This page holds the weekly Essex Police Fraud Alerts covering cyber, telephone and doorstep scams. These are issued every Friday
The latest is No.31 dealing with Royal Mail delivery scams. This one has been widely publicised in the press but people are still falling for it. The scam email or text only asks for a small sum for delivery, but once you have put in your card details they will empty your account to the limit.
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.
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. 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.