Scam Alert

 

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Due to the ongoing situation surrounding COVID-19 (the coronavirus), below are some articles containing information on coronavirus scams and advice on how to protect yourself from them.

 

Coronavirus-related fraud reports increased by 400% in March

Action Fraud have reported a huge spike in coronavirus related scams in March. The majority of the reports have been related to online shopping scams, with ticket fraud, romance fraud, charity fraud and lender loan fraud also being reported. more

Councils are warning people about doorstep scams and cold callers

Council are warning people that criminals are pretending to be health officials or offering to pick up food and deliver medicines. Criminals are also selling fake face masks and hand sanitisers, say the Local Government Association - with hand sanitiser containing an ingredient banned for human use being seized in Birmingham. more

Online coronavirus scams identified and explained

Malwarebytes have pulled together a useful overview of coronavirus-related scams that are being seen on the internet. They discovered multiple email scams that attempt to use the fear and confusion surrounding the coronavirus to steal personal and financial information from consumers. more

 

Below is our fortnightly Scam Alert:

 

Doorstep Scams

 

4th November 2020                                                                                                                                             

Elderly people have been targeted by the gang in at least 15 distraction burglaries committed last month across the Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Walsall boroughs, West Midlands Police said. The men have been posing as police officers, water board engineers and gardeners to trick their way into the people's homes. more

 


5th November 2020

Cumbria Trading Standards and Cumbria Constabulary have helped the National Trading Standards North East Regional Investigations Team put a fraudulent cold calling fish seller behind bars.
John Mills, aged 50 of Chester-le-Street was sentenced on Friday 30 October at Teesside Crown Court to 60 months in prison, reduced to 40 months for an early guilty plea. more

 

Telephone Scams

Amazon Prime customers warned of scam phone calls

7th November 2020

Consumers have been warned not to fall prey to criminals who are targeting Amazon Prime customers, many of whom became members for the first time during the Covid-19 crisis. Victims are being tricked into downloading software that lets criminals access their bank accounts. more 

 

HMRC smishing tax scam targets UK banking customers

9th November 2020

An advanced HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) tax rebate scam is targeting UK residents via text messages (SMS).
The smishing campaign is concerning as it employs multiple HMRC phishing domains and tactics, with new domains added every day as older ones get flagged by spam filters. more 

 

Online Scams

 

4th November 2020

Penny was looking for better returns at the beginning of June, so she looked around online and put her details into a site.
She received a call a few days later from someone who claimed to be calling on behalf of a firm called Maxagon Kapital.
“I did check the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register and there was no warning at the time,” said Penny. more

 

 

9th November 2020

Police are warning of a fake social media post that is targeting those living in Gloucestershire.
It's a link circulating on social media which claimed that a 10-year old girl named Majka was abducted in Cheltenham on Sunday 8th November. more

 

 

9th November 2020

Researchers at Parliament Street uncovered a dodgy Facebook group called "Cadbury Rewards" with a message from someone calling themselves "Anna Burton" claiming to be a regional manager at the chocolate company. 
The post claims Cadbury's is offering the giveaway to celebrate its 126th birthday, but almost everything about it is wrong. more