Friday 20th November
Today’s theme is Fraud, Scams and Cybercrime.
You may be contacted with misleading or fraudulent offers designed to con you out of your money. These are received by post, email, social media messages, telephone, text or face to face. Advice is available on how to spot scams and frauds, to prevent yourself or someone you know, becoming the victim of a scam or fraud.
Online Fraud and Scams – Staying Safe Online
More and more people are using computers, smartphones and tablets to go online. It’s a great way to stay connected with family members, shop online, look up information, and even make new friends. The internet has lots of positive aspects, but there are things you need to avoid. These include viruses, which can infect your computer and damage it. There are many other types of online scams. Trading Standards has produced a guide on Keeping Safe Online.
Internet, email and mobile phone fraud – advice from Hampshire Constabulary
Every year, the British public loses billions of pounds to fraudsters. With scams ranging from the simplest confidence trick to the most sophisticated high-tech online fraud. For information and advice and how to report concerns visit the Hampshire Police Fraud and Cybercrime web page.
COVID-19 and Scams
Unscrupulous criminals are exploiting fears about COVID-19 to prey on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from family and friends. National Trading Standards is warning people to remain vigilant following a rise in coronavirus-related scams that seek to benefit from the public’s concern and uncertainty over COVID-19. Friendsagainstscams.org.uk have produced a social media pack with information on how to protect yourself and others from Coronavirus scams.
Hampshire Constabulary has published advice and guidance on scams during the COVID-19 crisis. Remember scams are evolving all the time so you may see different variations or new ones popping up which may not be included in this flyer. By signing up to the Hampshire Alert (www.hampshirealert.co.uk) and Action Fraud (www.actionfraud.police.uk) you will be able to keep up to date.
Action Fraud – Reporting Fraud and Cybercrime
Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime. You can report directly to Action Fraud either online or by telephone. Information and support is available on the Action Fraud website.
Action Fraud Amazon Prime scam
Action Fraud has warned that people are being targeted with automated calls which tell them a fraudster has used their personal details to sign up for an Amazon Prime subscription. The victim is then instructed to press 1 to cancel the transaction. When they do this, they are directly connected to the real scammer who poses as an Amazon customer service representative. The criminal tells the victim the Amazon Prime subscription was purchased fraudulently and that they need remote access to the victim’s computer in order to fix a security flaw that will prevent it from happening again. The victim is instructed to download an application called Team Viewer and asked to log onto their online banking account. The software download grants the fraudster remote access to the victim’s computer and allows them to see the victim’s personal and financial details. Other variants of the crime involve victims being told they are due a refund for an unauthorised transaction on their Amazon account. Action Fraud is reminding people to never install any software as a result of a cold call.
Romance fraud occurs when you think you’ve met the perfect partner online but they are using a fake profile to form a relationship with you. You can meet them via an online dating website or app, social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, or gaming sites. They gain your trust over a number of weeks or months and have you believe you are in a loving and caring relationship. However, the criminal’s end goal is only ever to get your money or personal information.
Between August 2019 and August 2020, 222 reports of romance fraud were made to Action Fraud by residents of Hampshire. The total reported loss in the same time period was £2million, equating to an average loss per victim of just over £9,000.
If you think you’ve been a victim of romance fraud or a romance-based scam contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via Action Fraud.
Preventing Fraud and Scams
Hampshire Constabulary – Stay Safe from Fraud Guides
Hampshire Constabulary receives over 700 reports of fraud or attempted fraud each month. Many of these are targeting elderly or vulnerable members of the community, and the consequences can be extremely damaging both financially and emotionally for the victims. They have put together a number of useful guides in particular for those vulnerable members of our communities, which you can access on the Hampshire Constabulary website.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Alert
The communities of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight play a key role in helping to prevent and detect crime and anti-social behaviour. Improving the flow of information between the community and the police is vital to achieving their aim to work together to deter criminals and keep communities safe. The Hampshire Alert site provides an invitation for you to participate in the exchange of information with Hampshire Constabulary and Neighbourhood Watch. You do not need to join a specific watch scheme but you may find that there are like minded residents or businesses in your area who would welcome your support. If you live or work in Hampshire or the Isle of Wight, you are invited to register now to become a recipient of messages of information, crime alerts and witness appeals local to the area in which you live or work in a way that suits your needs and lifestyle by email, text or telephone. Just go to the Hampshire Alert website and click on the REGISTER button at the top of the page to sign up or, if you live on the Isle of Wight go to the Isle of Wight Alert website.
Friends Against Scams – Latest Scams
Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards Scams Team initiative which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering people to take a stand against scams. Friends Against Scams is designed to inspire action, highlight the scale of the problem, change the perceptions of why people fall for scams and make scams a community, regional and national topic. Friends against Scams has a page dedicated to updating you on the latest scams. See the Friends Against Scams Website where you can sign up to scam alerts.
Take Five Campaign to Stop Fraud
Take Five is a national campaign led by UK Finance, and backed by Her Majesty’s Government. The campaign is being delivered with and through a range of partners in public and third sector organisations. Take Five offers straightforward impartial advice that helps prevent email, phone based, and online fraud, particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations. See the Take Five Campaign Website for information and advice on fraud and how to prevent it.
Number Spoofing Scams – OfCom advice
Many phone handsets now let you see the number of the person calling before you answer. This feature – known as ‘Caller ID’ or ‘Calling Line Identity’ (CLI) – is a handy way of screening the calls you want to answer from the ones you don’t. However, there have been growing instances of nuisance callers and criminals deliberately changing the Caller ID, a practice known as ‘spoofing’. They do this to either hide their identity or to try to mimic the number of a real company or person who has nothing to do with the real caller. For example, identity thieves who want to steal sensitive information such as your bank account or login details, sometimes use spoofing to pretend they’re calling from your bank or credit card company. See more information and advice on how to protect yourself on the OfCom website.
Ways you can connect with us
Check out our social media on:
Twitter – @hsab_hampshire – and search for #safeguardingadultsweek – please re-tweet and share with your networks.
Important telephone numbers
If you are worried about an adult please telephone Hampshire Adult’s Health and Care.
Hampshire Adult’s Health and Care:
0300 555 1386
or out of hours:
0300 555 1373
Police: 101 or in an emergency 999
For Deaf Access Text 999 or Emergency Minicom TextRelay on 18000 (You must be registered to use this service). For more options, click here.
HSAB app for iOS and Android