- A website has been set up, which offers an antivirus program to protect users against the coronavirus. Fraudsters trick users into downloading a remote access trojan and install malware that could infect the user’s device. Once access has been obtained, the fraudster could act as a legitimate user but use this access to steal data and seek financial gain.
- Fraudsters offering free food vouchers then harvesting their data and charging them for marketing texts. Fraudsters are pretending to be major supermarket chains offering free vouchers for shopping in their store – “ASDA has announced that they are giving away free £150 coupon to everyone – get your free coupon at (Weblink)”
- Emails purporting to be collecting on behalf of a charity to assist vulnerable people during the outbreak.
- Individuals selling fake covid-19 test kits.
- Fraudsters are targeting users working from home to invest in bitcoin. Fraudsters try to deceive their intended victims by stating they can earn millions, which leads the victims to click on the fraudulent links.
- Fraudsters attempt to get payment for a fake charity which is assisting with the outbreak.
Please note, this list is not exhaustive and is for information & awareness only.
Should you come aware of any scams (COVID-19 related or not), be sure to report to Police via 101 or directly to Action Fraud: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Message 2 from Dyfed-Powys Police:
It’s important to still be on your guard to avoid falling victim to these types of scams, so follow our top tips:
Beware of people cold calling or turning up on your doorstep unannounced offering to shop for you, or carry out tasks where they’re asking for money up front. Don’t be afraid to say no.
If possible, ask neighbours, friends or relatives to help out with these tasks, then can then leave items on your doorstep to maintain the social distancing that will help us beat this virus.
If that’s not possible, contact an established group of volunteers in your community either through the council or one of the coordinated groups that have been set up. We’ve put together a list of how you can find these below.
If you have doubts over someone who’s approached you, or have seen something suspicious, tell someone. You can report suspicious incidents to us by visiting bit.ly/DPPReportOnline, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 101. In an emergency – call 999.
Message 3 from Dyfed-Powys Police:
How often do you hear – “They’ll never fool me” – or “I can’t believe people are that stupid”?
Criminals use social engineering to manipulate or deceive people into handing over their personal information.
Social engineering does not rely on systems or technology, but exploits human psychology to trust other people. Criminals know that there are too many technical security defences in place to hack banks and companies directly; human beings are seen as the weak spot and are targeted.
So, what does social engineering look like?
Social engineering is essentially a confidence trick to exploit a person’s trust in order to obtain money directly or confidential information to enable subsequent crime.
The fraudulent party will act as a legitimate business such as your bank and convince you into handing over your personal information or move money from your account into another. They may have some of your personal information such as name, address, telephone number which makes them seem genuine. The request will often seem urgent, this is to trick you into acting as quickly as possible, giving you minimal time to think about whether it is fraudulent.
Common types of social engineering attacks include Vishing, Smishing and Phishing. You can find out more about types of fraud here: https://bit.ly/2A5hp65
How can I avoid social engineered fraud?
· Email or text message: Look at the spelling. Often fraudulent messages will have spelling and grammatical errors.
· Offer too good to be true? You know the answer already… if it seems that way, then it probably is.
· Don’t download any attachments or click on any links unless you know the true source.
· Make sure your antivirus software is up to date.
· If you receive a text, email or phone call asking for passwords or financial information, it’s most likely a scam.
· You can always call your bank - use the number located on the back of your bank card.
STOP – CHALLENGE – PROTECT
If you’ve been a victim of fraud, report it to us. You can do this online at bit.ly/DPPReportOnline, by emailing email@example.com or by calling 101
Message 4 from Dyfed-Powys Police
Dyfed-Powys Police have received an increase in reports that people have been caught out by criminals convincing them into making payments for online purchases in advance – and never seeing the items or their money again.
A number of reports have related to the purchase of puppies, kittens, caravans, campervans, hot tubs- the list is endless!
With more people staying at home, more and more are shopping online. Shopping online can be great, but it also has its pitfalls which can be easy to forget, especially when buying items from sellers on online marketplaces.
To help you avoid becoming a victim of this type of fraud, remember to STOP – CHALLENGE – PROTECT.
· Ask for physical proof. Consider physically seeing the item before purchasing. Don’t be afraid to ask the seller lots of questions before buying. Seeing an item physically isn’t possible at the moment, so think of ways of doing this differently such as video chat with the seller.
· Understand what the marketplace company where the item is being sold (for example eBay or Gumtree) can do if something goes wrong
· Look for payment methods with guarantees - use online payment options such as PayPal, which help to protect you. Avoid using money transfer services or bank transfer.
· Take a look at the seller’s reviews and ratings where available. Consider using marketplaces where you can read reviews but remember, reviews can also be fake.
· If you’re being pressured into a decision or to make an immediate payment – this should ring alarm bells.
· Don’t be fooled into using a ‘holding’ account for the payment. Criminals are clever and can make a website look genuine.
· Criminals are good at making their adverts look flashy, trustworthy and genuine. Don’t be fooled by a high quality picture and detailed description – do your research.
· Be wary of over-nice sellers who want to go the extra mile to make you trust them. We are not saying that there aren’t nice people out there who go over and above expectations, but scammers might offer to deliver the item personally upon receipt of the funds (and as you’ve guessed, the item never turns up & the seller is no longer contactable).
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you or someone you know believes they have fallen victim to fraud, report it to us online at bit.ly/DPPReportOnline, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 101