Fresh wave of scams

We’ve seen several new scam attempts over the past week, after a bit of a lull in thievery attempts.

One involved the theft of £5000 from a business via the “this is your bank, we need you to transfer your money to a safe account” phone call. The person who took the call unfortunately had access to the firm’s online bank, and transferred the money.

According to the thieves it had to be £5000 at a time for “security”. Only one transaction went through before the real bank caught on and froze the account. The stolen money was repaid to the company, but the robbers are 5 grand to the good out of it.

Your bank will never, ever phone you to get you to move your money. If you receive such a call, hang up, and ring your bank from a different phone to advise them. As we’ve mentioned before, scammers can keep the line they’ve called you on open with a fake dialing tone, so that when you try to ring the bank you are still speaking to them.

The next one was a locked PC due to malware brought in on the back of a compromised website (to do with medieval castles). This froze the computer, and supplied a helpful phone number for “Microsoft” (it wasn’t) to put it right. Thankfully this client does not use online banking and did not give any financial details, though they did speak with the scammers at length, so all that has happened is that they are left with a broken – for now – PC.

The last scam was the classic “this is your broadband provider (always nameless as they don’t know who you are with) – there is a problem with your internet speed and we need control of your PC to put it right”. The thieves were given control, but the scam was detected before there was too much damage and thankfully no loss of money.

As we’ve said a lot, your ISP or bank will NOT be ringing you out of the blue. If you get such a call, hang up, and ring the police on 0300 1232040. If you can get the number who called you via 1471 do so. If “your bank” have called, find the correct fraud reporting number for them – usually on a statement or on their website – and tell them too, especially if you think your bank or card details may be in the wrong hands.

Please be careful. If any communication – phone call, email, text or the look of a website – smells in the least fishy, it probably is.

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