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There are various types of scams in operation and here are a few examples to be aware of - you may already have experienced one or more of these:
1. FAKE EMAILS: (relating to a recent bill or payment)
• Fraudsters continue to circulate malicious emails on a substantial scale. These emails have a financial theme in the title, e.g. 'Remittance Advice', 'Monthly Invoice and Report', 'Payment Advice' or 'Payroll Report'.
• The originating address is that of a fictitious company or alternatively, a real but obscure company whose details have been hijacked.
• These emails contain either attachments or hyperlinks. If you open the attachments or click on the links, then your PC may become infected with a virus.
• Recent examples have featured malicious Word and Excel attachments. When opened, the files attempt to execute macros which will download a virus to your PC.
• Once infected, criminals can take control of your browser and use sophisticated tactics to trick you into disclosing PINs, passwords and if you use on-line banking the smartcard challenge & response codes they need to defraud you.
The potential victim gets a phone call. The fraudster pretends to be a police officer (says they are investigating a fraud on their bank account and have made an arrest) or they might claim to be from the victim’s bank (they say they are investigating fraud relating to the account).
• Action to take if you get a call:
Be suspicious. End the call. NEVER give your PIN, security or bank details to anyone over the phone.
• WAIT at least five minutes before attempting to make another call to ensure you’re not reconnected to the offender.Use a different phone e.g. a mobile phone or a neighbour’s phone. If that is not possible then phone a known friend that you will recognise to test the phone to confirm you aren’t still unwittingly connected to the offender.
• NEVER give your bank account details or PIN number over the phone.
• NEVER withdraw money and send it to anyone via a courier, taxi or by any other means.
• NEVER send your bank cards to anyone via courier, taxi or by any other means.
• NEITHER the police nor your bank will EVER ask for this information.

How can you help stop this devastating crime?
Pass it on - share this information with your relatives and friends (older generation are more vulnerable and are targeted possibly due to the belief they have more available funds).
Report any calls you believe are suspicious (the non-emergency number is 101). It may be possible to trace where the calls are originating from and build the intelligence picture to apprehend and prosecute offenders. Don’t forget - wait at least five minutes before calling police or use a different phone e.g. a mobile or neighbour’s phone.
• You wouldn't give your information to a stranger face-to-face, don't do it over the phone!
3. 419 SCAMS:
419 scams are a type of fraud and one of the most common types of confidence trick.
• The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, due to the death of a foreign banker or similar in which the sum of many millions of $/£s have come to light which the fraudster will try to involve you in recovering this money by using your bank account - NOT TRUE!
• This usually requires a small up-front payment to obtain. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim, or simply disappears.
• There are many variations on this type of scam, including advance-fee fraud, Fifo's Fraud, Spanish Prisoner Scam, the black money scam, and the Detroit-Buffalo scam.
• The number "419" refers to the article of the Nigerian Criminal Code dealing with fraud. The scam has been used with fax and traditional mail, and is now used with the Internet.
• Online versions of the scam originate primarily in the United States, the United Kingdom and Nigeria, with Ivory Coast, Togo, South Africa, the Netherlands and Spain also having high incidences of such fraud.

• Avoid tech support phone scams ~ HANG UP QUICKLY!!!
Cybercriminals don't just send fraudulent email messages and set up fake websites. They might also call you on the telephone and claim to be from Microsoft or Windows! They might offer to help solve your computer problems or sell you a software license. Once they have access to your computer, they can do the following:
• Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software.
• Take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.
• Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.
• Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there.
• Neither Microsoft nor their partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.

Telephone tech support scams: What you need to know -
• Cybercriminals often use publicly available phone directories so they might know your name and other personal information when they call you. They might even guess what operating system you're using.
• Once they've gained your trust, they might ask for your user name and password or ask you to go to a website to install software that will let them access your computer to fix it. Once you do this, your computer and your personal information is vulnerable.
• Do not trust unsolicited calls.
• Do not provide any personal information.

Here are some of the organizations that cybercriminals claim to be from:
• Your Broadband provider (i.e. BT, TalkTalk, etc)
• Windows Helpdesk
• Windows Service Center
• Microsoft Tech Support
• Microsoft Support
• Windows Technical Department Support Group
• Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)

If someone phones you claiming to be from Microsoft or Windows:
• Do not purchase any software or services.
• Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.
• Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.
• If you think that you might have downloaded malware from a phone tech support scam website or allowed a cybercriminal to access your computer, take these steps:
• Change your computer's password, change the password on your main email account, and change the password for any financial accounts, especially your bank and credit card.
• Scan your computer with the Microsoft Safety Scanner to find out if you have malware installed on your computer.
• Install Microsoft Security Essentials. (Microsoft Security Essentials is a free program. If someone calls you to install this product and then charge you for it, this is also a scam.)
• There are other FREE software packages that will give equally good protection.

Will Microsoft ever call me?
There are rare occasions when Microsoft will work to resolve important issues. You will never receive a legitimate call from Microsoft or their partners to charge you for computer fixes.
If you think you have been the victim of any of the above scams then call us NOW 01288 357940 - we will check your computer for hidden or malicious software.
We can also advise about security software to help prevent SPAM attacks or help you remove PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs).
If we find nothing wrong then at least we have given you some peace of mind!
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