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Latest scams to watch out for

19th April 2016

Action Fraud is highlighting the latest scams based on reports from the public assessed and analysed by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB). 

Banking customers targeted by Smishing  

Victims have reported receiving text messages, purporting to be from their banks, advising them that new direct debits have been set up. The messages ask victims to contact the bank on a number provided if these haven’t been authorised. 

When the victim contacts the “bank” they are asked to provide personal details. Fraudsters then take control of the account and send payments. You should always call your bank using a number from a bank statement or a verified source, not a text message.

Scam text messages can take any form, over weekend a number of people spoke out on social media after receiving personalised text messages claiming to be from Apple. Radio presenter David Vitty tweeted the below. 

These texts are very convincing as they use victim’s full name. Clicking the link takes you through to a fake website, where you are asked to enter your username and password. Enable two-factor authentication on your Apple ID account for better protection.

Fake and copy cat websites

Legitimate looking websites continue to dupe people out of money.  For example, one victim who typed ‘McAfee’ into a search engine clicked on a prominent link believed to be genuine. As a result, the victim contacted fraudsters who obtained personal details and took control of their computer. 

In another report, a victim was who was attempting to change the address on their driving licence ended up using a website that charged them £50 for a service that is actually free. One website in particular advertised carrying out driving licence applications for 90p but was actually taking £50 and not carrying out the service. 

Adele fans predicted to be targeted by ticketing fraudsters

Adele is performing at concerts in the UK until May. News reports suggest that resellers have been selling tickets online for up to £25,000. We anticipate an increase in ticket fraud reports over the coming months.

In 2015 online ticket fraud rose by 55%, costing the UK public £5.2 million – follow our advice to avoid falling victim.

Santander “Click Safe” 

These sophisticated Santander scams email rely heavily on social engineering. Social engineering is an extremely targeted type of scam where fraudsters manipulate their victims into sharing confidential information. Emails from Santander will always be addressed to you and won’t have a standard ‘Dear Customer’ greeting.

Ebay “Your order has been despatched today”

There are different variations of this EBay scam in circulation but they all relate to the fake order dispatch. If you have entered data through a fake eBay web page, you should take immediate steps to protect your account. 

More than 68% of people who reported a phishing scam said that they received it in the form of an email - find out what behaviours put you at risk and how to protect yourself

To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

Sign up for free to Action Fraud Alert to receive direct, verified, accurate information about scams and fraud in your area by email, recorded voice and text message.