Message sent byAction Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)Fraudsters regularly hack into personal online accounts to obtain details which will allow them to defraud you. To prevent fraudsters, it’s very important to use strong passwords when setting up and accessing online accounts and online banking.Passwords should be memorable enough not to have to write them down and long enough to be unique and hard to guess, which will ensure they are less vulnerable to being stolen. If it is not possible to remember passwords a password manager could be used to store them securely.Protect yourself:•Make sure passwords are memorable so that you don’t have to write them down. Make sure they are unique.•Th!nk ab0ut how you could change the l3tters in your n0rmal passw0rds to make them more difficult to gue55!•Use long, non-dictionary words and use different ones for each of your personal accounts and online banking. Make sure you change them regularly.•Make sure passwords are not stored on devices that have shared access by other people, for example in internet cafes and when using other public Wi-Fi.If you believe you have become a victim of account hacking, change your passwords immediately and report to Action Fraud: www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud
Get Safe Online, Safer Jobs and Action Fraud are warning people to take precautions whilst looking for jobs online, to avoid falling victim to scammers.There are a number of different ways in which job-seekers could be defrauded. These range from direct financial scams to misleading job descriptions.Safer-Jobs, the recruitment industry’s counter fraud forum, provide free advice to ensure that people have a safer job search. They suggest several steps which any other job-seeker should take when dealing with a potential employer:1.Never part with money – employers should pay you, not the other way round. If asked to pay for security checks, visas, training, or anything else, you should research the job, the company, and never use any associated company suggested to you without conducting independent thorough research.2.Never take it on face value – have you received an ‘out of the blue’, ‘too good to be true’ job offer? Be sceptical and ask questions. Why and how have you been contacted, what is the job, did you apply? Be wary of any non-business, generic email address (such as hotmail and yahoo), poorly written job adverts or job descriptions, and emails or contact at unusual times of the day (unless pre-arranged).3.Never do everything online – whilst technology is a great enabler to help people find work, at some point your job discussion should lead to an interview or a meeting. Hiring agents who keep the relationship solely on email must be treated extremely cautiously.4.Never fail to do research – find out about the company that the job is with and do your research! Check landline telephone numbers and call the end employer to check the job exists. Use social media and sources such as Companies House and LinkedIn to dig deeper into the organisations and people you are interacting with.5.Never phone them for an interview – premium rate phone scams are common. This is where an individual calls a pay-for number thinking it’s an interview, when actually they are paying for every minute they stay on hold. If an employer wants you to work for them, they will call you.6.Never accept money for nothing – with money mule scams on the increase, beware of any employer promising ‘get rich quick’ or ‘earn thousands working from home’. When cheques begin arriving it is easy to be fooled into being used as a money mule.7.Never provide personal details – be suspicious of any requests for personal data ahead of an interview or registration meeting (if an agency). Until you have the job, keep bank details safe and only provide identity details once you have met face to face.For more information visit:www.actionfraud.police.uk/node/288www.getsafeonline.orgwww.safer-jobs.com
Spam Emails come in many forms. The following are examples of current versions.1.Campaigns are trying to infiltrate or infect email accounts by pretending to come from either Adobe or LinkedIn Support. The emails from LinkedIn claim ‘irregular activities have prompted a compulsory security update’. The Adobe emails attempt to direct the user to the latest updates2.Phishing is an attempt by a fraudster to steal valuable information by pretending to be a company that you know and use. It relies on people to think the message is genuine. Victims are initially sent an email that will have either a link to a website, or contain an attachment. What the fraudsters want you to do is click on the link or attachment so that they can steal valuable information from your computer, like your bank account or credit card details3.A scam email is currently being sent to victims fraudulently claiming to be from the Royal Mail. Attached to the email is the CryptoLocker virus.The victim receives an email purporting to be from the Royal Mail stating that they are holding a parcel/letter for the victim. The victim is then required to contact the Royal Mail to arrange for the item to be resent/collected.By following the instructions within the email the CryptoLocker virus is subsequently downloaded to the victim’s computer. This virus encrypts files on the victim’s system and requests a ransom be paid in order for the files to be decrypted.Additional incentive is added for early repayment as the ransomware states that the cost of decrypting the files will increase the longer the fine is outstanding.4.A scam email is currently being sent to victims fraudulently claiming to be from British Gas or The Ministry of Justice. The attached document or link leads to the TorrentLocker ransomware.This malware encrypts files on the victim’s system and requests a ransom be paid in order for the files to be decrypted; one reported amount has been £330 worth of Bitcoins.It has been reported that some anti-virus vendors are detecting this and stopping the pages and or documents from being opened.
Scam AdvertsFraudsters are targeting classified advertisement websites like AutoTrader to advertise vehicles for sale. Buyers are then contacting these ‘sellers’ to find out more about the vehicles and are being told to pay for them via ‘Apple Pay’. In this case the fraudsters are not using the genuine Apple Pay service and potential victims pay money directly to bank accounts in control of the fraudsters. Individuals receive emails claiming to be from Apple Pay with a web link to a cloned website with false terms and conditions of the ‘escrow’ service. Any money remitted to the fraudsters is then unrecoverable and the vehicles are not delivered.Protect yourself: •Meet the seller ‘face to face’ and view the vehicle before parting with any money. •Be cautious of web links in an email. They may not direct you to the genuine website. •Report scam advertisements to the classified advertisement websites. •If the vehicle is below market value, consider whether this is an opportunity too good to be true!
Protect yourself: •Look at who the email is addressed to – many will say “Dear user” or “Dear valued customer” and will not be addressed directly to you. •If there are images included in the email they may be of a poor quality but will try to look like the company they are trying to represent. •The message may have a few spelling mistakes. •Do not click on the link supplied. Instead, go to the relevant website and log in from there.•Do not open attachments from unsolicited emails regardless of who they are from. •Check the address of any email received to see if it appears legitimate. •If you receive an email that you are suspicious of do not follow any links or open attachments until you can verify that the email is genuine. To do this contact the organisation that the email has come from by sourcing the number independently from the email received. •If you believe the email to be fake, report it to your email provider as spam. •Ensure your anti-virus software is up to date this will help to mitigate the potential for virus to be downloaded. It should be noted that anti-virus software is constantly being updated and may not stop all viruses especially if they are new or been adapted. It has been reported that some anti-virus vendors are detecting this and stopping the pages and or documents from being opened. •If you have opened an attachment or followed a link which you believe to be suspicious it is recommended that you run your anti-virus and/or take your machine to a reputable company to have it cleaned. •In cases where files have been encrypted it can be very difficult to retrieve them, and in most cases they will be lost. It is recommended that you always back up all files on a separate device or cloud storage to ensure they are not lost. Please remember that if a device is attached to the infected machine the files on this could also be encrypted with the virus so ensure they are kept separate.
Action Fraud is the name given to the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and financially motivated cyber crime. The team is run by the City of London Police, working alongside the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau and Neighbourhood Alerts team. They use information from all fraud and cyber crime cases reported to them to create alerts about new types of crime or those which are increasing in severity. The following articles have been received to date - click on links to view.
Fraud is when trickery is used to gain a dishonest advantage, which is often financial, over another person. This can have a devastating impact on those affected. Knowledge is the best defence when it comes to fraud. The more you know about the most recent or common techniques fraudsters are using to defraud victims, the less likely you are to fall into the trap. Dorset Police has designed a new webpage that will keep up to date with the latest frauds affecting the county on our website. Action Fraud also sends information about scams and fraud in your area by email, recorded voice and text message. Please go to www.dorset.police.uk and follow the link to the Dorset Fraud Alerts.If you believe you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, please report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.