There are many great resources offering helpful advice and guidance regarding crime prevention, we suggest some options here regarding current crime issues.


Nottinghamshire Police monthly blog -

https://assets.neighbourhoodalert.co.uk/images/site_images/81251_Gedling_Police_Newsletter_September_2021.pdf


http://www.ourwatch.org.uk/ - the national Neighbourhood Watch organisation, supporting safer and stronger communities

http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ - ActionFraud is the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre.

www.outofyourhands.com - information about smartphone safety.

 www.snopes.com and www.hoax-slayer.com - websites with useful information about scams and hoaxes.  


REMINDERS RE SCAMS – RECEIVED VIA PHONE / TEXT / EMAIL

I feel it is appropriate to issue regular reminders with regards to scams (particularly Phishing / Smishing scams) as they are always ‘on the go’.  RNW has been informed of quite a few received locally during recent weeks. (Of these, a couple were telephone calls, a couple were text message and others were in email format).

 

PHONE SCAMS

Fraudsters often cold call residents pretending to be from a trusted organisation – your bank, the police, a government department or other trusted company. While their tactics may vary, the aim is the same; to get your personal or financial information, encourage you to hand over your cards or cash, or trick you into transferring money into accounts they control.  Don’t fall for their tricks.  They may make threats to withdraw services or say things to cause you concern to rush you into a decision or a course of action – don’t believe them and end the call!

 

If you weren’t expecting the call and you are not sure about it or concerned by anything they have said, especially if the caller can’t prove who they are (knowing our name / address is NOT proof), always insist on verifying the caller’s identity

Use a different phone line or wait 5 minutes for the line to clear, phone the organisation they claim to be from and use a number you know to be genuine, not one provided by the caller.


Note: Please report phone scams to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via External link opens in new tab or windowwww.actionfraud.police.uk. 

If you have lost money to one of these scams, contact your bank immediately then report it to Action Fraud as soon as possible.

 

TEXT MESSAGE SCAMS (‘SMISHING’)

Scammers are increasingly taking advantage of smart phones and are getting very clever with how they try to take your money / personal details.

They can even make it look like a genuine organisation is contacting you via text by using identity masking technology to change the name displayed as the sender.  This is known as ‘number spoofing’.

Fraudsters can use many different types of messaging systems and apps, like SMS (text messaging), WhatsApp, Messenger, Snapchat etc. to try and scam you.

 

What to look out for / what you shouldn’t do:

1.  Unexpected contact.  Is this how the organisation normally contacts you?  If not, contact them directly to check if it is genuine.  Remember a genuine organisation will never contact you out of the blue and ask you to verify your details, request personal or banking details, or tell you to transfer money.

2.  Check for spelling or grammatical errors.  Genuine organisations will rarely make glaring spelling mistakes or grammatical errors – if they do, it is usually an isolated incident. If the message doesn’t look right, it may well be a scam (even though it may drop into a chain of other messages from the organisation).

3.  Don’t follow any links.  Doing so may send you to a website set up by the fraudsters to steal your money and / or personal details. 

4.  Don’t share any personal information.  Genuine organisations, such as banks, HMRC, DVLA etc. will never ask for your personal or banking details through a message or text.

 

What you should do if you receive a suspicious text:

1. Check with the organisation.  If you weren’t expecting the message and you are not sure or are concerned about it, always check with the organisation it claimed to be from using contact details you know to be genuine, not using the app or text chain the message arrived in. 

2. Don’t reply, forward it then delete it.  By replying, you could alert the scammers and show that your number is active.  This could lead to you receiving lots more unwanted messages!  Instead, forward the message to 7726 (spells SPAM on your keypad) .  On forwarding the message, you will immediately receive a text from 7726 asking you to provide the number which sent the message.  Once you have sent this, block the number / caller and delete the message from your phone.

 

If you have lost money to one of these scams, contact your bank immediately then report it to Action Fraud (details above) as soon as possible. 

 

EMAIL SCAMS

Always be suspicious of unsolicited emails that are supposedly from your bank or some other trusted organisation because the address can easily be faked. Never automatically click on any links they contain, stop to check if they seem genuine first.

 

7 ways to spot an email you’ve been sent is a scam:

1.   The sender’s address doesn’t match the website address of the organisation it says it’s from. Roll your mouse pointer over the sender’s name to reveal its true address.

2.   The email doesn’t use your proper name – using something like “Dear customer” instead.

3.   There’s a sense of urgency, asking you to act immediately.

4.   There’s a prominent website link which may seem like the proper address, but with one character different. (Or it may just say ‘Click here’ – roll your mouse pointer over it to reveal the destination).

5.   There’s a request for personal information.

6.   There are spelling and grammatical errors.

7.   The entire text of the email is within an image rather than the usual text format and the image contains an embedded hyperlink to a bogus site. Again, roll your mouse pointer over the link to reveal its true destination.

 

Don’t get caught out!  For more information please visit www.takefive-stopfraud.org.uk.

 

Note: Please forward any email scams to report@phishing.gov.uk. 

This service is for suspicious emails you have received but not acted upon. 

If you have lost money to one of these scams, contact your bank immediately and also report it to Action Fraud (details as above).

 

Sue Harris

 


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