Message sent byAction Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)A new phishing campaign which has hit students of UK universities claims that the student has been awarded an educational grant by the Department for Education. The email purports to have come from the finance department of the student’s university and tricks the recipient into clicking on a link contained in the message to provide personal and banking details. One victim reported that after submitting their sensitive information (including name, address, date of birth, contact details, telephone provider, bank account details, student ID, National Insurance Number, driving licence number and mother’s maiden name), they were taken to a spoofed website which appeared like a genuine website of their bank, where they were asked to type in their online banking login credentials.Protect Yourself: •Do not click on any links or open attachments contained within unsolicited emails. •Do not reply to scam emails or contact the senders in any way. •If an email appears to have come from a person or organisation you know of but the message is unexpected or unusual, contact them directly via another method to confirm that they sent you the email. •If you receive an email which asks you to login to an online account via a link provided in the email, instead of clicking on the link, open your browser and go directly to the company’s website yourself. •If you have clicked on a link in the email, do not supply any information on the website that may open. If you think you may have compromised the safety of your bank details and/or have lost money due to fraudulent misuse of your cards, you should immediately contact your bank, and report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.
Message sent byAction Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)Businesses are being contacted for the sale of goods or services by fraudsters, who request to pay by cheque. The fraudster sends a cheque with a higher value than the amount expected, and then sends the business a request for the difference with instructions on how it should be paid back. This is usually by bank transfer or through a money transfer service, such as Western Union or PaySafe. Once the ‘refund’ has been provided, it is realised that the cheque provided was fraudulent and no funds are credited to the business’s account.The NFIB has seen an increase of 84% in the number of counterfeit cheque frauds reported to Action Fraud since November 2015. Criminals are targeting a wide range of services including paintings or other artwork, photography and lessons, with various amounts requested to be refunded. The average amount requested to be refunded is £1,818. The highest amount requested was over £80,000.The suspects have used pressure tactics to persuade victims to refund the amounts immediately prior to the cheques clearing.Crime Prevention Advice•Be cautious of payments where the amount provided is higher than expected. Refuse to provide the service unless the correct balance is received or wait until the cheque has cleared before refunding the difference. •Always contact banks on a trusted number found on their website or correspondence that is known to be authentic to confirm whether the cheque has cleared. •Do not feel pressured to provide a refund before the cheque has cleared. If you have been affected by this, or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk
Message sent byAction Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)Online shopping websites are being utilised by fraudsters to advertise vehicles for sale which do not exist. After agreeing to purchase the vehicle via email with the fraudsters, buyers then receive emails purporting to be from Amazon Payments and/or Amazon Flexible Payment Service stating that their money will be held in an ‘escrow account’ (a bank account held by a third party, used as a temporary holding account during a transaction between two parties- for a 7 day ‘cooling off’ period). Once happy with the purchase the email indicates the money will be released to the seller, therefore offering ‘buyer protection’. In reality these emails are fraudulent and do not come from Amazon. The bank accounts are controlled by fraudsters.Protect yourself•Remember that Amazon does not provide an escrow account to purchase items. •Meet the seller ‘face to face’ and view the vehicle before parting with any money. •Be vigilant of emails that purport to be from genuine companies and check the ‘domain’ name of the email address for any inconsistencies. •Check feedback online by searching the associated phone numbers or email addresses of the seller. •If the vehicle is below market value consider whether this is an opportunity too good to be true!If you think you may have compromised the safety of your bank details and/or have lost money due to fraudulent misuse of your cards, you should immediately contact your bank, and report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.
Message sent byAction Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)The Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro begin on 6th August 2016 and as of late June, you will be able to purchase tickets from the Rio 2016 ticket offices. Purchasing from an unauthorised seller or a ticket tout could leave you out of pocket; not only are the tickets advertised at inflated prices, but there is also a risk that the tickets purchased are counterfeit or do not exist. Any individual with a counterfeit ticket will be refused entry. To help protect yourself, the list of authorised sellers has been published on the official website and provides a list of trusted resellers; this can be found at www.rio2016.com. Equally, tickets purchased that are no longer needed can be sold through the Rio 2016 website for a 100% reimbursement of the amount paid if the tickets are resold. Protect yourself•When purchasing from another company or individual, ask questions; specifically when you will receive the ticket and what type of ticket you are purchasing. •Pay for tickets by using a credit card or trusted payment service. Payments made by bank transfer may not be recoverable. •Always check that the payment screen is secure by looking for the padlock symbol or making sure the website/url begins with “https”.If you think you may have compromised the safety of your bank details and/or have lost money due to fraudulent misuse of your cards, you should immediately contact your bank, and report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.
Message sent byAction Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)With summer holidays fast approaching, individuals are often more exposed to travel booking frauds when looking for last minute package deals / cheap flights. Whether paying upfront for a family holiday or simply booking a flight, payments are transferred only to discover that the holiday / airline ticket does not exist and was sold to you by a bogus travel company. Fraudsters will often lure in potential customers with low prices and ‘one time only’ offers that are simply too good to pass up, requesting payment by the preferred method of direct bank transfer. Avoid Paying for a holiday / airline tickets / accommodation via direct bank transfer. No reputable company will ever request payment via this method. Responding to unsolicited calls, texts or emails offering holidays at incredibly low prices. Protect Yourself•Whenever possible, pay for your holiday by credit card as it offers increased protection. •Always remember to look for the ‘https’ and locked padlock icon in the address bar before entering your payment details. •Never feel pressured to make a booking for fear that you will miss out on this ‘low price’ opportunity. If you have never used the company before, take your time to do some online research to ensure they are reputable. •Should you make a flight or hotel booking through a travel company, feel free to separately check with the hotel / particular airline that your booking does indeed exist. If you have been affected by this, or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk
Message sent byAction Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)Fraudsters are impersonating telephone service providers and contacting their clients offering a phone upgrade on a low monthly payment contract. The fraudsters will glean all your personal and financial details which will then be used to contact the genuine phone provider and order a new mobile phone handset. The fraudsters will either intercept the delivery before it reaches the victim’s address or order the handset to a different address.Protect yourself•Never provide your personal information to a third party from an unsolicited communication. •Obtain the genuine number of the organisation being represented and verify the legitimacy of the communication. •If the offer is too good to be true it probably is. •If you have provided personal information and you are concerned that your identity may be compromised consider Cifas Protection Registration. If you have been affected by this, or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk