BEWARE OF SCAMMERS! Latest Scams, prevention and how to take action (Action-Fraud & Which?)

What is fraud? Fraud is when somebody lies, or deceives you, in order to cause harm, usually by stealing your money.

What should I do if I’m a victim of fraud or cyber crime?
You can report fraud and cyber crime using the online reporting tool:

What is cyber crime?
This is when fraudsters target computers, tablets or phones or use the internet to swindle you. Our increased use of electronic devices for everyday
activities means that cyber criminals have a wealth of opportunity to commit crime.
What is Action Fraud?
Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime. Members of the public, businesses and charities can report to Action Fraud
online or on the phone.
Victims’ reports are assessed by specialists to see if they are suitable for further action and are then sent to the relevant law enforcement agency to investigate.
If you do not have internet access, or if you require more support, you can also contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to speak to an advisor.
Why do people in the UK report fraud and cyber crime to Action
Fraud instead of the police?
Action Fraud takes reports from victims nationwide providing a clear picture of the scale of fraud and cyber crime, allowing law enforcement to link crimes
which happen across the country. This kind of intelligence is the key to disrupting cyber crime.

Beware of the scam text below offering you fake government energy bill support

The latest energy scam capitalises on the fact that the government’s £400 energy grant is now being rolled out. 

If you get one of these texts, don’t click on the link. Your grant will be applied to your energy account automatically.

Notorious ‘Hi Mum and Dad’ scam spreads from WhatsApp to text message

Scammers impersonating your family members, particularly adult children, in order to ask you for money are now targeting you through text messages.

Earlier this year, Action Fraud warned that it had received 1,235 reports of criminals posing as loved ones in need on WhatsApp between 3 February and 21 June this year, amounting to a total financial loss of £1.5m.

How the impersonation scam works

The message will typically start with saying the sender has lost their phone, it’s damaged or they can’t access it.

The fraudsters will mostly go on to ask you for money by pointing out an imaginary difficult financial situation they’re in and playing on the close relationship you have to the person they’re impersonating.

The bank details they give will probably not match those of your loved one and it’s likely the scammer will tell you it’s because they can’t access their bank account.

If you receive a message like this don’t be tempted to transfer money immediately, enquire further by asking who specifically it is by name and by calling them or asking for a voice note. 

WhatsApp has warned that its users should ensure that two-factor authentication is set up on their account and never to share their six-digit pin code with others.

Reporting scam text messages

If you receive a suspicious text message, you can report it by forwarding it to 7726 before blocking the number.

If you’re concerned you’ve given money to a possible scam, contact your bank straight away and report the scam to Action Fraud.

You can report scam messages on WhatsApp by opening up the WhatsApp chat with the unknown number and selecting Block and Report.

ID theft: How bank account fraudsters may steal your identity

How do criminals steal your identity?

Impostor applications often take place in order to deposit the proceeds of scams, or as a ‘link within a mule network’.

They can also be lucrative for ‘acquisitive reasons’ such as raiding an account’s overdraft facility or associated credit card offers. Overdrafts can also be transferred to another account for easier access to cash.

Criminals have many ways of obtaining the details needed to apply for a current account in your name. Methods include stealing mail, through to hacking, obtaining data on the dark web, as well as persuading people to give up personal information by pretending to be from a bank, the police or a trusted retailer’.

Never give out your personal information over the telephone. If in any doubt, hang up and contact your bank or whatever company the Scammer is pretending to be from, directly.