01480 413311 info@thebobbyscheme.org

SCAM ALERTS!

STOP. CHALLENGE. PROTECT.

When receiving a request for information or payment from any source, take a moment to STOP and think.  CHALLENGE the request – could it be fake? It’s OK to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
PROTECT yourself and contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.

Demonstration of Scams

By the Metropolitan Police (Video)

Online Shopping Fraud

Reports of online shopping fraud have surged by 30% over the pandemic, as many of us continue to shop online in light of current restrictions. Action Fraud is warning the public to take extra care when shopping online, as shoppers search for bargains and gifts for loved ones in the run up to Christmas.

Top tips to shop online securely this festive season:

Where to shop:
Making a purchase from an online store you haven’t used before? Carry out some research first, or ask a friend or family member if they’ve used the site and about their experiences before completing the purchase.

Your information:
Only create an account if necessary or to save you effort if you’re going to use that site a lot in the future. Be cautious if the website asks you for details that are not required for your purchase, such as your mother’s maiden name or the name of your primary school.

Payments:
If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, ensure that the webpage where you enter your payment details is secure (website address starts with “https”). Using a credit card to pay online also means that should the worst happen and your payment details are compromised, your main bank account won’t be directly affected.

Phishing:
Some of the messages you receive about amazing offers may contain links to fake websites. Not all links are bad, but if you’re unsure, don’t use the link – go separately to the website. Report any suspicious emails you receive by forwarding them to: report@phishing.gov.uk You can also report suspicious text messages by forwarding them to 7726.

For more information about how to shop online securely, please visit: 
actionfraud.police.uk/shoponlinesafely

Courier Fraud

Courier fraud is when criminals impersonating banks or the police, call people to convince them to hand over their cash, bank cards, Amazon vouchers or high value items. A courier is then sent to the home to collect the payment.

Recent reporting to Action Fraud has highlighted that an increasingly popular tactic is for criminals to instruct the unsuspecting victim to purchase high value items such as gold coins and gold bullion.

In the last three months, Action Fraud has received 13 reports relating to this particular issue, with losses totalling almost £419,000. 

Always remember:

1. Your bank or the police will never call you to ask you to verify your personal details or PIN by phone or offer to pick up your card by courier. Hang up, wait a few minutes and call your bank on a number you know to be genuine, such as the one on the back of your card
2. Your bank or the police will not contact you out of the blue to participate in an investigation in which you need to withdraw money from your bank or to purchase high value goods, such as gold bullion.
3. Your bank will never send a courier to your home to collect your card, PIN, or other valuables, therefore any requests to do so are a scam

MI5 Calling

An unusual telephone scam, where the caller claims to be from the UK’s Security Service MI5.

The scam even manages to display an M15 number on the phone.

A recent ‘M15’ impersonator claimed he was a Police Officer in Peterborough but was working with the MI5 agency. 

The caller tried to get the recipient to go to their bank and withdraw some money, referring to a National Insurance number. The caller then said that if the recipient could not get to the bank, then an alternative payment would be gift vouchers.

The MI5 website lists only two contact numbers: 999 for an emergency and 0800 789 321 which is for the Anti-Terrorist Hotline. MI5 are aware that their organisation is being used in similar scams.

Please remember – do not trust the number displayed on your caller ID because it can be spoofed/made to look genuine. Treat the number displayed with caution until such time you can be confident the caller is genuine, and that is not easy if you don’t recognise the voice because if you can’t, they could be anyone.
Any request for gift vouchers as a payment method suggests the call is a scam.

Disguised as police

There are scams where the callers pretend to be from the police force.

Recently, one scam caller claimed they were a Police Sergeant within Cambridgeshire Police.

A scam caller contacted a victim and checked their name and address, and then said he was ringing from Cambridgeshire Police.  When pressed, he said his name was Sergeant Smith.

He told the victim that at 09:00 am that morning, Cambridgeshire Police had arrested a Sharon Saunders who was using a visa debit card in the victim’s name. 

In doubt, the victim said she’d check her purse and told the caller all her cards were present and correct.  At which point the caller said, “What colour is that card?”.  When the victim made disbelieving noises, the caller abruptly ended the call.

This could have ended very differently if the victim had given out her card details. 

Just remember to take your time, stop and think – a bank or the Police will NEVER ask you to give these details over the phone.

Facebook Messenger

For those of you who use Facebook Messenger, be aware of the following scam. The intended victim receives a message via Facebook messenger from a ‘friend’. The ‘friend’ asks the victim if they could use their mobile number for a text verification.

When the victim supplies the mobile number, they later receive a text message asking them to verify a purchase.
When the victim replies ‘y’ for yes they are informed that they have been charged for the items and the amount will appear on their next phone bill.
It appears that the ‘friends’ Facebook and/or Messenger account will have been hacked.

This scam works because of an automatic trust between friends. If in doubt, contact the friend by a tried, tested and trusted means ideally a voice call, and ask them whether or not they had sent the message. Please also consider, this type of scam could be achieved through other instant message service platforms such as WhatsApp.

The word hack suggests a high level of skill and knowledge to break into an online account. Generally this is not the case and it is down to a weak password. 

To help prevent your online accounts being unlawfully accessed, please ensure you have a strong and unique password on each of your email and social media accounts. Use three random words including upper and lowercase, numbers and characters.
Enable two-factor authentication.

Text Scam

Scammers using stolen data, such as the last four digits of a bank card and associated telephone number, texts potential victims for personal and bank details.

The scammer contacts the recipient pretending to be their bank and deceiving them into giving additional card information they need to commit the fraud.

The recipient receives a text message similar to; ‘You will shortly receive a text message from Lloyds Bank to confirm recent activity on your account’. Remember, if criminals have parts of your bank card they will work out the issuing bank.

This is followed up by a second text stating ‘Your Lloyds Credit card ending in #### (stating the correct 4 numbers) was used on X date at X place for £X amount. This payment was declined. If this was you reply YES otherwise reply NO. There is no need to call us.

Responding to this text is the quickest way to update your account. The criminal invites you to reply whether it is Yes or No. By replying you are telling them that you have received the text and that you may have taken the bait. Also note, they say responding by text is the quickest way to update your account, this should read ‘this is the best way we can steal further information and your money’. 

Expect a genuine bank text to say something like, ‘if it was you, do nothing. If it wasn’t you, contact your bank’. Do not click on any link or contact the telephone number quoted in the text or any communication. Use your previously tried, tested and trusted method for contacting your bank. 

This second text is followed by a phone call with the caller talking about fraud and inviting the recipient to press various numbers on the keypad. 

The criminal can then be persistent, calling several times over a couple of days, each call preceded by a text.

Avoid pushing any numbers on your keypad during a telephone call in which you don’t recognise the voice of the caller or it is automated – this could result in a range of problems including being diverted to a premium rate telephone number and you will be charged a lot of money per minute.

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