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Action Fraud (NFIB)

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Criminals Targeting People With Universal Credit Scam

 

--------- SCAM WARNING ---------

Action Fraud has received 63 reports about a scam in which fraudsters target people with offers of “low cost” loans or “free” government grants. What the victims aren’t told is that the money they’ll receive is actually an advance payment for Universal Credit. The criminals use the personal information they’ve obtain under false pretences to make an application in the victim’s name. After the fraudsters have taken their “fee” from the advance payment, the victim is then left to pay back the total amount once their repayments begin.

How you can protect yourself:

  • Never share your personal or financial information with someone you don’t know and trust, especially if it’s in response to an offer of “free money” or a “free grant”.
  • Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) staff will never approach you in the street or ask for your personal/financial details over social media.
  • If you have concerns about your benefits, you should visit www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus
  • If you suspect your identity may have been stolen, you can check your credit rating quickly and easily online. You should do this every few months anyway, using a reputable service provider and following up on any unexpected or suspicious results.

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Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

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Action Fraud (NFIB)

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Drivers Targeted With Fake Fines

 

What you need to know

Action Fraud have received an increase in reports and intelligence where elderly victims are being targeted by individuals purporting to be police officers or traffic wardens. The victims are being approached whilst parked in a car park and are told by the suspect that they have parked illegally or broken a speed limit and a photo has been taken of their car for ‘evidence’.

Victims are advised that they will face a substantial penalty fine unless they pay a smaller upfront fee immediately. Victims, who opt for paying the smaller penalty, will be directed to a parking meter and asked to enter their card and PIN. These parking meters have been tampered with by the suspect in order to retain the card.

Once the victim inserts their card and are asked for their PIN, the victims are shoulder surfed for their PIN by the suspect. Once victims input their PIN, the card is retained by the machine and victims are told by the suspect to seek help from the company who operates the parking meter or their bank.

What you need to do

  • If you are suspicious about the authenticity of the fine, do not pay it until you have verified it with your local council.
  • Always shield your PIN from view when using an ATM machine, and never share your PIN with anyone.
  • If your bank card is retained by an ATM machine, contact your bank immediately to inform them.

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Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

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Action Fraud (NFIB)

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HMRC Alert

 

What you need to know

  • Action Fraud has experienced an increase in the reporting of malicious calls and voicemails, to members of the public purporting to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
  • Fraudsters are spoofing genuine HMRC telephone numbers to deceive their victims over the phone. The fraudsters state that as a result of the victim’s non-payment of tax or other duty, the victim is liable for prosecution or other legal proceedings in order to settle the balance. The fraudsters suggest victims can avoid this, by arranging payment to be made immediately by methods such as bank transfer or by purchasing iTunes gift cards.
  • If the victim is hesitant or refuses to comply, the suspect makes a threat such as immediate arrest, sending bailiffs to the victim’s address or, in some cases, deportation.
  • Often, the period for which the tax is allegedly due is distant enough to guarantee the victim will have little, if any, paperwork or ability to verify the claims. Once the money is paid the suspects sever all contact with the victim.
  • In genuine cases, HMRC will initially make direct contact with you via post/letter and potentially follow up that letter with a phone call at a later date.
  • If HMRC contact you via telephone they will quote the reference number on the initial letter you should have received. HMRC will not discuss something you are not already aware of, like a tax investigation, and will NOT demand immediate payment.


It is vital that the public exercise caution when receiving messages or telephone calls of this nature.

What you need to do

  • Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information. Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and contact details), it doesn’t mean they are genuine. Instead, contact the company directly using trusted methods such as a known email address or phone number.
  • Legitimate organisations wouldn’t ask you to pay taxes, bills or fees using an iTunes gift card, or any other type of voucher. If you’re contacted by anyone that asks you to do this, you’re likely the target of a scam
  • Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.
  • Report Phishing attempts. If you receive a call, text or email of this nature and have not lost money, you can report this as phishing to Action Fraud

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Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

 

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Action Fraud (NFIB)

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Courier Fraud Alert

 

Courier Fraud, Bogus Police and Bank Officials Alert

What you need to know


Individuals have been receiving phone calls from people claiming to be a police officer or banking official

The suspect will say either:

  • There has been fraudulent activity at the victims’ bank and the staff at the bank are involved, the victim is then asked to withdraw money to either keep it safe or assist the police with their investigation
  • A business such as a jewellers or currency exchange is fraudulent and they require the victims’ assistance to help secure evidence by purchasing jewellery or exchange a large amount of currency to hand over to the police
  • The victims’ card has been compromised and used to purchase goods by a suspect, the victim is requested to withdraw their money to keep it safe or hand over their bank card to the police
  • Occasionally the victim will be told to dial a non-emergency extension of ‘161’ to receive confirmation of the individual’s bogus identity, the bogus official will advise the victim to lie about the reason for the withdrawal or purchase if challenged by staff, as the staff member is involved in the fraud
  • A courier attends the victim’s home address to collect the goods the same day Often the victim is given a code word for the courier as a way of authentication


What you need to do

​​​​​​​Your bank or the police will never:

  • Phone and ask you for your PIN or full banking password
  • Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping
  • Ask you to transfer money out of your account
  • Send someone to your home to collect cash, PINs, cards to cheque books

Message Sent By
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

 

Action Fraud has issued a warning of fake e-mails purporting to come from Virgin Media threatening 'automatic disconnection.' There have been over 100 reports received. The claim is made that there has been 'invalid billing information.' The links in the e-mails lead to a genuine-looking site on which you are asked to enter your Vigin Media login details. These details can then be used by the criminals operating the site to access your account.

Don't click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.

Virgin E mail

 

An ongoing TV Licensing phishing campaign, first identified by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) in September 2018, continues to be reported to Action Fraud in high numbers. Fraudsters are sending the public fake TV Licensing emails that are designed to steal their personal and financial information. Since April 2018, Action Fraud has received over 900 crime reports with victim losses totalling more than £830,000.

How you can protect yourself:

  • Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.
  • Don’t assume a phone call or email is authentic, even if someone knows your basic details (such as your name or address). Remember, criminals can spoof phone numbers and email addresses to appear as companies you know and trust, such as TV Licensing.
  • Your bank will never call and ask you for your PIN, full banking password, or ask you to transfer money out of your account.

What to do if you’ve fallen victim:

  • Let your bank know as soon as possible and monitor your bank statements regularly for any unusual activity.
  • If you suspect your identity may have been stolen you can check your credit file quickly and easily online. Use a reputable service previder and follow up on any unexpected or suspicious results.
  • If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk, or by calling 0300 123 2040.

The following warning appeared recently on facebook:

Somebody called me with this phone number 07060714545 telling me he was doing some registration online and he mistakenly put my number on what he was registering, that my number is similar to his number and that the password of what he was registering was sent to my phone which I actualy saw as 6310.

He was now appealing to me to give him the reset code that was sent to my phone so that he could finish his registration. I told him to call me with the number he claimed was similar to mine so that I could verify his claim, he told me he didn't have credit in that line.

I got online to find out more, only to discover he was actually trying to reset my bank online/yahoomail password and that he is a fraudster, an account hacker and also a 419er. If I had given him the code which was sent to my phone, he would have used it to reset my bank online/mobile app account.

Please let us be careful and vigilant. Fraudsters are devising new ways every day.

Great news! Blameless victims of bank transfer scams will soon get refunds from their banks, in another massive win for our campaign. A new code will launch in May, which will require banks to refund customers who have been scammed into transferring money to fraudsters through no fault of their own.

This is a major victory for bank transfer scam victims - and something we've been calling for since 2016. And it’s thanks to supporters like you, who backed our super-complaint and shared your stories to put pressure on the banks.

The code is voluntary, but several major banks have already signed up. We want all banks to sign up in the coming months to protect their customers.

For more information about the code, please click HERE.

What you need to know

Action Fraud has experienced an increase in the reporting of malicious calls, voicemails, text messages or emails to members of the public purporting to be from HMRC.

The fraudsters state that as a result of their non-payment of tax or other duty, the victim is liable to prosecution or other legal proceedings such as repossession of belongings to settle the balance but can avoid this by arranging for payment to be made immediately by method such as bank transfer or by iTunes gift cards.

If the victim is hesitant or refuses to comply, the suspect makes a threat such as immediate arrest, bailiffs or in cases where the victim appears to be of overseas origin; deportation.

Often, the period for which the tax is allegedly due is distant enough to guarantee the victim will have little, if any, paperwork or ability to verify the claims. Once the money is paid the suspects sever all contact.

It is vital that the public exercise caution when receiving messages or telephone calls of this nature.

What you need to do

Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information. Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and contact details), it doesn't mean they are genuine. Instead, contact the company directly using trusted methods such as a known email address or phone number.

Listen to your instincts. If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. No genuine organisation will ask you to pay taxes, bills or fees using iTunes Gift Cards, or any other type of voucher.

Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.

Report Phishing attempts. If you receive a call, text or email of this nature and have not lost money, report this as a phishing attempt to Action Fraud.

Action Fraud


Fake TV Licensing Emails Received By Thousands

Be aware - there have been more than 5,000 reports about fake TV Licensing emails in the last 3 months. In December 2018 alone, 200 reports were made, with victims reporting a total loss of £233,455. The banks say they cannot reimburse customers who have mistakenly authorised payments to fraudsters. 

How It Works

  • The payment/refund link is to a "genuine-looking" website.
  • Personal and bank details are requested on a fake form. 
  • Within two weeks, the criminals call, claiming to be from the fraud department of the victim's bank.
  • They tell the victim that fraudulent activity has taken place on their account and to transfer their money to a new "safe account".

 

Protect Yourself

  • Never answer unsolicited emails.
  • Don't assume a phone call or email is authentic. 
  • Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information
  • TV Licensing will never email you, unprompted, to ask for bank/personal details or tell you about a refund.
  • Your bank will never ask for your PIN, password, or to transfer money out of your account.

 

What To Do If You’ve Fallen Victim

  • Let your bank know as soon as possible and monitor your accounts regularly for unusual activity.
  • If you have lost money to the scammers, contact Kent Police by calling 101

 

TV Licensing offers helpful information on scam emails HERE.

If you have received this scam email please report it.

Report It

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact
Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Heritage WatchCountry EyeNeighbourhood Watch

 


 

Click HERE to see a letter received from the British Legion regarding the support provided by the Branch in 2018. (Opens in new tab)

 


 

Kent County Council has received reports of fraudsters tricking people into giving them access to their internet banking.

The criminals pose as employees from broadband providers and claim that someone has hacked into their account, the user is then tricked into giving access to their computer and told to log into their internet banking. 

So far, Police have identified 45 victims with a combined loss of £128,000. A man in Ashford lost £21,000.

A current trend is for victims to be sent an automated message stating that their router has been compromised. Please do not respond to this message but instead contact your broadband provider directly for advice.

Never allow a caller access to your computer. An internet provider will never ask for your bank details.

Kent County Council has a website dedicated to providing information about protecting yourself from scams. To visit the site, click HERE.

 

Programme

October 19

Annual Black Tie Dinner
Upchurch Golf Club
Click for info and booking form ...
Booking to Lorna by 6 September

November 13

Speaker Evening
Stuart Robinson:
"The Old Father Thames"
Frindsbury 19:30

December 11

Pearly King and Queen Evening
with Xmas Supper

  Please direct commuications to the SECRETARY. ADMIN