Email scammers turn their sights on youth football teams | Money | The Guardian

Treasurers of community groups and small charities have been warned to be extremely wary after a youth football club was conned out of more than £28,000 by fraudsters using a fake email scam.

Source: Email scammers turn their sights on youth football teams | Money | The Guardian

Beware of Mystery or Secret Shopper Opportunity Phishing Email Scams

Online users, be aware of mystery or secret shopper email messages like the one below, which claim that the recipients have mystery or secret shopping assignments in their areas and are asked to participate. The email messages are fraudulent, therefore, recipients of the same email messages should not respond to them with their personal information or any other information that is requested by the senders. The fake email messages are being sent by scammers / cybercriminals.

Source: Beware of Mystery or Secret Shopper Opportunity Phishing Email Scams

David’s story | Victim Support

 

When an old friend contacted David through a dating website asking to borrow money to return to the UK, he was happy to help. They got chatting and it wasn’t long before Kerry* had asked him to send £500 towards a plane ticket she urgently needed to buy.

Unfortunately, Kerry wasn’t who she said she was. She was, in fact, a fraudster, who went to great lengths to deceive David; sending copies of immigration papers, a passport and plane ticket.

Source: David’s story | Victim Support

Holiday And Travel Booking | Get Safe Online

When using the internet to research or book your holiday or other travel arrangements, the world is literally at your fingertips. However, there are risks associated with doing so – some specific to holiday and travel booking and some which are in common with other types of online purchases.

Source: Holiday And Travel Booking | Get Safe Online

Fraudsters are emptying bank accounts by diverting calls and text messages | Action Fraud

Fraudsters are stealing large sums of money from victim’s bank accounts by taking control of their mobile phones and intercepting calls/texts messages sent by banks.

Fraudsters are once again gathering as much information as possible on victims and using a method we have warned the public about in the past called SIM splitting, to gain access to people’s bank accounts.

A recent This is Money investigation found that one victim from London lost £22,300 when fraudsters raided their Santander accounts using this method. Another two victims had £19,500 drained from their Santander accounts after criminals intercepted the bank’s text messages.

Source: Fraudsters are emptying bank accounts by diverting calls and text messages | Action Fraud

Travellers – Unauthorised encampments in Nuneaton & Bedworth

Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council Council recognises and accepts the rights of travellers/gypsies and also those people on whose land unauthorised camping takes place.

Gypsies and travellers are protected from discrimination by the Equalities Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1998, together with all ethnic groups who have a particular culture, language or values.

These FAQ explain how the Council and other official agencies will work to try to balance the rights of all those involved.

 

Source: Travellers – frequently asked questions | Unauthorised encampments | Nuneaton & Bedworth

Take the test: are you an easy fraud target?

Use Which?’s fraud risk quiz and get expert tips to protect yourself from scam

With an estimated 5.6 million consumers falling victim to fraud or cyber crime last year, people could be taking more steps to protect themselves from scammers and fraudsters, new Which? research reveals.

A survey of more than 1,800 Which? members found that two thirds (67%) use the same password across multiple accounts, while more than one in four (28%) are on the open electoral register, leaving their details publicly available. And just one in four (25%) check their credit report at least once a year.

So, are you leaving yourself open to fraud? Take the Which test to discover your fraud risk score and the steps you can take to protect yourself.

 

Growing problem of bank transfer fraud

Even if you do take the right steps to protect yourself, fraudsters’ tactics are becoming ever more sophisticated – particularly when it comes to bank transfer fraud. When Which? launched an online scams reporting tool in November 2016, more than 650 people reported losing over £5.5m to bank transfer fraud.

Common bank transfer scams include:

  • Fraudsters conning you into paying for bogus technical support to deal with a non-existent virus on your computer
  • Scam texts and calls that claim to be from your bank, asking you to send money as part of ‘security checks’
  • Scammers masquerading via email as a tradesman or professional you are using, and tricking you into paying money into a bogus bank account

Home buyers are becoming increasingly vulnerable to scammers through what’s been dubbed ‘Friday afternoon fraud’. Experts believe fraudsters identify victims through social media or ‘For sale’ signs and target them on a Friday – a popular day for property completions, according to the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. Scammers hack into the victim’s email account and redirect emails from, say, their property solicitor or estate agent to themselves; the fraudsters then create an email address like the solicitor’s or estate agent’s and send the victim emails requesting a payment. In some cases, they even hack into the law firm’s account, according to Mike McLaughlin of cybersecurity consultancy First Base.

‘Businesses need to up their game’ on bank transfer fraud

One of the biggest issues with bank transfer fraud is that unlike other types of fraud, such as on a credit card, consumers have no right to get their money back from their bank.

Which? believes that the banking industry has yet to demonstrate it is taking the issue seriously enough or is taking enough significant steps to protect consumers. In September 2016, we issued a super-complaint to the Payment Systems Regulator about how banks were dealing with bank transfer fraud. The regulator has so far stopped short of making banks take on greater responsibility but agreed they could do more, and has asked the industry to make improvements. We’ll continue to push banks to give people greater protection. Sign our petition to force action on scams.

Gareth Shaw, money expert at Which? said: ‘Fraudsters’ tactics for getting hold of your money are constantly evolving but many businesses’ efforts to protect their customers haven’t kept pace, so it’s more important than ever to be on your guard. Taking small steps can make your personal details safer from fraudsters. While we’re encouraging everyone to take steps to protect themselves, businesses need to up their game. We’re calling for banks to do more to protect their customers from scammers with our super-complaint on bank transfer fraud to the regulators.’

Fans Flock To Hoax Ticket Website Experiment | Get Safe Online

More than 1,500 people have tried to buy tickets from a fake website set up to raise awareness of this type of fraud.

The City of London Police and Action Fraud – in partnership with Get Safe Online and the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) – have been working to show members of the public just how easy it is to be tricked into buying fake tickets online. During a series of Facebook flash sales over 1,500 people tried to purchase music tickets from a fake ticket sales website called ‘Surfed Arts’.

Source: Fans Flock To Hoax Ticket Website Experiment | Get Safe Online

What home products are most susceptible to cyber burglars?

No matter how intelligent they claim to be, many smart home gadgets are vulnerable to hackers. Nowadays even the lock on your front door is susceptible to a cyberattack. No longer do you only have to worry about someone simply picking the lock, now a burglar could go through cyberspace to unlatch the door.

Just like the lock on your front door to keep out burglars, you should protect your high-tech devices from cyber threats. Start by choosing different passwords for your internet router and each of your smart devices. It is also important to use multi-factor authentication as an added protection to prevent a hacker who guesses your password from breaking into your home. You should regularly install manufacturer updates to make sure you are running the most current security system in your home.

Ovum’s “Smart Home Devices Forecast: 2016–21″ found that the largest smart home markets will be China and the US, because of high availability of devices and greater consumer interest in smart home services and products. Device sales will grow to more than 1.4 billion units by 2021, up from 224 million in 2016, driven particularly by sales of security devices, such as cameras, door locks, and sensors, and by utilities devices, such as connected light bulbs and smart thermostats. Ovum predicts that each smart home household will use on average 8.7 devices, bringing the total smart home active installed base to 4 billion devices.

In the matter of the Dyn situation, it was those Internet of Things devices that created the voluminous distributed denial of sevice attack. A DVR was used to attack Dyn’s network. To reduce the impact of such attacks, officials at InsuranceQuotes have noted some of the more popular smart home gadgets in your home that could be vulnerable.

The smart hub: This is the virtual key to your home. It serves as the central monitoring station that all of your smart home devices connect to, and alerts emergency responders when something is wrong. By hacking into the Hub, cyber criminals can gain entry to your home. Smart Hubs can fall victim to jammers that block the signal between your various smart gadgets and the Hub. So make sure they come with anti-jamming software that detects these intrusions. 

Smart surveillance cameras: These cameras monitor your home for burglars, but they can also give cyber criminals a peek inside. This could help burglars figure out when you are away from home, and where you hide your most valuable possessions. Protect your home by choosing a difficult password and setting up multi-factor authentication, so they won’t have eyes inside your home.

Smart locks: These locks are designed to secure your home from burglars, but some are prone to hacking. Secure your home by changing your password often and setting up multi-factor authentication, so intruders can’t walk right in the front door. Also, make sure you have an old fashioned, hard key as a backup, in case of total failure.

Smart garage doors: These garage doors conveniently open when you’re heading home from the grocery store, or a long day at work. But they have also proven to be vulnerable to hackers, who can gain access to your home through the garage. Protect your garage by choosing a difficult password and always have a manual way to access the area.

Smart thermostats: These thermostats make it easy to adjust the temperature in your home without getting out of bed. But they are also vulnerable to hackers, who can make your life miserable by cranking up the heat in the summer, or running the air conditioning in the winter. Protect yourself from pranksters by encrypting your password and setting up multi-factor authentication.

Smart lights: These lights come in handy when you’re at work and realize you left the kitchen lights on. But if they fall into the wrong hands, a hacker could keep you up all night — not to mention, raise your electricity bill — by flicking the lights on and off. Or, they could cut the lights before a break-in. Stay in control of your lights by changing your password frequently and setting up multi-factor authentication.

Smart baby monitors: These monitors help new parents keep an eye on their infants in the bedroom, but these gadgets have also fallen victim to numerous hackers, who reportedly scream at babies and play loud music. They could also provide on-the-ground intelligence to prospective kidnappers. Keep your children safe by changing your password often and turning it off when not using the monitor.Not everyone is onboard with the smarthome

A survey by Assurant of 2,500 Americans showed that two-thirds believe the benefits of connected technologies outweigh the negatives. However, within that survey they found there is some trepidation by users. Twenty-seven percent said they were fearful that the home smart device would break and be expensive to replace or repair; 24% said the product didn’t perform as expected; and 21% were worried that there was insufficient self-help for troubleshooting issues.

The survey respondents were also asked about what fears they have of smarthomes. They were afraid of identity theft by criminal hackers (65% were concerned or fearful); 62% – cyberattacks on America’s web infrastructure; 51% – email or social media account hacking; and 42% – Eavesdropping by foreign governments.

Poor security awareness leaves UK consumers vulnerable to cyber-crime

UK consumer’s fast and carefree approach to mobile apps is leaving them vulnerable to cyber-criminals looking to infect mobile devices and steal information from oblivious victims according to new research from RiskIQ.

The mobile apps survey sourced answers from 1016 UK adults aged 18 and above. It found that nearly half (45 percent) of UK adults do not scrutinise app details while 60 percent never or only occasionally review the privacy policy and permissions prior to downloading.

Source: Poor security awareness leaves UK consumers vulnerable to cyber-crime