Category Archives: Security

Scam Awareness

Scam Awareness Month has been and gone but that does not mean that we should not all continue to be vigilant and mindful of the threats that exist.  We should all be very mindful that sensible precautions will help to keep us safe and, importantly, keep our details and our finances safe and secure.  The precautions are easy to follow and do not cost anything to implement.  However, if you fail to take the precautions the costs could be significant.

July 2015 was Scam Awareness Month

Scam Awareness Month ran throughout July 2015, with the intention
of assuring consumers are informed and are ready to talk about their own experiences to help prevent others. Sporting the headline “Don’t be rushed, Don’t b
e hushed”, the campaign is supported nationally by Trading Standards and other organisations.

Each year millions of people in the UK are victims of scammers.  Estimates put the figure lost to scammers by as much as £5 billion.  The truth is – with reporting levels as low as 5% for some types of scams – the real impact cannot be quantified.

Scams are crimes that affect many different groups of people with distressing, and sometimes disastrous consequences. Many go unreported either because the consumer does not spot something amiss or because people who become victims of scams feel a sense of shame.

To understand and prevent such crimes, it is essential that consumers get the information they need to spot scams in the first place; report them when they are targeted and get the advice they need to help protect them in future.

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER & SHARE

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • It you haven’t bought a ticket – you can’t win it.
  • You shouldn’t have to pay anything to get a prize.
  • If in doubt, don’t reply. Bin it, delete it or hang up.
  • Persuasive sales patter? Just say: “No thank you”.
  • Contacted out of the blue – be suspicious.
  • Take your time – resist pressure to make a decision straight away.
  • Never send money to someone you don’t know.
  • Walk away from job ads that ask for money in advance.
  • Your bank will never attend your home to collect cash, your PIN, payment card or chequebook if you are a victim of fraud.
  • Your bank will never phone you to ask for your PIN number.
  • Genuine computer firms do not make unsolicited calls to help you fix your computer.

Don’t suffer in silence – speak out about scams and help others to not fall victim to the scammers.   If you have had a strange call from a company or individual that you do not know nor recognize do not give any personal details.  Go talk to friends and neighbours and see if they have had the calls too.  Like the campaign says:  Don’t be Rushed…Don’t be Hushed.

If you would like more details on information shared within the campaign you can use the link below to view a leaflet and guide:  It is FREE and could save you a fortune.

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/CitizensAdvice/campaigns/scams/sam15-briefing.pdf

This information is brought to you by Just Lets and courtesy of www.safelocaltrades.com an online register of local vetted and recommended trades people.

Top 5 email scams revealed

90% of e-mails sent worldwide can be regarded as spam; undoubtedly a large proportion of that spam will be scams trying to get your hard earned money. A recent survey has revealed the top five email scams to be aware of this year.

  1. Bank scam emails

A few pieces of key information may be all the scammers need to get into your account. Emails often say there’s a problem with your account, and ask you to update your account details, either by email or by clicking on a link. Never click on a link in an email. Call your bank or go directly to your bank’s official website.

  1. PayPal scam emails

PayPal emails are definitely on the increase. A legitimate email from PayPal won’t ask you for sensitive information like your password, bank account, or credit card details, nor will it have attachments or ask you to download/install any software.

  1. Tax rebate scam

The HMRC were notified of almost 75,000 scam emails between April and September 2014, and they were only the ones that were reported! Promising a tax rebate, such emails often ask for key information including account numbers and passwords to make the payment. The HMRC never ask for bank details via email.

  1. Scam emails purporting to be from HM Revenue & Customs

Other HMRC scam emails can take several forms – a mistake on a self-assessment form, or that a tax notice has been issued. You may be asked to verify your identity by providing a copy of your passport. Never respond to these emails or provide a copy of your I.D. – for queries, contact the HMRC directly for advice.

  1. Scam emails seeking money for services or help 

Emails seeking money for services or help continue to be prevalent. Scammers are constantly refining this technique, which will often prey upon the most vulnerable with desperate pleas for aid or offers of low investment and high return. Unsolicited contact, promising a return too good to be true – will be exactly that.

To report any type of fraud, please visit www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or telephone 0300 123 2040

This information is brought to you by Just Lets and courtesy of www.safelocaltrades.com an online register of local vetted and recommended trades people.

 

A National Property Register for Phones, Gadgets, Bicycles and more…

IS YOUR PROPERTY REGISTERED?

Immobilise is a national property database that allows you to protect your possessions by registering them for free. Any valuables that have a unique serial number, such as mobile phones, can be registered online. These details are searchable by all UK Police Forces and form an extremely powerful tool in helping to identify and return recovered, lost or stolen personal property to its rightful owner. Virtually any item can be registered from your TV to your toaster! You can also register bicycles and jewellery on the database and upload a picture to help distinguish it from any other property. Immobilise has proven to effectively tackle crime on a national level and, not only allows police to reunite people with their stolen property, but it also assists in prosecutions. The service is supported by the Home Office, the Mobile Industry, Crime Action Forum, Transport for London, the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit and all 43 police forums.

25 million people use immobilise and, every week through the site, hundreds of people are reunited with their lost or stolen property.

What will you need to register?
Simply go to www.immobilise.com to start the registration; you will need an email address and the make, model and serial number of any property that you wish to record. It only takes a few moments to create an account and you can add property at your leisure.

How do I find my serial number?
Serial numbers can be different depending on what item you want to register; on a mobile phone it would be your IMEI number which can be obtained from either looking underneath the battery, by typing *#06# into the keypad or by looking on the side of the box. On most other electrical items it would be on the back or underneath the item, usually near a barcode. For bicycles it would be the frame number which can be found in several locations on the frame.

What happens once I’m registered?
Should you lose or have any of your property stolen, and Police recover it, they can quickly establish who the real owner is and return it to them and, where appropriate, arrests can be made. The police have access to the National Mobile Property Register (NMPR) (www.thenmpr.com) which is the sister site of Immobilise, and second hand shops have access to the Checkmend database (www.checkmend.com/uk) which provides selected information about an item so they can check to ensure they are not receiving stolen goods.

Can I highlight my property as stolen on my account?
Yes, Immobilise has a feature for an owner to instantly update the property status on their account as lost or stolen. Remember if you have had an item stolen it is vital to report it to the police straight away by dialling 101. Also, if it is a mobile phone that you have lost or had stolen, then report it to you network provider as soon as possible and they will block the handset so that no one else can use it.

Go to www.immobilise.com today and register your property

This information is brought to you by Just Lets and courtesy of www.safelocaltrades.com an online register of local vetted and recommended trades people.