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Latest Scam Alerts from Warwickshire County Council

 

Action Fraud warning as holiday bookings surge after lockdown exit plans announced
The national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime and ABTA, The Travel Association, are reminding the public to think twice before handing over their money and personal information when booking holidays this year. In previous years, criminals have targeted unsuspecting holidaymakers booking airline tickets, holiday accommodation and religious pilgrimages.

What is holiday fraud?

Holiday fraud can vary from fake accommodation listings advertising hotels, and self-catering properties that simply don’t exist, to “too good to be true” offers with flights being particularly targeted. Criminals can approach you over the phone, via text, email and social media, offering incredibly cheap deals to tempt you into booking a holiday with them. In reality, the holiday you’ve booked, or parts of it, doesn’t exist at all.

Tops tip to avoid falling victim to holiday fraud:

  • Stay safe online: check the web address is legitimate and has not been altered by slight changes to a domain name – such as going from .co.uk to .org.
  • Do your research: don’t just rely on one review – do a thorough online search to ensure the company is credible. If a company is defrauding people, there is a good chance that consumers will post details of their experiences, and warnings about the company.
  • Look for the logo: check whether the company is an ABTA Member. Look for the ABTA logo on the company’s website. If you have any doubts, you can verify membership of ABTA online on their If you’re booking a flight and want more information about ATOL protection, or would like to check whether a company is an ATOL holder, visit the CAA website.
  • Pay safe: wherever possible, pay by credit card and be wary about paying directly into a private individual’s bank account.
  • Check the paperwork: you should study receipts, invoices and terms and conditions, and be very wary of any companies that don’t provide any at all. When booking through a Holiday Club or Timeshare, get the contract thoroughly vetted by a solicitor before signing up.
  • Use your instincts: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Get free expert advice: for further advice on how to stay safe when booking or researching travel online, go to Get Safe Online.

For a full list of tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud, please visit https://www.abta.com/tips-and-advice/planning-andbooking-a-holiday/how-avoid-travel-related-fraud. If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

 

ALERT: Over 1,700 Royal Mail Scam emails reported in one week
Action Fraud received over 1,700 reports in one week about fake emails purporting to be from Royal Mail.

The emails notify recipients about missed parcel deliveries and provide links to reschedule them. The links in the email lead to genuine-looking phishing websites that are designed to steal personal and financial information.

TOP TIPS:

  • Your bank, or any other official organisation, won’t ask you to share your personal information over email or text. If you need to check that it’s a genuine message, call them directly.
  • Received a suspicious email? Forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) to remove malicious email and websites – report@phishing.gov.uk

 

 

WARNING: Criminals continue to take advantage of coronavirus vaccine roll-out as phishing email reports soar
The email, which attempts to trick people into handing over their bank details, was reported more than 1,000 times in 24 hours. It appears to come from the NHS and asks the recipient to click on a link to accept or decline an invitation to receive the coronavirus vaccine. If they click accept, they are asked to input personal information and their bank card details.

The national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime has previously warned about coronavirus vaccine scams, with many people reporting receiving fake text messages purporting to be from the NHS.

How to protect yourself In the UK, coronavirus vaccines will only be available via the National Health Services of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a GP surgery or pharmacy local to you, to receive your vaccine. Remember, the vaccine is free of charge. At no point will you be asked to pay.

The NHS will never:

  • ask you for your bank account or card details.
  • ask you for your PIN or banking password.
  • arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine.
  • ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk. Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726 which is free of charge.

 

Watch out for fake Sainsbury’s emails!
Fraudsters are at it again with supermarket giveaway scams! Action Fraud have received over 500 reports in one week about fake emails purporting to be from Sainsbury’s/

The emails state that the recipient has been “selected to participate” in a gift card giveaway. The links provided in the emails lead to genuine-looking phishing websites that are designed to harvest personal and financial information.
TOP TIPS:

  • Your bank, or any other official organisation, won’t ask you to share your personal information over email or text. If you need to check that it’s a genuine message, call them directly.
  • I you have received a suspicious email, you can report it by forwarding it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) to remove malicious email and websites – report@phishing.gov.uk