Energy Rebate Scam – please be aware
North Yorkshire Police have received a number of reports over the weekend from residents who have received a text message to apply for the £400 energy rebate.
This is a scam. The rebate is applied directly by the energy companies and you do not have to apply for it.
The text message encourages the user to click on a link and is then asked to input banking details. I suspect the format will then follow similar scams (Royal Mail Delivery/Covid contact) where the victim will subsequently receive a call claiming to be from their bank telling them they are monitoring suspicious activity on their account and they need to move their money to protect it.
Remember, the police or bank will NEVER ask you to move money to a safe account.
You can report scam text messages by forwarding them to 7726 which is a free service
Bogus Caller and Scam Warning For Selby Residents
Police in Selby are urging residents to be vigilant after reports of cold callers and scams targeting vulnerable and older people. Officers in the district are concerned about increasing numbers of people receiving unwanted doorstep traders and telephone scams.
Groups of people selling household wares have been active in communities on the outskirts of the district, such as Camblesforth, South Milford, Sherburn, Monk Fryston and Tadcaster. On occasions, they can become aggressive when challenged.
There have also been several reports of suspicious activity involving people calling at properties and offering to buy the motorhome parked outside – even if they are not for sale.
Cold calling or door-to-door trading is not an offence itself and there are legitimate individuals who conduct business in this way, but they must hold a pedlar’s licence.
You do not have to buy anything from or sell anything to a doorstep caller, and should never feel pressured into doing so.
PC Dave White, of the Safer Selby Hub, said: “The actions of rogue traders, bogus callers and distraction burglars can have a serious, long-lasting impact on victims, affecting their confidence and in some cases, their physical and mental health.
“I’d like to urge everyone in Selby to do their bit to help protect vulnerable people from these unscrupulous criminals. Look out for suspicious activity in your community, and check in with friends or family who might be at risk of falling victim to bogus callers or scammers.
“Always remember that you aren’t obliged to buy items or services from doorstep callers. Don’t let anyone pressure you or confuse you. If you’re not sure who is at your door, don’t open it. You could also phone a nearby friend or neighbour to help check the caller before you open the door to them.”
To reduce the risk of becoming a victim of bogus callers, remember the following four steps:
Lock all doors – even when you are at home, stop before you open the door, ask them who they are
Chain – always use a door chain or spy hole
Check – Not sure who they are? Don’t open the door!
People should report cases of rogue traders or uninvited doorstep callers to Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.
If you have information about suspected bogus callers or distraction burglars, call North Yorkshire Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers, the national charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Covid-19 Vaccine scam
There are a number of emails currently ‘doing the rounds’ which appear to be from the NHS inviting the recipient to register for a Covid vaccination. This was a ‘phishing’ email which asked you to input your personal details, security information and more importantly your bank and card details. The emailed claimed that your bank details were necessary to verify your identity. North Yorkshire Police have been notified. The intention of the fraudsters is the same in all versions; to obtain your personal and bank details.
Please remember the Covid 19 vaccination is free and you will not be asked for payment. The NHS will never ask for your bank details.
If you receive such emails you can forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete from your inbox.
Scam Mail – Take care with your mail
Number spoofing – You are at home and receive a phone call on your landline or mobile. The caller display on your phone shows a number which purports to be the bank. The number displayed is the same number on your bank statement or bank card. You are therefore satisfied that it is the bank calling you, or is it?
Number spoofing is a method by which fraudsters using easily accessible software can make any number they dial from appear on the recipient’s phone as any number they chose. This could be your bank, building society or even the police. This will then convince the intended victim that they are indeed speaking to their bank when in fact they are talking to fraudsters.
North Yorkshire Police has seen a rise in this type of fraud. Read more about this and the simple steps you can take to protect yourself at https://northyorkshire.police.uk/news/how-do-you-know-a-caller-is-who-they-claim-to-be/
Coronavirus scams – The Economic Crime Unit at North Yorkshire Police receive regular updates from Action Fraud, The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, National Trading Standards and other organisations highlighting new scams we are seeing which are preying on resident’s fear in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. A press release from National Trading Standards which summarises the current scams is available at https://www.nationaltradingstandards.uk/news/beware-of-covid19-scams/
Another scam – North Yorkshire Police have received a number of calls from residents stating they have received an email from an unknown person who claims to have hacked your computer and have managed to access your webcam which they have used to record you watching porn online. The email states that unless payment is made in Bitcoin the footage will be released to everyone in your contact list and posted online. The email at times can include a password you may have used in the past (or are currently using) and this adds to the supposed authenticity of the message. This is a scam. Your computer has not been hacked and the footage does not exist. Your password may have been obtained from previously hacked databases which have made the news over the past couple of years. If you want to see if your details have been hacked, check out https://haveibeenpwned.com/. Now may be a time to update your passwords if you have been using the same ones across multiple platforms. To check out the latest guidance on passwords go to https://www.getsafeonline.org/shopping-banking/passwords/.
North Yorkshire Police will be continuing its weekly Facebook live broadcast this Thursday at 4pm talking about the latest Covid-19 based scams and giving tips on how to work safely from home. I hope you are able to watch. Just access the North Yorkshire Police Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/NorthYorkshirePolice/ .
North Yorkshire Police have received a lot of emails from concerned North Yorkshire residents who have received suspicious emails concerning the Corona virus. This is being replicated across the country. As a result, the Government Communication headquarters (GCHQ) is asking members of the public to report suspicious emails they have received that seek to exploit fear of Covid-19 to enrich cybercriminals. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), has launched the suspicious email reporting service with a simple request of the public: forward any dubious emails to email@example.com, and the NCSC’s automated scanning system will check for scam emails and remove the criminal sites.
The below has been received from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and we have seen a large increase in these types of scams in the North Yorkshire area.
A total of 9,473 phishing emails linked to sextortion have been made to the NFIB phishing inbox between 31/03/2020 – 19/04/2020.
There has also been just over 200 reports made to Action Fraud in the last week.
Sextortion scams are a type of phishing attack whereby people are coerced to pay a BitCoin ransom because they have been threatened with sharing video of themselves visiting adult websites. These scams are made to appear all the more credible because they provide seemingly plausible technical details about how this was achieved, and the phish can sometimes also include a password used by the recipient.
The current campaign threatens that if the victim does not provide a payment within a specific timeframe (payments usually ranging from $1,000 to $4,000), which is requested into a bitcoin wallet, then a compromising video will be shared to all their contacts and social media channels.
What you need to do
- Do not reply or click on any of the links in the email. You can report the email to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk/report-phishing.
- Don’t be tempted to make the Bitcoin payment. Doing so may encourage more scams as the fraudster will know they have a ‘willing customer’.
- If you have made the Bitcoin payment, you should report it to your local police force by calling 101.
- If the email includes a password you still use then change it immediately.
- For more information, visit: actionfraud.police.uk/sextortion
Amazon Prime Scam
Action Fraud has received over 500 reports about an automated call impersonating Amazon. The recipient of the call is informed fraudsters have used their personal details to subscribe to Amazon Prime and are instructed to ‘press 1’ if they wish to cancel the subscription. When victims do this they are automatically connected to criminals posing as Amazon Customer Services who attempt to remotely access the victims computer in order to steal personal and financial details. remember, never install any software as a result of a cold call. Criminals like to use ‘TeamViewer’ to remotely access your computer. Always question uninvited approaches in case it is a scam. Put the phone down and contact the company direct. Remember to ensure the phone line is cleared before dialling out and if in doubt put the phone down and terminate the call.
There has been a marked increase in the number of reports made to Action Fraud, of residents receiving an automated call supposedly from HMRC who state there is a warrant out for your arrest due to unpaid tax and to press 1 to speak to an advisor. This is a scam. Do not press 1 and terminate the call. This scam has been around for a while now and still catches people unawares. Please spread the message across your family and friends.