This page holds the weekly Essex Police Fraud Alerts covering cyber, telephone and doorstep scams. These are issued every Friday.
The latest No.52 (3/9/21) deals with Scam Asda Gift Cards
Have a look at Citizens Advice Scams Awareness on the link at the right. It's a useful concise summary of much we deal with at the Workshops.
For more background facts about the seriousness of cyber threats and scams please read Fraud the Facts 2021. It has been published by UK Finance, the banks' representative body.
REMEMBER THE KEY WORKSHOP MESSAGES
Never "CLICK HERE" on an unsolicited email
Never eg Press 1 to find our more from a text received from an unknown source
Make sure your Email password is unique and secure, and must not used be for any other purpose
Never allow an unsolicited caller to have access to your device, even if they have given you a fictitious story that you have a fault
15th December 2020
UK Finance is warning consumers to be vigilant against criminals looking to defraud them by posing as parcel delivery companies, as more people across the country are expected to shop online this Christmas than ever before.
Intelligence from UK Finance suggests that criminals are sending out phishing emails, purportedly from well-known delivery companies, which claim that they have been unable to deliver parcels, packages or large letters. These emails may ask the recipient to pay a fee or provide additional details in order to rearrange the delivery.
The public should also be aware of an increased risk of scam phone calls and texts impersonating delivery companies, as well as fake delivery notices posted through letterboxes. Similarly, these will ask for advance payment or for customers to provide information that is later used to defraud them.
26th Jan. NHS Vaccine Frauds
Important Government messages See links at the right.
11th March, ***** To all u3a Chairs, Secretaries and Treasurers *****
The Third Age Trust has been made aware of a number of scams and attempted scams on u3as.
One of these takes the form of a phone call from someone purporting to be the Fraud Department of your bank, saying they have noticed suspicious transactions on the account. They may have authentic sounding details, names of Trustees etc, that make it sound genuine. The upshot is they are trying to get you to transfer the balance to another account to avoid further fraudulent transactions. Please be aware that this is a scam and your bank will never ask you to do this.
This is only one form scams take and we would advise you to be extra vigilant at this time, and if you are unsure to end the call and to phone your bank directly to check, using a number you know to be genuine.
April 3rd WhatsApp Hacking/Scam
There has been recent press coverage about a WhatsApp message allegedly from a contact seeking an authentication code or to get you to click a link. Once one contact account has been ‘hacked’ then they will attempt to spread through using your contact list, similar to other messaging scams.
Do not click or respond to the message. Ignore it and delete it.
Contact your WhatsApp friend by other media, eg. Text message or phone call to advise them.
Ensure the app is updated as soon as the update becomes available.
For immediate protection go to your WhatsApp settings, go to Account, and ensure two factor authentication is enabled. More to follow as I get it.
April 29th Romance Fraud Booklet - See download link at the right
These crimes are very sophisticated, escalating and much is aimed at ladies of our age. Essex Police (and all other Police Forces) would like you all to read this booklet.
May 8th. Facebook "Easy Quizzes"
You may see these all the time on Facebook, Shared many times and sent to you by people you know who have done the quiz. Dont touch them
At best they collect data about you that is sold on to marketing companies. At worst it could be scammers hoping to find out your personal data/password clues.
If you are concerned about a potential scam, do not contact your local Police Station. Report it at www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040. This service is run by City of London Police. Action Fraud pass collated reports out to local Police Forces. Once Covid-19 restrictions are mercifully over, if it is an online scam it might possibly be passed on to me to follow up incidents occurring in our locality.
If there is an urgent incident then call 999 or 101 (local force response)
FIND OUT IF YOUR INFORMATION HAS BEEN HACKED
Go to www.haveibeenpwned.com Enter your email address and you might see a list of potential hacks of companies you may have used, and the likely information taken. The website now allows you to enter your mobile phone number find out if that has been taken during a hack. It is a fairly technical report and can go back several years.
If you happen to see that your email Password has been hacked, I would recommended you change that email password asap.
And now for the problem....most u3a members I have met from all over the county do not realise they even have an email password! They assume it is the password, PIN or fingerprint used to get into their device, but it isn't that one. The email password is set up and stored inside the email reader/browser. When I was able to visit people's homes to sort out an email problem the correct email password was often to be found in a little book along with other important passwords, usually written down by a younger family member who set it up. So get them to make the change, do not try to do it yourself unless you really know your way around Settings.....and keep your little book of passwords in a secure place not next to your computer!
Barry Linton 42903890, Essex Police Volunteer, Fraud and Scams Protection team.