SCAMS

What is a Scam/Fraud. Scams and Fraud are when people use trickery to gain a dishonest advantage, which is often financial, over another person.

Scammers may be ruthless, despicable and immoral – but they sure are creative.

If they want your bank details and passwords they are trying to scam you and get monies out of your account -banks, police, building societies, etc. will NEVER ask for your account details.

There are many Scams and Metropolitan Police have produced a book of many Scams called the’ Little Book of Big Scams’

Scams can include

1. Phone calls and letters telling you have won an item or money even if you have not entered the competition, 2. Informing you that a unknown relative has died and you need to send monies often by Ucash to start your claim, 3.Items that arrive you have not ordered and is followed by a person phoneing you to arrange collection of the item and asking for your bank details to credit your account – all they’re after is your bank details to take monies from your account. 4. Calls from a person saying he/she is a police officer, from any UK force, informing you that your bank account may have been compromised and your bank details are required to check your account. Police will NEVER ask for your Bank Details.

A recent scam has been that a person waited outside a elderly persons home in his vehicle for the person to return and informed the person that he had done work on his/her garden and needs paying – Actually no work was carried out.

Identity Fraud.(Info from Experian)  Identity fraudster’s five most-wanted items – and some practical steps from Experian CreditExpert to help you avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.

1. A bank statement — if fraudsters are really lucky it might indicate your overdraft limit as well as your full name, address and account number.

2. A credit card statement — this won’t contain your PIN, meaning they can’t use the card account in a British retailer, but it could be enough to buy from foreign websites.

3. Access to your social networking page — on social media sites, you might give away your date of birth and enough information for him or her to guess your PIN and passwords.

4. The security code on the back of your credit card — this is used to prove you are in possession of the card when you buy online or by mail or telephone order. Fraudsters who have managed to get hold of a name, address and card data are now calling or e-mailing people pretending to be security staff and asking for the code, which allows them up to steal even larger sums in more locations.

5. Your driving licence or passport — provides vital photographic ID that can be amended by an expert and used to prove that he or she is actually you.

Experian recommend some simple steps people can take to help protect themselves from becoming victims of identity fraud:

Online Passwords: Always use secure, unique passwords for as many online accounts as possible, and try and separate email, banking, shopping and social networks, and change them on a regular basis. Avoid using words from the dictionary, maybe use the first letter of each word in a sentence instead, and a mixture of lower and upper case letters as well as numbers.

Emails: If an email seems suspicious, contact the relevant organisation and don’t give out personal details. Don’t be tempted to open emails and links or attachments received from people you don’t know.

Account details: Don’t store account names and passwords on your smartphone, either in e-mail, as a note, or to ‘autocomplete’ when you open a website or app.  It could be a goldmine for fraudsters if your device is lost or stolen.

Social Websites: What you might consider to be unimportant information like your birthday, email address or dog’s name could all be misused if seen by someone outside your circle of friends, so be careful about what you’re revealing and to whom.

Credit Wise: Monitor your credit report and your bank statement regularly, as unexpected entries can be the first indication that somebody is stealing your money.  Doing this can help you spot any suspicious activity as early as possible to avoid financial loss.

 

10 Current Scams to Avoid from NSM Money

Citizens Advice accident claims scam

1) The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) said this week that imposters claiming to be CAB advisers are cold-calling and texting members of the public and pretending to offer them help with accident claims, in an attempt to scam them out of thousands of pounds. The charity stressed that no genuine CAB adviser would ever phone or text someone out of the blue.

British Airways ticket scam

2) On Monday, a spate of phishing emails purporting to be from British Airways were sent out to members of the public in Northern Ireland. The emails, which asked customers to confirm  flights they had never booked, were attempts to get people’s personal details, British Airways said. It also warned against emails which ask passengers to pay a BTA tax (Basic Travel Allowance) to travel with a friend.

Fake mattress scam

3) The National Bed Federation (NBF) issued a warning about fake mattress scams this week, claiming “hundreds, if not thousands” of people are being targeted by rogue traders. The scammers find discarded mattresses and put a new cover on them, then sell them on ‘as new’. Trading Standards said it is finding such “substandard mattresses on a regular basis. As well as being ridden with bugs, the mattresses may not meet British fire-retardant foam standards. The NBF promised mattresses carrying its logo are safe, however.

Gold mine investment scam

4) Investors are being told to be on their guard against a gold mine scam. A leading gold mining company, Petropavlovsk, warned its 20,000 shareholders are being targeted by scammers calling themselves ‘Equiniti Stock Registers’ (similar to the bona fide Equiniti Group) and offering to swap bogus warrants for thousands of pounds of shares. The Financial Conduct Authority is carrying out an investigation into the allegations.

Tax rebate scam

5) HMRC issued a warning this month about new spate of tax rebate phishing emails. The emails, which purport to be from HMRC, may be carrying the official logo and appear very convincing. Nearly 100,000 people have been affected in the three months running up to the self assessment deadline on 31 January, a 47% increase on last year. Gareth Lloyd, Head of Digital Security at HMRC, said: “HMRC never contacts customers who are due a tax refund via email – we always send a letter through the post. If you receive an email claiming to be from HMRC which offers a tax rebate, please send it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and then delete it permanently.”

Flappy Bird app scam

6) Users of the popular Flappy Bird game are being lured into buying malicious apps from Google’s Android store after Flappy Bird’s developer, Dong Nguyen, decided the game was too addictive and had “become a problem”. He removed it from the app store, and scam artists have since created clone apps containing malicious software that is designed to trick users into sending premium rate text messages, says software firm Trend Micro. “The fake Flappy Bird app ask for the additional read/send text messages permissions during installation – one that is not required in the original version.”

Diamond investment scam

7) The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau says hundreds of elderly people are being targeted by a new form of investment scam involving diamonds and rare jewels. Companies are cold-calling victims and trying to persuade them to hand over thousands of pounds to invest in gems that have been marked up by as much as 17 times their actual value. The companies may also refuse to hand over any diamonds at all and will constantly encourage people to keep the investment a ‘secret’ from potential jewel thieves. Diamond brokers do not have to be registered with a regulator, which makes the market vulnerable to such abuse, so police advise hanging up on cold-callers.

Office of Fair Trading rebate scam

8) Police in Nottingham have issued a warning about a new phone scam in which callers are being asked to purchase Ukash vouchers in order to receive a rebate from the Office of Fair Trading. The scammers tell their victims they are eligible to reclaim thousands of pounds of bank or other charges such as payment protection insurance (PPI). The fraudsters then claim the service requires an upfront payment of between £200 and £250, and ask them to do a money transfer, disclose their bank account details or supply a UKash voucher serial number. These serial numbers are like cash – hand them over and it’s like handing over money. “Never reveal a UKash voucher code to anyone over the phone,” said a spokesperson for Action Fraud.

BT disconnection scam

9) In January, police reported extortionists cold-calling people, pretending to be from BT and tricking them into thinking their phone line has been disconnected. Police say the fraudsters claim your BT bill has not been paid and the account is in arrears. If you refuse to immediately make a payment over the phone, they tell you your phone line will be disconnected and warn you that if you do not pay now, it will cost you a lot more to reconnect it later. Challenge them and the scammer will ‘demonstrate’ that they are from BT by pressing the mute button on their phone, which makes it seem like the phone line has been disconnected. The fraudsters will eventually hang up, call you back and demand payment again. BT has stated that, while they may have to call you about a debt, they will never disconnect your landline during the call.

Flood victim scam

10) Householders are being warned to watch out for rogue traders and cowboy builders following the recent storms. Trading Standards are warning flood victims against paying cold-callers to carry out repairs to their homes or remove ‘dangerous’ trees. Meanwhile, some motorists have been targeted by conmen, who have removed ‘road closed’ warning signs and waited for cars to get stuck. Then the scammers driven up to their victims in 4x4s and offer to free them – for a fee.

Spotted a scam? Call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use its online fraud reporting tool.

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