Fraud, often called Scams, is the fastest growing area of crime and is often not reported.

ActionFraud is the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre.

They provide a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime.

Click here to download a leaflet about Action Fraud.

 

Online Romance and Dating Fraud

All this week, Cambridgeshire Police will be supporting a national campaign involving all the UK police services and some of the companies providing dating services, to help raise the awareness of online romance/dating fraud and provide advice on how to stay safe online.

Romance, or dating fraud, occurs when a relationship is formed online, but the profile of the perfect partner you think you've met, is in fact fake.

The scammer makes you believe you're in a loving relationship spanning weeks, or perhaps months to gain your trust. However, the end goal is always a much more sinister one, with criminals after money or personal information.

Read more: Online Romance and Dating Fraud

DVAL Vehicle Tax Phishing Email

Fake DVLA Page 1 Fake DVLA Page 2

 

Have you received a message like this?

Above is a screenshot of a real and recent example of a scam DVLA vehicle tax message.

At first, it appears quite official, but if you read the text on the right-hand image it does not make sense.

Criminals know that the moment they send and you receive the text, email or instant message, it will cause one of several reactions, here are two of them:

  1. Ignore and delete. (I don’t have a car, it looks a scam)
  2. Install fear that you have an unlicensed vehicle, you don’t want to be in trouble so you click on the link START NOW and use your credit card to pay.

The criminal wants the second reaction and unfortunately too many people react in this way, but it is through these emails I hope we can steer everyone to the ignoring and deleting of this and similar scam messages.

DVLA will not contact the public in such a way to tell them their car is untaxed.

For further information about scams aimed at motorists, visit:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dvla-warns-motorists-to-be-aware-of-scams

Facebook Messenger Scam

For those of you that use Facebook Messenger, be aware of the following scam.

The intended victim receives a message via Facebook messenger from a ‘friend’.

The ‘friend’ asks the victim if they could use their mobile number for a text verification.

When the victim supplies the mobile number, they later receive a text message asking them to verify a purchase.

When the victim replies ‘y’ for yes they are informed that they have been charged for the items and the amount will appear on their next phone bill.

It appears that the ‘friends’ Facebook and/or Messenger account will have been hacked.

This scam works because of an automatic trust between friends. If in doubt, contact the friend by a tried, tested and trusted means ideally a voice call, and ask them whether or not they had sent the message. Please also consider, this type of scam could be achieved through other instant message service platforms such as WhatsApp.

The word hack, suggests a high level of skill and knowledge to break into an online account, generally this is not the case and it is down to a weak password.

To help prevent your online accounts being unlawfully accessed, please ensure you have a strong and unique password on each of your email and social media accounts. Use three random words including upper and lowercase, numbers and characters.

Enable two-factor authentication.

NHS Test and Trace Scam

Based on local information, (not verified by myself) it would appear that an elderly person has received a telephone call purporting to represent NHS test and trace service.

The suspect told the person answering the phone, that they had been in contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19 and that they now needed to be tested within 72 hours.

The caller then said there was a charge of £50 for the test and took bank card details over the phone. (The long card number, expiry date, name on the card and CVC code giving the criminal all the detail they need to fraudulently use the card)

Any test under the NHS Test and Trace service is free.

Read more: NHS Test and Trace Scam