you.

Best wishes etc

Counterfeit Coins
There are counterfeit £2 coins circulating in S.E. Essex.
With the counterfeits, the outer border is slightly more golden -yellow and slightly wider than legal coins, and the inner disc is more shiny "chrome-like" than legal coins. A banking source advises that they have been aware of the counterfeits for 3 months and they had seen two within the past fortnight.

TESCO Scam

An e-mail is circulating which reads as follows
You have been chosen as a subject in our Customer Satisfaction Survey for which you will be rewarded £100 in debit*. Please take your time and choose only the answers which reflect your true opinions. In order to access this survey please download the form attached to this mail and open it in a web browser. Once opened, you will be provided with steps to claim your prize.

Thank you,

Tesco.com

Anyone opening the attachment is likely to allow a virus or trojan or both to be downloaded to their hard drive

8 August - E-bay verification scam

There is a new EBAY scam e-mail doing the rounds - it purports to come from thir account review department and looks almost genuine, although the fact that it comes from a different e-mail provider and that they have some issues with English grammar as the following demonstrates, This weak over 150.000 accounts are checked. If this is a issue we apologies for it, but this is necessary in order to make secure transactions, payments and sales eBay servers must work properly in order to assist you. The recipient is invited to click a red button at the foot of the e-mail to verify the account. Doing so, would undoubtedly compromise the secuity of the recipient's hard drive. Red most certainly stands for danger in this instance! Ebay have issued further advice on the following Website 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/gds/The-New-SCAM-that-all-Ebay-members-need-to-READ-/10000000003172685/g.html

1 August A new BT Scam

A variation on a theme is doing the rounds by e-mail at the moment witht he subject heading Important: Last Reminder to activate your BT ID to see your bill online The e-mail contains what looks like a genuine BT circulation complete with logos etc. Recipients are invited to click a link to activate the registration process. Anyone opting to  to 'Activate your BT ID' as requested  will be asked to provide data including passwords and bank details. Such details can be used to clone a person's identity. Report any such e-mails to Action Fraud

1 July Microsoft Fault scam

A district co-ordinator recently received an unsolicited call from a male with an Indian sub-continent accent claiming to have identified a fault on the co-ordinator's computer which could be remotely fixed. The caller attempted to browbeat the co-ordinator into logging onto a website that could solve his fault. This particular scam has been doing the rounds for some years and has conned the unwary out of several thousand pounds, collectively. Basically, once the hapless computer owner has logged onto the scammers website, the scammers have total control of the hard drive, passwords (including on-line shopping and bank accounts), address books, etc. Aditionally, they will place ransomware on the victim's computer which they will remove for a price!!

Recipients of such calls shiuld terminate the call immediately without entering into any conversation at all!!!

30 June A cyber crime warning from the office of the PCC

You may have heard in the media about two computer viruses, GameOver Zeus and CryptoLocker, that are being spread by criminals. There are so many warnings about viruses that it’s easy to become complacent and just ignore them. But my IT support people think these two really are scary – scary enough that the government’s National Crime Agency issued a warning on 3 June. So I’m circulating some basic advice and sources of further information.

The two viruses primarily affect Windows PCs, but can also affect any system which has Windows installed, including Windows running as a virtual machine on an Apple Mac, and any server running Windows and Windows embedded.)

GameOver Zeus, also known as GOzeuS and P2PZeus, is an aggressive malware (malicious software) which infects computers, usually when you open an email attachment. Once the malware is installed, the computer can in effect be ‘taken over’ by the criminals, and can be used to view files on your computer, monitor your bank accounts (including getting your passwords and being able to empty your accounts), send emails in your name and even use your webcam to physically spy on you.

If GameOver Zeus isn’t successful in locating financial information and emptying your bank account, some strains of GameOver Zeus then install CryptoLocker. This is a “ransomware” program that locks the files on your computer by encrypting them, demands a ransom (generally, it appears, $300) for a key to decrypt the files, and installs a clock on your screen that you can watch count down to the deadline. If the ransom is not paid (and maybe even if it is), the decryption key is removed from the computer – leaving your files inacccessible. It may be possible to retrieve them.... but only if they have been securely backed up.

The FBI, the National Crime Agency in the UK, and agencies in eight other countries have worked together to stop these threats, by blocking servers from which GameOver Zeus was being distributed. But it is reckoned that 250,000 computers worldwide (including 15,000 in the UK) are already infected, and the experts believe that it is only a matter of time – perhaps within the next few days - until the criminals move start using other servers. So it is important to act now to ensure your computers are not already infected, and to protect them against infection if GameOver Zeus and CryptoLocker start being distributed again.

Protecting Your Computer

The guidance below is adapted from IT Eye (my computer support people – www.it-eye.co.uk) and the government’s GetSafeOnline website at www.getsafeonline.org/nca/, with some additional input from me.

1. Run all your Windows updates to make sure you are as up to date as possible: Start > All programs > Windows updates. If your operating system is still Windows XP, Microsoft is no longer issuing updates and your system is at particular risk.

2. Ensure you have a recognised anti-virus package, such as Norton, McAfee, Avast or AVG on your system, and that it is up to date and switched on at all times.

3. Run a full (not quick) virus scan on your machine. Or if you don’t have anti-virus software or are not sure whether it is fully up to date, use one of the links at the bottom of www.getsafeonline.org/nca/ to download a free tool to scan for GameOverZeus and CryptoLocker and remove them from your computer.

4. Do not open suspicious email. The GetSafeOnline website has guidance on how to identify emails from spammers, scammers, phishers and hackers, but malware may be in an attachment on an email that looks like it is from someone you know or someone else who would plausibly be contacting you.

5. Do not ever open email attachments or click on links in emails unless you are absolutely, totally, definitely certain they are authentic. And when you check with the sender to find out whether it is genuine, don’t ever click Reply. It’s very easy to set up email addresses so an email looks like it is from one person but is actually from someone else, and the baddie will receive any Reply you send (and will of course tell you that the email is genuine). If you want to contact the genuine person, enter their email address manually.

6. Don’t fall for phishing emails claiming that a bank account, tax return or anything else requiring a password is compromised and you need to re-enter your details to activate it again.

7. Change your passwords. Original passwords may already have been compromised by GameOver Zeus. Never store passwords on your computer.

8. Back up all your data. Copy everything onto a USB stick or external drive and keep it disconnected from your computer. This way, you have a complete copy of everything should the worst happen.

9. Do not reply on Dropbox, SugarSync or other similar cloud-based file sharing solutions to protect your data. They may provide a backup solution, but you may have to email through and wait for them to restore your data which may take a few days to do.

10. Set up an ‘administrator’ account on your computer with a strong password, and use this for making changes to the machine, such as installing software or adding a printer. Use a standard account for everyday use. The head of the cyber security team at the Institution of Engineering and Technology says that by not using the administrator account for browsing the web or accessing emails, computer users can protect themselves from 90% of malware attacks.

The easiest source of information on all aspects of internet, computer, smartphone and tablet security is GetSafeOnline at www.getsafeonline.org

Further Information

GameOver Zeus: Removal, detection and how you can protect yourself Independent, 3 June, http://tinyurl.com/l9b5yap

Cyber Streetwise, basic guidance for individuals and small and medium enterprises on good practice, www.cyberstreetwise.com

Cyber security skills: A guide for business, published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on 13 March, http://tinyurl.com/nww9yz9

Cyber Essentials scheme, a government-backed, industry-supported scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common cyber attacks, launched on 5 June, http://tinyurl.com/o8jrgbj . From 1 October 2014, the government will require all suppliers bidding for certain sensitive and personal information handling contracts to be certified against the Cyber Essentials scheme.

Stop press: Ransomware on Android phones

Security researchers reported on 6 June that ransomware similar to CryptoLocker is now affecting Android phones. Dubbed Android/Simplocker, it encrypts photos, videos and documents on the phone and displays a message demanding payment for the data to be unlocked. The message is in Russian and the payment currency is Ukrainian, so at the moment the virus seems to be targeted at eastern Europeans. But as an analyst says, “with its combination of social engineering, strong encryption, and robust Internet architecture, [it] could be a harbinger of more serious and widespread threats to come.” For more information, see www.shellypalmer.com/2014/06/crypto-ransomware-on-android/

The good practice for PCs applies equally to phones – be sure everything is up to date, and keep your anti-virus program on at all times".

 

17 June 

A Southend co-ordinator has received a phishing attempt from someone claiming to be from Virgin Media concerning his British Gas bill. It is worded as follows: "This e-mail has been sent you by Virgin Media to inform you that we were unable to process your most recent payment of bill. This might be due to one of the following reasons:

  • A recent change in your personal information such as Name or address.
  • Your Credit or Debit card has expired.
  • Insufficient funds in your account.
  • Cancellation of Direct Debit agreement.
  • Your Card issuer did not authorize this transaction.
To avoid Service interruption you will need to update your billing profile, failure to update your profile may lead in service cancellation and termination. Please click on the link below to login to e-Billing. You will need to login using your primary E-mail address. (NB links removed)
 
Once logged in you will need to fill in the required fields, please ensure all address and contact details are up to date, once submitted your account details will automatically be updated within 24 Hours.
Kind Regards etc

17 June Variation on Computer fault scam

We have been advised of a new version of the we have identified a fault on your personal computer scam. The script is much the same but the caller claims to be calling on behalf of BT Broadband Technical Support. The victim is invited to follow the scammers instructions thus allowing them to place malware or ransomware onto the victim's hard drive. Apart from being costly to remove, this can allow the criminals access to sensitive material such as online banking, online shopping accounts

12 June Two more scams to be aware of

1. RE: 2014 PART-PAYMENT RELIEF GRANT TO ALL CONCERNED FOREIGN BENEFICIARY

Attention Beneficiary

This Notice is brought to you from IMF World Fund Discovery Management and Payment Bureau, this Bureau was set up by the World Bank and IMF to discover all outstanding payment being owned to Individuals all over the world through Inheritance and unclaimed Lottery payment.Based on our investigation of your payment, a man with the name (Garry Jackson) Came to Our Office with an Application Stating That he is your uncle and You Gave him the Power Of Attorney to Be the Beneficiary of Your Outstanding Contract Award Funds. He Made Us To Believe That You Are Dead And That he Is Your Next Of Kin.

We Got Your Email Address And Decided To Send An Email Through This Address Hoping To Find Out If You Are Dead Or Alive And Also To Find Out If You At Any Time Gave This man The Power Of Attorney To Receive Your fund Or Represent You Please Let Us Know Also If You Are Aware That We Are Almost Ready To Deliver Part Payment Of $ 5.5M Of Your Outstanding Awards Funds To he the Address Stated Below:

Address: 100 Treasure Cay dry Apt.107
City: Fort Pierce
State: FL Zip
Code: 34 947
Country: United States
Beneficiary: Mr. Garry Jackson

You are advised to urgently confirm to this office with the information as requested below so that we will be able to process the final release of your fund to your respected account in your Country accordingly to avoid false claim.

Your Full Names:
Your Home Address:
Your Home Telephone:
4 Your Mobile Phone:
5 Your Age and Sex:
Your Alternative E-mail Address:

We look forward to your urgent confirmation via my private email address for security reasons.

2. A Southend co-ordinator received a phone call from 020 3608 6976 from a person claiming to represent 360 Capital Markets about investments in property. Have checked Companies House a there is no company of that name on the register in Uk. If it exists, it is incorporated overseas, very persuasive, probably a "Boiler Room" scam, they said that they would call me back even though I told them that I was not interested. There are several websites under the name and similar names. The telephone number is allocated to a phone company called Voxbone SA

2 May Yet another scam has come to light - this time from Amazon. An unsolicited e-mail as follows is received by the target. Hello, Thanks for your order. Well let you know once your item(s) have dispatched.You can view the status of your order or make changes to it by visiting Your Orders on [link deleted for safety reasons] 

Order Details Order JV1837738 Placed on February 11, 2014; Order details and invoice in attached file. Need to make changes to your order? Visit our Help page for more information and video guides. We hope to see you again soon. Downlodaing the attachment is not to be recommended as it will at the very least plant a virus onto your hard drive, which could compromise your security

13 May A spoof e-mail now seems to be doing the rounds claiming to be from a solicitor concerning your impending court case. Documentation is attached to the e-mail for the recipient to download. Doing so will undoubtedly compromise the recipient's hard drive! Such e-mails should be forwarded to Action Fraud and then deleted. Under no circumstances at all should the attachment be downloaded

12 May National Health Lottery Scam

We have been alerted to a new scam from a Spanish  organisation calling itself National Health Lottery. They are sending letters out to residents, who appear to have been randomly selected, advising that they have won £500,000 in the National Health Lottery. The "lucky winners" are asked to telephone Crown Financial Solutions Ltd to start the claims progress. This would undoubtedly involve either the provison of personal details that couldf be used by fraudsters or a payment to release the funds. Either way, the so called winner is the loser!

According to Companies House Crown Financial Solutions Ltd was dissolved 3 years ago! Anyone receiving such a letter is stongly advised not to contact the telephone number provided. Instead the letter should be shredded, composted or, for cat owners, used in the cat litter tray.

 23 April Three new telephone scams and one e-mail one have been reported to us. They are as follows:

  1. A call is received from telephone number 0204309 5294 advising the recipient that they are owed money and in order to effect a transfer banking and personal information is required!
  2. A caller on 020 3004 5597 claims to be working for either the Telephone Protection  Service of Telecom Protection Service and offers an enhanced call blocking service to reduce national or international phishing calls. The price for the service varies between £79.99 and £80
  3. A caller on 020 3129 1891 states that he is a debt collection agency and demands money for a non-existent debt. Coincidentally, the same number is used by a pseudo telephone survey company called Choice UK Surveys. Also, offering to arrange compensation for your recent car accident! Multi-tasking no less

On the e-mail front, there is one doing the rounds advising that the recipient’s direct debit in favour of BT has become corrupted. Recipients are asked to click a link to rectify the situation. Doing so will place a Trojan on the recipients hard drive which at best will provide the scammers with the recipients address book – at worst access to all key clicks including passwords, on-line banking etc. A similar e-mail claims to come from AOL and notifies the recipient that their mailbox is over quota and asks them to click a link to rectify!!

The standard advice applies to both approaches; give no information whatsoever to unsolicited telephone callers. Do NOT click links on unsolicited e-mails

21 February 2014 The HM Revenue and Customs you have got a rebate due scam e-mail is doing the rounds again. If anyone receives it, please do NOT open it or click any links unless you want the criminals behind this scam to take control of your computer. Simply forward it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and then delete the original

19 February 2014 Beware of Companies House scam 

There appears to have been another round of scam e-mails targeted at Company Directors, we have had a number of incidents over the last couple of days where clients have been receiving e-mails similar to the below wording: Subject: Companies House Case 3027698 This message has been generated in response to the company complaint submitted to Companies House WebFiling service. (CC01) Case for the above company was accepted on 17/02/2014. The submission number is 3027698 - <name>.com 

Please quote this number in any communications with Companies House. All WebFiled documents are available to view / download for 10 days after their original submission. However it is not possible to view copies of accounts that were downloaded as templates. Not yet filing your accounts online? See how easy it is... Note: reference to company may also include Limited Liability Partnership(s). Thank you for using the Companies House WebFiling service. Service Desk tel +44 (0)303 5681 985 or email enquiries@companieshouse.gov.uk Note: This email was sent from a notification-only email address which cannot accept incoming email. Please do not reply directly to this message.  

This e-mail should be delete and the zip file not opened. More information and other variations of the scam can be found on the Companies House website. http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/securityAdvice/index.shtml  

Please beware that some of the e-mails have even give reference to the Company website but these are still not genuine. The form CC01 is used in amending the company objects not customer complaints.

 Council Tax

Diamonds

Intercepting Mail

Pension

 


SCAMS OVERVIEW

There are countless scams on the Internet but if you are cautious and know what to look out for, you’ll always be one step ahead of the criminals. Never, ever click on a link on an unsolicited or unknown e-mail. To do so could place a trojan or virus onto your hard drivewhich could compromise your personal data

The following link (quoting The Guardian) received from Doddinghurst Neighbourhood Watch which provides a useful overview of Internet scams www.doddinghurst.org.uk/nhw/Scams03Jul14.pdf

 

bank scam

The majority of email providers and financial institutions offer a way for you to report any scams that you receive. If you receive a suspicious email, forward it to the relevant company or organisation which can be found here.

 

 

Usefeul Contacts    
Action Fraud   phishing@cityoflondon.police.uk
Foreign Email scams   scams@fraudwatchinternational.com
Office of Fair Trading scam line   enquiries@oft.gsi.gov.uk
HMRC   phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk
Companies House   fraud@companieshouse.gov.uk
Cyber Crime Website    www.cyberstreetwise.com   
Actiion Fraud                 www.actionfraud.police.uk