West Mercia Police – Economic Crime Unit – Fraud & Scam bulleting – July 2022

The Fraud & Scam Bulletin

July  2022

Your monthly update direct from West Mercia Police on the latest scams and frauds

This month promotes the National Phishing Campaign and also features the current and ongoing WhatsApp Scams.

 

What is Phishing?

‘Phishing’ or ‘smishing’ is when criminals use scam emails, text messages or phone calls to trick their victims. Whether it’s an email asking you to ‘verify’ your bank account details, or a text message claiming you’ve been in close contact with someone that’s got COVID-19, the goal is usually the same – to trick you into revealing personal and financial information.

The most impersonated organisations in phishing emails reported last year were the NHS, HMRC and gov.uk.

Protect yourself

Fake emails and texts can be difficult to spot as criminals are always getting better at creating genuine-looking messages.

Here’s some practical advice you can follow when it comes to dealing with phishing scams:

  • If you have any doubts about a message, contact the organisation directly. Don’t use the numbers or address in the message – use the details from that organisation’s official website. Remember, your bank (or any other official source) will never ask you to supply personal information via email.
  • If you think an email could be a scam, you can report it by forwarding the email to: . Always send emails that feel suspicious, even if you’re not certain they’re a scam – they can be checked
  • Most phone providers are part of a scheme that allows customers to report suspicious text messages for free by forwarding it to 7726. If you forward a text to 7726, your provider can investigate the origin of the text and arrange to block or ban the sender, if it’s found to be malicious.
  • If you’ve lost money or provided personal information as a result of a phishing scam, notify your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

WHATSAPP SCAMS

 

This month there has been a rise again in WhatsApp scams where the suspect is pretending to be the victim’s son/daughter and requesting payments made to their bank account.

The suspect applies pressure saying:

1.    They cannot take the call (when the victim tries to call them) as they are using a friend’s phone

2.    The suspect will say their “phone” has been dropped down the toilet and they cannot access their online banking, so to send the payment to a friend’s bank account

3.    They apply further pressure by saying the money is for an unexpected bill or a debt that needs paying urgently

The suspect may then make repeated requests to have the money transferred quickly.

So do not attempt to call back the “friend’s” number provided, but use another number saved to your phone to double check with that relative before handing over any money.

 

Do you want to know more about Fraud?

Fraud Safety Webinar: 10am, 21st July –    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/305513437917

Fraud Safety Webinar: 7pm, 24th August – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/330607876057

IF YOU THINK YOU ARE BEING SCAMMED

OR DO NOT RECOGNISE THE CONTACT

  • STOP: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.

  • CHALLENGE: Could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

  • PROTECT: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam

and report it to Action Fraud

If you’ve fallen for a scam, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk.

 

Scam Text messages can be forwarded to 7726 to help phone providers take early action and block numbers that generate spam on their networks.

Forward Fake Emails received to For further information visit:

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/

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