Neighbourhood Watch

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

PHISHING EMAILS

Fraudsters are turning to kindness, with new phishing emails which encourage the recipient to open an attachment on the false premise that they could have already fallen a victim to scammers.

 

In the past few days Action Fraud has received hundreds of reports from email users who have received this email. The phishing email is sent from fraudsters who describe themselves as a "law abiding citizen" that has accidentally received the email recipient's personal details. They suggest that the recipient's emails details may have been made available to scammers and they are contacting them to try and rectify the problem. To do so the recipient must open the attached document.

 

In reality, the attached document opens the door to malware being downloaded onto the victim's computer. The malware attempts to obtain sensitive data from victims, such as banking credentials and passwords, this is subsequently used to take money from the victim.

 

In order to protect yourself from malware, having up-to-date virus protection is essential; however it will not always prevent you from becoming infected.

 

PROTECT YOURSELF

Do not click on links or open attachments you receive in unsolicited emails or SMS messages. Remember fraudsters can 'spoof' an email address to make it look like one used by someone you trust. If you are unsure, check the email header to identify the true source of communication.

 

Do not enable macros in downloads: enabling the macro will allow the malware to be installed onto your device.

 

Always install software updates as soon as they become available. Whether you are updating the operating system or an application. the update will often include fixes for critical security vulnerabilities.

 

Create regular backups of your important files to an external hard drive, memory stick or online storage provider. It is important that the device to which you back up is not left connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that too.

 

If you think your bank details have been compromised, you should contact your bank immediately.

 

TELEPHONE SCAMS

The police have reported an increase in telephone scams where the fraudster purports to be from an official body such as DVLA, HM Customs , local councils etc., saying that you have overpaid and will be refunded. To obtain the refund you will be required to give your bank details. A number of people have lost money this way, DO NOT become one of them. Such organizations will never ask for your bank details over the telephone.

 

A TRUE STORY

I recently received a telephone call from someone stating that they were my internet provider. The caller sounded just as authentic as my internet provider; he had an Asian voice and the background noises of a busy internet office. He stated that attempts had been made to break into my computer and for this reason I would be off line for up to fourteen days. When I said that this was not acceptable he said that if I switched on my computer he would try to overcome the problem on line.

I realized that this was a scam and told the caller so in "no uncertain terms".

 

I contacted my Internet provider who confirmed it was a scam. Internet providers only react to calls from customers who report faults.

 

If I had followed the callers instructions he would have tried to obtain remote control of my computer to obtain bank details, passwords, etc., or to place a virus on it.

 

If you receive such a call ignore it and report the incident, like I did, to Action Fraud online at www.actionfraud.police.uk.

 

 

 

Richard Budge

Neighbourhood Co-ordinator