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Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Creating safer, stronger and active communities

Extortion Malware Threat Growing

Anti-virus companies have warned computer and mobile phone users to be aware that the threat from extortion malware is growing. Malware is any software used to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems. A common form of extortion malware is ransomeware which is a type of malware which restricts access to the computer system that it infects, and demands a ransom to be paid to the creator(s) of the malware in order for the restriction to be removed. 

Read more: Extortion Malware Threat Growing

Free Trial Scams and Pop-Ups

Action Fraud has seen an increase in the amount of victims signing up for free trials for unapproved or misleading pharmaceuticals or supplements.
The scam usually involves a ‘pop up’ on your computer or a text message advertising a free 14-day trial. In signing up to this trial you are asked for your credit or debit card details and after the 14 days have elapsed, recurring payments are taken.
Recurring payments or continuous payment authorities are similar to a direct debit, but can be much harder to cancel or identify who is debiting your account. In most cases victims are finding it extremely difficult to cancel the subscription and the products are either not delivered or are inferior. 
Common pharmaceuticals or supplements being advertised are teeth whitening products, food supplements and slimming tablets.

Read more: Free Trial Scams and Pop-Ups

Lottery Scams

A lottery scam takes place when criminals pretend that you have won a prize, often a lottery. 

The people most likely to fall victim to this tend to be over the age of 60 (although younger people do fall victim too) – but we know that it is often close family members of victims who spot the tell-tale signs of the fraud.

Read more: Lottery Scams

Online Auction Scam

Fraudsters are targeting people to list items on their behalf on popular online auction sites. The scam involves a job offer to sell desirable items at below market value and receive money from any potential buyers. The ‘work from home’ job will usually require retaining 10% of the money received as a “salary” and fraudsters will ask that the remaining funds are sent to them via bank transfer or money transfer.
 
In these cases the proposed items being sold do not exist and are therefore not dispatched to the proposed buyers. This will usually result in the buyer making a complaint concerning the individual who has listed the items. This can result in your bank account being closed by the bank for suspected fraud or money laundering and being held accountable for reimbursing the potential buyers.

Read more: Online Auction Scam

Creating Passwords

Fraudsters regularly hack into personal online accounts to obtain details which will allow them to defraud you. To prevent fraudsters, it’s very important to use strong passwords when setting up and accessing online accounts and online banking.

Passwords should be memorable enough not to have to write them down and long enough to be unique and hard to guess, which will ensure they are less vulnerable to being stolen. If it is not possible to remember passwords a password manager could be used to store them securely.
 

Read more: Creating Passwords

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This is the home page of the Meerkats.Why did we choose the Meerkat? The Meerkat belongs to the mongoose family. It is famous for standing upright looking out for eagles and hawks that might attack their community.


Meerkats Logo Small

A Meerkat is always careful.

Meerkats work together to keep themselves safe. When a deadly puff adder attacked a burrow the meerkats helped each other and carried all their babies to safety.


 When they want to be safe, meerkats go to their burrow.

 Like the meerkat you can learn to be watchful and help to keep yourself safe. Meerkats teach us not to let our guard down and work together to keep our community safe from dangers.

We do not live in the wild, but we do have to know about the world around us because sometimes other people, or things we do, can be unsafe. 

The Meerkat pages will help you to find out how you can help yourself and your friends to stay safe.