More Scams Beware – Please Read

I hope you are all keeping well and safe now that the nights are beginning to draw in. People’s minds seem to have turned to Christmas already – my daughter has finished her shopping which I find disconcerting! If you are thinking of buying a device for someone who isn’t very familiar with the world of all things cyber, please help them to keep safe online. The police have sent me a handy Christmas checklist just for this which I have attached. J As you probably already know from my previous email, next week I will be out and about with the police in libraries to chat about this.

Of course, before that we have Halloween, the police have kindly also provided a poster to print out if you or one of your neighbours does not want to be ‘trick-or-treated’! The link can be found here :-
(Scroll to the bottom and click on ‘Halloween Poster for no trick-or-treating’).

A few weeks ago it was confirmed that CCleaner a popular anti-virus programme had been the subject of a malware infection which compromises the security of the machines it is installed on. The tool is used by millions to keep their Windows PCs running smoothly. CCleaner users are advised to immediately install the latest version of the software and perform a system scan using the anti-virus software.
We have had a spike in complaints about a fake People’s Postcode Lottery letter attached, please watch out for it. We have been in contact with the genuine Postcode Lottery and they have confirmed that this is a scam.

Although it was a while ago now, a PCSO recently informed me of an incident in Duxford where a workman stopped by a house and pointed out a missing tile. They claimed that as it happened they had been working on a house round the corner and had all the required ladders and gear. The cost was considered a little expensive for one tile
(£75 I believe) but for convenience the resident agreed to the work being carried out.
All seemed fine (it even matched!) until it rained and the previously sound roof leaked very badly. The workman had removed a tile from a hidden part of the roof near the chimney to use in the repair thus causing several hundred pounds of damage when the rain cascaded inside, down the side of the chimney. Please be wary of any uninvited caller offering to do maintenance. Some of you may also remember quite some time ago I warned about a doorstep caller who offered to clean patios at an inflated price (leaving an awful mess).
He’s back in the area so please beware. He has been visiting South Cambs but I’m sure he is out and about all over Cambridgeshire so if you are approached I’d advise being very wary. Reliable tradesmen can be found through the Trading Standards initiative ‘Buy with confidence’.

I have been informed of several scams where payment is requested by iTune cards or vouchers. ITunes have a warning on their page as follows:

‘A string of scams are taking place asking people to make payments over the phone for things such as taxes, hospital bills, bail money, debt collection, and utility bills. The scams are committed using many methods, including gift cards. As the fraudsters are sometimes using iTunes Gift Cards, we want to make sure our customers are aware of these scams.

Regardless of the reason for payment, the scam follows a certain formula: The victim receives a call instilling panic and urgency to make a payment by purchasing iTunes Gift Cards from the nearest retailer (convenience store, electronics retailer, etc.). After the cards have been purchased, the victim is asked to pay by sharing the 16-digit code on the back of the card with the caller over the phone.

It’s important to know that iTunes Gift Cards can be used ONLY to purchase goods and services on the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or for an Apple Music membership. If you’re approached to use the cards for payment outside of the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or Apple Music, you could very likely be the target of a scam and should immediately report it to Action Fraud.’

Along similar lines, Amazon have put out this warning:

Amazon UK customers have again been targeted by a new email scam that attempts to access their personal accounts through the promise of a £50 gift card.

A fresh batch of fake emails offering a voucher for have been circling the inboxes of their UK customer base.

This is the second time in under a month that British users of the world’s leading e-commerce company have been the recipient of phishing emails.

Last month Amazon users were subjected to an attempted trick that claimed there was a problem with a recent order from the shopping site.

This time around customers are thanked for their loyalty before being invited to click a link that reveals the remainder of a code which will entitle them to £50 of online store

Elaine Mountfort
Community Protection Officer
People and Communities Directorate

People's Postcode Lottery Scam Letter
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