Fraud & Scams!
Scams are continually evolving, and most take place because you are too honest and believe a caller or a message which is convinvcing.
Visit the police web page http://content.met.police.uk/Site/fraudalert/, which provides other crime advice as well as information about the scams being operated by criminals.
It is strongly recommended (by the police amongst others) not to admit a stranger to your house, who offers to buy any unwanted items. They may offer apparent good value, but they may also be "casing" your house looking for weaknesses in windows and doors, to burgle you later.
If you receive an unexpected email, use great care in dealing with it, take a couple of minutes to consider the title, and if that appears OK, check contents with extreme care, as its possible to infect a computer just be opening an email. It can be extremely risky to open any attachments, or follow links, especially if the email is not in the apparent author's normal style.
Computer Scam RECENT
Recently I received a call purporting to be from my telephone company, with a claim that there was much additional activity on my internet connection, and unauthorised access to my wifi was to blame. The obvious next query was to request access to my computer. When I stated that I was well aware of what my wifi was used for, the caller immediately cleared the line.
This is a variation on the "This is a A Nother and we are a microsoft partner, and we think your computer is infected with a virus". I usually tell the caller that my computer runs Linux, and they immediately go away.
If you receive a call (or a text message or an email) from an individual who purports to be a courier delivering a package to you, treat with extreme caution if you haven't ordered anything. If an email, it is extremely risky to open any attachments. Its been reported to us that this happened to an aquaintance and the package was a beautiful bunch of flowers with a bottle of wine, delivered by a uniformed person. The catch was that a credit card imprint was required for a minimal amount (here £3.50) but that turned out to be the scam. The credit card details were recorded and a receipt issued, but they had £4,000 drawn against their credit card over the following days before they caught on.
Bank Card Scam
Reported by the police: you may contacted by telephone by an individual claiming to be an employee of your bank. They are likely to tell you that your bank cards need to be replaced and that a courier will be sent to your address to collect it/them.
They will ask you to confirm your bank details including your mother’s maiden name, account numbers, sort codes, card numbers and PIN numbers and may even tell
you your last few transactions. The give away is that they will probably ask you to confirm the bank. Your bank will already have ALL this information. BANKS WILL NEVER EVER ASK
YOU FOR YOUR PIN NUMBERS.
Once collected, the fraudsters use the cards the same day to make withdrawals at cash points. Advice is not to give out any personal or bank details over the phone and certainly NOT to give away your bank cards. Note any useful information, put the phone down and dial 999.
A minor change in the theme is that you need to move your money to a 'safe' account as there has been unusual activity on your account. Ignore it and contact your bank - by a different means from that used.
A reported scam (not confirmed) is the addition to your supermarket bill of cashback where you don't receive the money. Apparently the cashier passes the money to an
accomplice almost immediately so if searched, has no unaccounted for money in their possession. It is emphasised that this is not confirmed.
It is good practice never to hand your bank card to someone else such that you lose sight of it, even for a second.
If you deal with your finances online, does your bank support the use of Rapport software, if it does ensure you install it, as it provides an extra level of security. Ensure you only download it from your banks own website. Alternatively invest in a VPN (a virtual private network) which makes a secure link between you and the far end. These are now add ons for paid for virus software.