West Midlands Region

Computer Security & Scams

Here we reprint advice from reputable sources about how you can avoid being the victim of online Fraud. Please start by reading the advice on Phishing, because that's the most common scam.

N.B. Barclays Digital Eagle programme offers free training, events and advice on all IT matters. The "Digital Wings" section of their website offers plenty of advice on cybersecurity. Click the link opposite to go to the Digital Wings section.

The advice on Phishing comes from "GUMTREE" which is an online marketplace.

PHISHING - What it is and how to avoid it

Phishing is when scammers try to trick you into giving them personal information, like account passwords and bank details. They usually do this by sending you emails or messages pretending to be a real company.

How do I spot these Phishing messages?

Phishing messages will nearly always contain a URL (a link) that takes you to a page asking you to complete an action. All official pages will contain the real company's web address in the URL and https:// at the beginning. Scammers may set up websites with similar names that look plausible: take the time to Google to find the real webpage. Reputable organisations will not ask for money online for extra services - and few will communicate with you by text or WhatsApp.

Always be very cautious if you receive an email or message asking you to:
• Organise delivery
• Enter your bank details to complete a transaction
• Download a file
• Reactivate your account
• Login to view an ad

What do I do if I receive one of these messages?

You can report suspicious messages to the following:
• Forward a text message to 7726
• UK Government at report@phishing.gov.uk
• To Google's "safe browsing" page
• Direct to your email service provider using the flag/report function
You can also try to report the bogus message to the real supposed sender - so if they claim to be from Marks & Spencer, forward the bogus email to the M&S Customer team. They'll want to know.

More info? See the link opposite, to the National Cyber Security Centre website