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Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Creating safer, stronger and active communities

Wonga Compromised

Wonga has confirmed a data breach where up to 250,000 accounts have been compromised.

The incident is now being investigated by the police and has been reported to the Financial Conduct Authority.

Wonga has updated their website with further information and confirmed that they are contacting all those affected and are taking steps to protect them, but there are also some things you can do to keep your information secure.

Here’s what you can do to make yourself safer:

  • If any of your financial details were compromised, notify your bank or card company as soon as possible. Review your financial statements regularly for any unusual activity.
  • Criminals can use personal data obtained from a data breach to commit identity fraud. Consider using credit reference agencies, such as Experian or Equifax, to regularly monitor your credit file for unusual activity.
  • Be suspicious of any unsolicited calls, emails or texts, even if it appears to be from a company you know of.
  • Don’t open the attachments or click on links within unsolicited emails, and never disclose any personal or financial details during a cold call.
If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, please report it to us: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud

Phishing Emails

Fraudsters are sending out a high volume of phishing emails to personal and business email addresses, pretending to come from various email addresses, which have been compromised.
The subject line contains the recipient’s name, and the main body of text is as below:

 

  “Hi, [name]!
 
I am disturbing you for a very serious reason. Although we are not familiar, but I have significant amount of individual info concerning you. The thing is that, most likely mistakenly, the data of your account has been emailed to me.
 
For instance, your address is:
 
[real home address]
 
I am a law-abiding citizen, so I decided to personal data may have been hacked. I attached the file – [surname].dot that I received, that you could explore what info has become obtainable for scammers. File password is – 2811
 
Best Wishes,”
 
The emails include an attachment – a ‘.dot’ file usually titled with the recipient’s name.
 This attachment is thought to contain the Banking Trojan Ursniff/Gozi, hidden within an image in the document. The Ursniff Banking Trojan attempts to obtain sensitive data from victims, such as banking credentials and passwords. The data is subsequently used by criminals for monetary gain.

 


Protect Yourself:
 

Having up-to-date virus protection is essential; however it will not always prevent your device(s) from becoming infected.   Please consider the following actions:

 

  • Don’t click on links or open any attachments you receive in unsolicited emails or SMS messages: Remember that fraudsters can ‘spoof’ an email address to make it look like one used by someone you trust. If you are unsure, check the email header to identify the true source of communication (you can find out how by searching the internet for relevant advice for your email provider).
  • Do not enable macros in downloads; enabling macros will allow Trojan/malware to be installed onto your device.
  • Always install software updates as soon as they become available. Whether you are updating the operating system or an application, the update will often include fixes for critical security vulnerabilities.
  • Create regular backups of your important files to an external hard drive, memory stick or online storage provider. It is important that the device you back up to is not connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that as well.
  • If you think your bank details have been compromised, you should contact your bank immediately.
If you have been affected by this or any other fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk

Payment Diversion Alert

Fraudsters are emailing members of the public who are expecting to make a payment for property repairs. The fraudsters will purport to be a tradesman who has recently completed work at the property and use a similar email address to that of the genuine tradesman. They will ask for funds to be transferred via bank transfer. Once payment is made the victims of the scam soon realise they have been deceived when the genuine tradesman requests payment for their services. Protect yourself

  • Always check the email address is exactly the same as previous correspondence with the genuine contact.
  • For any request of payment via email verify the validity of the request with a phone call to the person who carried out the work.
  • Check the email for spelling and grammar as these signs can indicate that the email is not genuine.
  • Payments via bank transfer offer no financial protection; consider using alternative methods such as a credit card or PayPal which offer protection and an avenue for recompense.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone 0300 123 2040.

Don't become a Money Mule

Students are being recruited, sometimes unwittingly, as “mules” by criminals to transfer illegally obtained money between different bank accounts.
 
 

What is a money mule?

A money mule is someone who is recruited by those needing to launder money obtained illegally. Criminals advertise fake jobs in newspapers and on the internet in a number of ways, usually offering opportunities to make money quickly, in order to lure potential money mule recruits. These include:

 Social media posts

Copying genuine company’s websites to create impression of legitimacy
Sending mass emails offering employment
Targeting individuals that have posted their CVs on employment websites
 
Students are particularly susceptible to adverts of this nature. For someone in full-time education, the opportunity for making money quickly can understandably be an attractive one. The mule will accept money into their bank account, before following further instructions on what to do with the funds. Instructions could include transferring the money into a separate specified account or withdrawing the cash and forwarding it on via money transfer service companies like Western Union or MoneyGram. The mule is generally paid a small percentage of the funds as they pass through their account. 
 
Money Laundering is a criminal offence which can lead to prosecution and a custodial sentence. Furthermore, it can lead to the mule being unable to obtain credit in the UK and prevented from holding a bank account.
 

Protect Yourself


Be aware that the offence of money laundering carries a maximum prison sentence, in the UK, of 14 years.
Never give the details of your bank account to anyone that you do not trust.
No legitimate company will ever ask you to use your own bank account to transfer their money. Don’t accept any job offers that ask you to do this.
Be wary of unsolicited emails or social media posts promising ways of earning easy money. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Don’t be afraid to question the legitimacy of any businesses that make you a job offer, especially if the recruitment procedure strays from the conventional. 

Fraudulent Phone Upgrades

Fraudsters are impersonating telephone service providers and contacting their clients offering a phone upgrade on a low monthly payment contract. The fraudsters will glean all your personal and financial details which will then be used to contact the genuine phone provider and order a new mobile phone handset. The fraudsters will either intercept the delivery before it reaches the victim’s address or order the handset to a different address.

Protect yourself

Never provide your personal information to a third party from an unsolicited communication.

Obtain the genuine number of the organisation being represented and verify the legitimacy of the communication.

If the offer is too good to be true it probably is.

If you have provided personal information and you are concerned that your identity may be compromised consider Cifas Protection Registration.

If you have been a victim of fraud report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/