A few days ago I received an e-mail purporting to come from HMRC.
I did not open it. To open it risks malware. Nor did I delete. I mark such e-mail as a phishing scam.
The call that comes through purporting to be from your bank.
There has been an attempted fraud on your account.
Yes, but do not worry, our fraud team caught it in time.
Can you before we discuss it any further confirm who you are? We will need to ask you a few questions.
Full name, date of birth, address ….
This is another example of a phishing scam.
Never discuss anything on the phone, and that includes carrying out a survey.
There has been two of these in the last couple of weeks.
One claiming to be a survey by a hospital, another a random survey.
Yet more examples of phishing scams.
For fraudsters a very useful app for their smart phone. Can set the number of where calling from that will appear on the victim’s phone, can set background noise to create the illusion of where calling from.
As I am writing, a call from a fraudster.
Hello, I am from BT Open Reach, I would like to discuss Internet.
Do not have BT Open Reach.
I would like to discuss Internet.
Don’t have Internet, middle of nowhere.
You do not know why I am calling?
Yes, you are a fraudster, I am recording the call. I have a police officer here.
You have a police officer there?
Yes. I have a police officer here, I am recording the call, the police officer would like to talk to you.
The line goes dead.
Facebook is a goldmine for fraudsters. Facebook is not a social network, facebook exists to steal and abuse personal information.
No matter how many times people are advised not to, they post on facebook where they live, schools, work, name of dog, name of partner, date of birth.
All of which is valuable information to the fraudster. And to help the opportunist burglar, we are on holiday.
Once the phishing scam has access to bank account details, the account will be emptied, possibly even before the call ended.
Easy money for a conversation lasting little more than a minute. Scams that are netting the fraudsters millions of pounds.
The fraudsters recruit students, who recruit more students. Their accounts are used to launder the money.
Phishing scam is not the only fraud, there are many many more.
Vital Nature and associated companies dodgy pills and potions scam. Pills and potions of dubious provenance, laced with lead, several hundred times recommended dosage, billed for stuff not ordered, stuff ordered does not arrived, harassment phone calls, credit card fraud with card details. Scam mail delivered by Royal Mail. Operates out of France and that may only be a postal address, a front for somewhere else. By operating from France, outside jurisdiction of Police in the UK.
Commemorative coin scam. Mints offering worthless commemorative coins, that being only the first part of the scam. Second part, unsolicited coins arrive, if not returned at your expense will be billed.
Dodgy builder scam. Work that did not need doing. Details of house security passed to opportunist burglars.
Australian Lottery scam. You have won but need to pay administrative fee to release your winnings.
Long lost relative scam. Would love to visit, if could only could afford air fare from Australia.
Any website, online service, phone call or text message that poses as a company or brand you recognise. Any contact…www.actionfraud.police.uk
Paul Connolly delves into the world of fraud, a crime that has reached epidemic levels.www.channel5.com