Any alerts sent from Neighbourhood Watch or Community Police will appear on this page of the website:
HM Revenue and Customs Alert
What you need to know:
Action Fraud has experienced an increase in the reporting of malicious calls, voicemails, text messages or emails to members of the public purporting to be from HMRC.
The fraudsters state that as a result of their non-payment of tax or other duty, the victim is liable to prosecution or other legal proceedings such as repossession of belongings to settle the balance but can avoid this by arranging for payment to be made immediately by method such as bank transfer or by iTunes gift cards. If the victim is hesitant or refuses to comply, the suspect makes a threat such as immediate arrest, bailiffs or in cases where the victim appears to be of overseas origin; deportation.
Often, the period for which the tax is allegedly due is distant enough to guarantee the victim will have little, if any, paperwork or ability to verify the claims. Once the money is paid the suspects sever all contact. It is vital that the public exercise caution when receiving messages or telephone calls of this nature.
What you need to do
Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information. Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and contact details), it doesn't mean they are genuine. Instead, contact the company directly using trusted methods such as a known email address or phone number.
Listen to your instincts. If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. No genuine organisation will ask you to pay taxes, bills or fees using iTunes Gift Cards, or any other type of voucher.
Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.
Report Phishing attempts. If you receive a call, text or email of this nature and have not lost money, report this as a phishing attempt to Action Fraud.
Sainsburys Nector Point Scam
Please check your nectar points are still to the value that you expect.
A Nectar card in Melksham had been cloned remotely by someone in the Midlands.
It did not matter that the card was still in the victims purse and had never left their sight. The victim could prove they were in Melksham at the time. Fortunately a full refund of the points was possible in this case. Nectar was very good in dealing with this. Points can be removed at multiple different Sainsbury shops throughout one day by a scammer. The card is then updated overnight. £100 of nectar points will provide at least e.g. £600 if the scammer visits six shops. This would show as a minus on your card the next day, and you would know nothing about it until you came to cash your points.
Please check your points are still there on a regular basis and consider keeping your Nectar balance low.
Do you feel safe online? If you are aged over 60 or registered disabled (aged 18+) and are concerned about your online safety; you can request a visit from one of our trained Online Safety Volunteers. You can ring 101 or email: email@example.com (Bobby Van Trust).
Be on the alert for scam calls, already one lady has had someone ring her pretending to be from TalkTalk informing her that they have picked up some suspicious activity on the account and would she please put her computer on so that they can make sure she is safe. Luckily the lady was on the ball and told the caller that under no circumstances was she going to give them access to her computer.
In view of the recent hacking scandal, many scammers will now jump on the bandwagon so we must all be very wary, and spread the word.
Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau) have notified us of two scams currently doing the rounds: Lloyds Bank Fake letters and emails purporting to be from PayPal.
Fake Bank Letters
Lloyds customers should be on the lookout for a new sophisticated fraud that involves fraudsters sending fake bank letters.
The convincing letters being sent are a replica template from Lloyds and include their logo, address and signature from a customer service representative.
The letter tells recipients that there have been some “unusual transactions” on their personal account and asks them to call a number highlighted in bold to confirm they are genuine.
When victims call the number, an automated welcome message is played and the caller is asked to enter their card number, account number and sort code followed by their date of birth. Victims are then instructed to enter the first and last digit of their security number.
The fraud was spotted by the Daily Telegraph who was alerted to it by a reader who had three identical letters sent to an office address. On separate occasions the Daily Telegraph ran some tests using fake details and were passed to fraudsters who claimed to be from a Lloyds contact centre. The bank has confirmed that the phone number and letters are fake.
The letters are essentially a sophisticated phishing attempt and serves as a warning to consumers to question written correspondence from their banks.
If you are ever suspicious about correspondence from your bank you should call the customer serviced number on the back of their card. To report a fraud and cyber crime, call us on 0300 123 2040 or visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud
Please be aware that there is another scam doing the rounds where
e-mails, supposedly from Paypal, are being sent out asking people to confirm their details. I have checked with Paypal and this is definitely a scam and please do not respond but forward the e-mail to Paypal for investigation.
17th August 2016
Online shopping websites are being utilised by fraudsters to advertise nonexistent drones of various specifications for competitive prices.
Drones are personal flying devices that often carry cameras and can be navigated remotely by smartphones or hand-held controllers. Fraudsters are capitalising on their recent popularity and advertising non-existent drones at a lower value than their recommended retail price to tempt buyers.
After victims agree to purchase the drone, the fraudsters request payment to be paid via bank transfer saying that it will quicken the delivery process. After transferring the money the buyers never receive the drone and the fraudster blocks the victim to prevent further conversation.
How to protect yourself:
Check the validity of the post.
Avoid paying by bank transfer and instead use an online payment option such as PayPal, which helps to protect you.
Check feedback online by searching the associated phone numbers or email addresses of the seller. Feedback will give you useful information about recent transactions other buyers may have made.
If the item is below market value consider whether this is an opportunity too good to be true.
If you have been affected by this, or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk
12th August 2016
People selling their items on online platforms are falling victim to a new type of advance fee fraud. This involves a fraudster, posing as a buyer, sending an email to the seller (victim), agreeing to the full asking price of the item. They state that they are unable to collect the item themselves and will arrange for a courier to pick it up instead.
The fraudster then sends a fake payment confirmation email from a different email address, one which falsely purports to be from a payment platform. In the course of the email exchange, the seller/victim is requested to pay the courier fee. Once the payment is made the contact is broken, the item is not picked up and the money paid for the 'courier' is gone.
An example of the most recent emails received by the victim/seller, from the 'Buyer', read:
"I want you to consider this a deal as i am willing to pay your full asking price! i actually want to buy it for a family member who is urgently in need of it, i have checked through your posting and i'm fully satisfied with it. Unfortunately, i would not be able to come personally to view/collect, i work offshore as an instructor on a oil rig so i dont have time at all, but like i said i am 100% OK with the advert"
Be wary when buyers wish to purchase items at the full asking price without viewing them.
Check the validity of the payment receipt confirmation
Avoid paying an advanced fee if you are a seller; should you choose to use a courier, arrange your own.
Check feedback online by searching the associated phone numbers or email addresses of the seller/buyer. Feedback will give you useful information about recent transactions other buyers/sellers have made.
If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.