scammers are taking advantage of the Ukraine war to scam people out of money. Action Fraud estimate that they have received around 200 reports of fake requests to fundraise for victims of the Ukraine war with scammers asking people to donate money via a scam donation website or via text or by calling a premium rate telephone number.
Never click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails or respond to messages which ask for your personal or financial details.
You can find lots of useful information at the following official websites if you wish to donate money to help people involved in the Ukraine war crisis https://www.unicef.org.uk and https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ukraine-what-you-can-do-to-help
Cost Of Living
When scammers see an opportunity to rip someone off they will take advantage of it, and the cost of living crisis is a great way for criminals to take advantage of vulnerable people. The latest scams include receiving a text, WhatsApp, or email from some claiming to be from the DWP ( department of work and pensions ) or a government website. The scam involves you calling a premium rate telephone number or visiting a website where you will be asked for your personal, or bank account details in order to claim support.
Scammers are sending people text, WhatsApp, or email messages which require them to click on a link that takes them to an official energy company, local council, or government website. You will be asked to complete an online form and enter your bank details in order to receive an energy rebate. This is a scam do not click on the website link.
You do not need to apply for the discount, and there’s no need to contact your energy supplier.
The discount will be automatically applied to your monthly energy bill for 6 months starting in October 2022
While romance scams aren’t new, their popularity continues to rise. Scammers often steal someone’s identity or create fake profiles on dating and social media apps to meet victims in order to gain your trust and steal your money.
After gaining your trust, they may ask you to buy them something or send them money. Recently, some scammers have posed as investors and shared false investment tips with their victims, which could lead you to invest in a fake opportunity. Or, the person may “mistakenly” send you money and ask you to send it back or forward it to someone else. If your bank later determines that their payment was fraudulent, the sum of the payment will be subtracted from your account. Romance scams can target anyone, and some scammers seek to form platonic rather than romantic relationships.
To avoid getting ripped off by the romance scammer always speak to friends and family before giving or transferring money to someone you have met on a dating website or chat group. The bottom line is these people are professional scammers who use love and romance to steal your money.
Paypal is a popular way to buy and sell products, and services online and is used by millions of people around the world. The scammers have come up with a number of ways to scam people out of money using PayPal including
- Order Confirmation: You receive an official-looking email from PayPal requesting you confirm the order you have made. The email will include a website link that will take you to criminals’ websites where they will try and install a virus, or malware on your computer and steal your money.
- Password Reset: You receive an email from PayPal asking you to reset your password. They ask you to click on a link included in the email which will take you to the scammer’s website to steal your identity and money.
- Payment Transfer Request: You receive an email, Whats app, or text asking you to complete a payment transfer for a product or service you have not purchased.
- Refund Request: You are asked to provide a refund for a product or service or transfer the money via paypal to the scammer’s PayPal account
- Overpayment: The criminal will overpay for a product, or service using a fake or stolen credit card or bank account number, then contact the seller to ask them to return the overpaid amount, usually to a different account than the one they used to make the initial payment. Once they get the money back, the scammer will contact PayPal to cancel the original transaction, leaving the seller out of both their product and payment.
- Promotional Offer: You receive an email offering a cash rebate or some other financial incentive, and all you have to do is log in to your PayPal account to verify a few details. Just like other email scams, the link in the email directs you to a fake PayPal website. If you click on the link and enter your login credentials, the scammers get access to your credentials and can drain your account.
- You Have Money Waiting: You get an email telling you that you’ve received the money in your PayPal account. All you need to do is click on the link to release the funds! Unfortunately, the link in the scam email directs you to yet another pretend PayPal site. Once there, if you type in your PayPal login credentials, the scammers get that information and use it to gain access to your legitimate PayPal account.
- Hacked Account: A buyer uses a hacked PayPal account to pay you for your goods. You don’t know the account was hacked, so you ship the product as soon as payment is confirmed. Unfortunately, once PayPal discovers the hack, they will withdraw the funds from your account. You’re left without the product or the payment.
The text message claims to be from HMRC and says the taxman is issuing you with a tax refund. It then asks you to click on a link so that you can claim the payment. To do this, you must enter your banking details, which are then used to obtain your personal details and take money from you. The other Tax scam involves the scammer asking you to contact the HMRC urgently or you will face criminal prosecution or a fine if you don’t contact the HMRC
Never click on any link, even if it looks authentic, or give out your bank details if requested by an email or text message. Instead, contact the organization directly and see whether they have contacted you also make sure you’ve installed the latest software and app updates to protect your devices from the latest threats too.
A friend in need WhatsApp
You’ll receive a WhatsApp message supposedly from a family member, saying that they’ve got a new phone number and need money to pay a bill urgently. Messages often start with ‘Hello mum’ or ‘Hello dad’. They will then provide bank details for you to transfer money to them. The messages are designed to be genuine however they are not genuine and are normally from criminals trying to get your money.
If you’re suspicious about a request for help you’ve received from a friend or family member, try and reach out to the person directly by another form of communication to confirm that their request for help is genuine. If you find out it is a scam, you should report it to Action Fraud either online or by calling 0300 123 2040.
A scammer calls you and asks for you by name. They’ll say they are a computer-security expert from Microsoft or another legitimate tech company. They’ll say that your PC, laptop, or tablet has been infected with malware (or a computer virus), and that they can help you solve the problem. The scammer will ask you to visit a website to download some software onto your computer to help you fix the PC problem, malware, or virus. They will also say you are running an unlicensed version of Microsoft and they need to verify it. Never download or install any software on your computer if asked to do so by someone over the phone, chat, social media or text.
You can report this issue directly to Mircosoft at https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/concern/scam
Everyone is talking about Cryptocurrency and how to make money from digital currency as a consequence scammers have also realized they can rip people off by using a variety of Crypto Currency scams. The first one involves giving free bitcoins away via social media which asks you to visit a website to confirm your identity. The website will ask you to enter your personal and bank account details. While you are on the website the criminals will install malware, and viruses on your PC or mobile device and steal money from your bank account.
The next scam involves a Fake cryptocurrency exchange website where the criminal will ask you to buy cryptocurrency via a website they own and run which is designed to look like a real and authentic website similar to https://crypto.com or https://www.coinbase.com which are authentic cryptocurrency exchange websites. Once you visit the criminal’s fake cryptocurrency exchange website they will pressure you into buying the currency with a wide range of sales tricks on the website and via chat and social media.
The third scam involves someone calling you with a great investment opportunity to buy cryptocurrency. The criminal will claim to be from an investment, broker company and will use pressurized sales techniques to get you to make a decision to invest in the cryptocurrency.
The bottom line is they are all scams that don’t get ripped off never give money to someone you have met online or over the phone unless you have done your research and are 100% sure they are authentic. Don’t feel pressured into making a decision the scammers are professionals who do this all day every day.
Investment scams involve someone cold calling you or sending you a text, WhatsApp, email, or social media message offering you the opportunity to invest your money in a great investment that comes with guaranteed returns, They will try every trick in the book to sound like they are from a genuine investment company, or broker and will use high pressurized techniques like “this is a limited time deal, you need to invest now to avoid loosing out, the deal needs to be closed today” to force you to make a decision to invest in their latest scam.
Before you make a decision always ask for the company details to confirm if they are genuine. Check the details at the FCA website https://register.fca.org.uk/s/ or use the FCA scam checker https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart/warning-list
Never make a decision to invest money under pressure, if you get the feeling the investment is a scam don’t invest. Always speak to someone before investing your money.
Scammers are impersonating the NHS and sending texts claiming that the recipient has been in close contact with someone with Covid-19 and demanding they order a PCR test. The aim of this is to steal your personal data and bank details. Delete the WhatsApp or text message and do not click on the link included in the message.
Postal ( Royal Mail & DPD )
The postal scam involves you receiving a text, WhatsApp message, or email from the Royal Mail or DPD to let you know that you have missed a postal delivery or would you like to pick up or rearrange delivery for a parcel. The postal, parcel scam is getting more and more popular every day which is used by scammers trying to rip people off. To avoid getting scammed always delete the text or email message or contact the delivery company directly to confirm the delivery details.
Suspicious bank Account Activity
You text message from someone claiming to be from your bank telling you there’s been some suspicious activity on bank your account, which they will tell you has been frozen. They will ask for your banking details supposedly to confirm your identity and resolve the problem, but use these to steal from you.
Banks will never ask you for your PIN number or your online banking passwords, nor will they ask you to email or text your banking details, so hang up immediately if someone asks you for this information.
If you want to check whether it really is your bank contacting you, end the call and telephone your bank from another phone number, as sometimes scammers will stay on the line, so that when you redial what you think is your bank, they reconnect with you.
The scammer will contact you about a free pension review. This may be via text, or email or you could spot a fake online advert. If you provide your details, you may receive a call or visit from a fraudster claiming to offer financial advice, who will recommend that you move your money into another scheme or fake investments.
If someone contacts you offering a pension review, ignore their approach. Keep your pension information to yourself, and don’t share details with anyone you don’t know. If you’re aged 50 or over, you can also speak with Pension Wise on the phone, another government-supported resource that offers free guidance about your pension options.
Early Access Pension
Scammers will advise you that you’re free to access your retirement savings before the age of 55, but if you do this, you’ll not only have to pay a large tax charge, at least 55% but sometimes as much as 70% of your pension, but you’ll also have fees taken from your pension for the transfer which can be as much as 20% or more of your pension.
If you have a regulated financial adviser, speak with them in first if you need help with your pension or are wondering if you should access your retirement savings. If you don’t have an adviser, the government-supported Pensions Advisory Service provides free independent and impartial information and guidance.
Bank Payment attempted
You receive a text message or call from the scammer claiming to be from your bank telling you that a payment was attempted from your account to a new payee. The message says that if it wasn’t you, you should click on the link included in the text message or email. This will take you to a fake website where you’ll be asked to confirm your banking details. If you click on the link and enter your details the scammers will steal your personal details and all your money from your bank.
Energy Debt collector
Scammers are taking advantage of customers whose energy suppliers have gone bust over recent years, with debt collector demands claiming they have an outstanding balance on their account. Emails may even be addressed by name, as customer information passes through many channels when a firm goes under, such as energy brokers, new suppliers, and debt collection agencies.
If you are contacted by a scammer trying to rip you for an energy bill you are not aware of contact Action Fraud either online or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Ticket fraud involves scammers advertising tickets to popular events such as concerts and plays, often on social media. Once you’ve paid for the tickets, they never materialize and the scammer blocks you from making further contact.
You should only ever buy tickets from the venue’s box office, official promoter or agent, or a legitimate and well-known ticket site. Never purchase them from someone you don’t know by bank transfer. If you think you’ve fallen victim to ticket fraud, contact your bank immediately and see if they can stop your payment and report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Amazon Prime subscription
Watch out for fake automated phone calls claiming to be from Amazon, telling customers their Prime subscription is due to expire, and that payment will be automatically taken from their account to renew it.
The recorded message then asks you to press one to cancel or two to speak to customer services. The call then goes through to an individual who ‘requires’ your personal details to access your account and will use this information to take money from your account. There are a number of variations on this scam being reported, including for example an automated fake call from Amazon saying ‘your £500 iPhone is being shipped, please press one to cancel or two to speak to customer services.
Amazon Install App Anydesk On Your Phone
The scam involves the scammer sending a text to a person’s mobile phone about a fraudulent amazon purchase. The person has to call a free phone number, the call is transferred to the fraud whereby they ask you to download and install any desk app on your phone so they can help and investigate this further. Once they have installed any desk app on your phone they can control everything on your phone and make purchases via Amazon or take money from your bank account. If someone asks you to install an app on your phone relating to the above do not do it.