Thorpe Bay

Cybercrime alerts

Essex Police no longer produce the weekly fraud alerts and are now issuing periodic Organised Crime newsletters, but those listed on the right are still relevant and important. Local scams are now being reported on the Essex Police website. The latest Organised Crime newsletter dated 26th Nov about keyless car thefts is listed on the right.

The Prevent and Protect team have a number of work streams and I am involved helping with cybercrime and fraud awareness. It is chastening to report that serious organised gangs work on all of these streams, one type of crime funding another type. The crimes and scams reported on this page are not perpetrated by kids taking a chance, but by serious international criminals.

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.

Major new threats and protection advice will still be reported below.

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.

9th October 2021 - Impersonation Frauds
This is now a huge area of growth with the main one being calls from "Your Bank".
If your bank, or any other purported authority calls you and asks you to identify yourself so they can be sure they are talking to the right person YOU MUST SAY NO! and ask them to identify themselves to your complete satisfaction before continuing the conversation. If there is any hesitation on their part, put the phone down.
But there is now a new approach launched in the past week, if in doubt call 159. This number will securely put you though to your bank to query the call.
To quote Martin Lewis on Radio 4 this week -
"If someone calls you from your 'bank', and you're not sure it really is your bank, you don't have to go panicking around trying to find the number or dial the number they've given you - you just dial 159, I would give a slight be totally safe, it's always best to use another phone to dial 159."

15th December 2020, but expect this to increase again in the approach to Xmas 2021
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.

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 analytics companies. At worst it could be scammers hoping to find out your personal data/password reset clues.

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.

If you are concerned about a potential scam, do not contact your local Police Station. Report it at 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)

Go to 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.