Hampshire Constabulary Media Release

Hampshire Constabulary’s Cyber Crime Team are issuing warning after 15 year old girl’s Snapchat account was hacked

Hampshire Constabulary’s Cyber Crime Team are issuing a warning after a 15 year old girl’s Snapchat account was taken over by hackers.
The criminals have used the victim’s account to send messages to her contacts and friends – encouraging them to harm themselves.
They have then demanded money from the victim so she can regain control of the account.

Detective Inspector Paul Masters said: “Although this particular incident affected someone in the Southampton area, this is just one of a series of reports of this same type of fraud being committed throughout Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
“In this case, the victim has done the right thing by refusing to pay anything and by contacting all her friends to let them know individually to ignore the messages from her Snapchat.
“But we need to alert the general public – in particular young people and their parents – to be on their guard and to follow some simple advice.”

* Be wary of unusual messages on any of your accounts including social media, WhatsApp or email asking for assistance with financial transactions. Even if the message appears to be from someone you know and trust, you should check by calling them or speaking with them in person.

* Never respond to any requests to send money, or have money transferred through your account, by someone you don’t know and trust.

* You can protect your important online accounts by using a strong separate password and, where available, turn on two-factor authentication (2FA).

* Be aware that posts are sometimes made from accounts that may have been compromised and the content may not be from the named account holder. If you are in any way unsure you should contact the sender by calling or seeing them in person.

* Always be cautious about clicking on links within an email or a social media message.

DI Masters added: “If you have had something similar happen to one of your accounts, you can report it online to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk. If you or someone else is in immediate danger or at risk from harm, dial 999.”.

 

 

Alert for Dog Owners

The Ramridge/Clanville NHW put out an alert that on 14th August 2020 a Ramridge resident returned home from walking her dog to discover wet paint on her gate latch.

There are many posts going around at the moment about dog napping in surrounding villages – in particular people are being asked to be vigilant & look out for a ‘grey van’ with two men inside who are hunting out houses with potential dogs.

They appear to be looking for medium sized older dogs.  White paint is being dabbed on potential dog owning homes – either on walls or pathways or anywhere as a signal for dog nappers. Cable ties are also being hooked around posts as a sign.

With thanks to Bridget Goddard in Ramridge who kindly shared this with a local NHW coordinator.   These are some of the signs being used outside properties to indicate a dog which is a potential target, along with anything from small piles of stones, bits of ribbon, coloured card or paper.  Please keep a eye out in the village for these signs and please report anything suspicious to the police on 101 and Judith Balding, Vice Chair, Monxton Parish Council on jbalding@monxton.plus.com

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Loft Insulation Phone Calls

A number of residents, myself included, have recently received phone calls from someone claiming to be from a company that had installed loft insulation for them. The caller then starts to talk about government grants.

I suspect this is just another ploy to get bank details from people but so far nobody that I have spoken to has hung on long enough to let the young man finish his spiel. I would be interested to know if anyone can confirm my suspicions and for that matter whether anyone has been installing loft insulation in the village?

Always remember never give any financial or personal details to callers you do not know, either over the phone or online.

Amazon scams are around again, I received a call saying that my card account had been debited with £399 for an iPhone 7 and to press 1 if I had not ordered it. Amazon do not have my account details and what’s more they are selling them for £299! They are just phishing.

David James

Coronavirus-Related Scams – How to Protect Yourself

Criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to try and get their hands on your money and personal information. To date, Action Fraud has received reports from 2,378 victims of Coronavirus-related scams, with the total losses reaching over £7 million.

How you can protect yourself from Coronavirus-related scams:

There are some simple steps you can take that will protect you from the most common Coronavirus-related scams. Here’s what need to do:

1 – Watch out for scam messages
Your bank, or other official organisations, won’t ask you to share personal information over email or text. If you receive an email you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): report@phishing.gov.uk

2 – Shopping online
If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, for example, by checking to see if others have used the site and what their experience was. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, other payment providers may not provide the same protection.

3 – Unsolicited calls and browser pop-ups offering tech support
Never install any software, or grant remote access to your computer, as a result of a cold call. Remember, legitimate organisations would never contact you out of the blue to ask for financial details such as your PIN or full banking password.

NHS Test and Trace scams:

The NHS Test and Trace service plays an important role in the fight against coronavirus and it’s vital the public have confidence and trust in the service. However, we understand the concerns people have about the opportunity for criminals to commit scams.

What you need to know:

Contact tracers will only call you from the number 0300 013 5000. Anyone who does not wish to talk over the phone can request the NHS Test and Trace service to send an email or text instead, inviting them to log into the web-based service.

All text or emails sent by NHS Test and Trace will ask people to sign into the contact tracing website and will provide you with a unique reference number. We would advise people to type the web address https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk directly into their browser, followed by the unique reference number given to you, rather than clicking on any link provided in the message.

The NHS Test and Trace service will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS
  • If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. If you live in Scotland, please report directly to Police Scotland by calling 101.

Corona Virus Scam Awareness

The following has been issued by Hampshire Police:

CRIMINALS ARE EXPLOITING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC TO DEFRAUD PEOPLE

Below are some of the most common scams to be aware of:

EMAIL, TEXT & PHONE CALL SCAMS

  • An unexpected email from the government offering you money;
  • The ‘infection list’ scam mimicking the World Health Organisation (WHO) claiming to provide a list or map of local infections:
  • An email from HM Government asking for donations for the NHS;
  • An HMRC email stating you are ‘eligible to receive a tax refund’;
  • Sale of fake COVID-19 swabbing tests, supplements and anti-virus kits;
  • A text message asking you to pay a fine saying that you have been recorded as leaving your home on three occasions during the lockdown;
  • A phone call stating ‘government guidelines now require everyone to wear a mask outside the house, press 1 to purchase your mask’.

DOORSTEP CRIME

  • Cleansing services that offer to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria or offering to ‘decontaminate’ the inside of your home:
  • Bogus healthcare workers offering ‘home-testing’ for the virus;
  • Criminals offering to do your shopping. They take the money and do not return.

ADVICE & SUPPORT

Always question unsolicited calls, texts or emails requesting your personal or financial information (name, address, bank details). To verify the company, contact them directly using a known email or phone number. For advice on cybercrime, or to report suspicious emails visit www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware.

Anyone who has been a victim of fraud or cybercrime can report it online at www.actionfraud.police.uk or call0300 123 2040.

Coronavirus Scam

I suppose this was inevitable!

Coronavirus Phishing

The worldwide spread of the Coronavirus is being used by scammers to scare people into clicking on links, open malicious attachments, or give out confidential information.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has sent out an alert about rising Coronavirus (COVID-19)-themed ‘phishing’ whereby messages appearing to come from WHO officials ask the recipients to share sensitive info like usernames and passwords, redirect them to a phishing webpage via malicious links embedded in the emails, or ask them to open malicious attachments containing malware payloads.

Be careful with anything related to the Coronavirus: emails, attachments, any social media, texts on your phone, anything.

Look out for topics like:

  • ‘Check updated Coronavirus map in your city’
  • ‘Coronavirus Infection warning from local school district’
  • ‘CDC or World Health Organisation emails or social media Coronavirus messaging’
  • ‘Keeping your children safe from Coronavirus’
  • You might even get a scam phone call to raise funds for “victims”.

 

How to keep safe from this type of fraud

There will likely be a number of scams using COVID-19 as bait, so please be cautious:

  1. Do not open or download attachments to unexpected emails eg if you see “go through the attached document on safety measures regarding the spreading of coronavirus”, ignore it.
  2. Do not click on any buttons in unexpected emails e.g. if invited to click on a “Safety Measures” button to see more information, ignore it.
  3. Ignore any pop-up that appears on your computer asking you to verify your information e.g. email username and password.
  4. If you are contacted by a person or organisation that appears to be from WHO, verify their authenticity before responding.

The Bobby Scheme

Supported by Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service, The Bobby Scheme is a free, practical service which aims to bring peace of mind to the vulnerable and elderly and help reduce the fear of crime. 

Their staff visit clients across the two counties providing FREE home security advice. They carry out a full crime-prevention survey, fitting as appropriate, items such as locks, door spy holes, door chains and smoke alarms.

Key safes can be supplied and fitted but they ask for a £75 donation for a police accredited ‘Supra C500’ model with a 5 year warranty.

The visiting staff are uniformed, police vetted and carry ID cards to reassure their clients 

“Our aim is to build confidence and enable people to carry on living independently and to maintain a sense of security in their own home” …..The Blue Lamp Trust 

How to get support from the Bobby Scheme: 

Requests for help can be made by or on behalf of anyone who meets the criteria which includes people who are vulnerable due to their age (over 65) or their circumstances, disabled, victims of burglary, repeat victims of crime or victims of domestic abuse. 

For further information and the application form go to:

http://bluelamptrust.org.uk/about-the-bobby-scheme

Or for further help call 0300 777 0157 or e-mail bobby@bluelamptrust.org.uk 

The Blue Lamp Trust have produced a booklet with advice about how to protect your home against crime and fire:

http://bluelamptrust.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/A5_24pp_FirePoliceLeaflet_2019.pdf

 

 

Amazon Scam Alert

The scam, which was first reported on by the police in October 2019, involves victims receiving an automated call, informing them that they have been charged for an Amazon Prime subscription.

They are subsequently instructed to ‘press 1’ to cancel the transaction. When they do this, they are directed to a fraudster posing as an Amazon customer service representative.
The fraudster advises the victim that the subscription was purchased fraudulently and that remote access to their computer is required in order to fix a security flaw that will prevent it from reoccurring.

The victim is asked to download a remote access application, often the ‘Team Viewer’ app, which grants the fraudster access to the victim’s computer.

The Team Viewer software is then misused by the criminal to capture sensitive personal and financial information from the victim’s computer.

Other variants of the crime involve fraudsters stating that the recipient is eligible for a refund for an unauthorised transaction on their Amazon account.

WHAT TO DO

  1. Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.
  2. Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information. It’s easy to feel embarrassed when faced with unexpected or complex conversations. But it’s okay to stop the discussion if you do not feel in control of it.
  3. Never install any software or visit a website as a result of a cold call. Unsolicited requests for remote access to your computer should always raise a red flag.

 

Christmas Greetings

As we approach the festive season it is worth remembering that the villains do not take a break at Christmas. Advice from the Police is applicable all year but especially at this time.

Shopping

  • Make sure your handbag is closed and you carry it close to your side, so a pick-pocket would find it difficult to slide their hand in without you knowing;
  • Never leave a bag unattended in a trolley, even if for a couple of seconds;
  • Try and keep wallets in an inside pocket and out of sight from a potential pick-pocket;
  • Keep your PIN number confidential never disclose your PIN number to anyone including the bank and police;
  • When entering your PIN number at a terminal ensure no one can see you enter it.
  • Try to pay for items on a debit card rather than carrying large amounts of cash. If this is not possible keep cash to a minimum

Dwelling Burglary

  • Don’t leave Christmas presents under the tree in view from a window;
  • Make sure windows and doors are locked every time you leave the house;
  • Avoid leaving tools and ladders lying around that could assist someone to get into your home;
  • When you go out at night make it appear that someone is home. Draw the curtains and leave a light on. Always use a timer switch to put on a lamp or radio.

Vehicle crime

  • Before you leave your car, ensure all windows and doors are closed and locked;
  • Avoid leaving your purchases and presents in your vehicle. If you must, make sure they are not on display. Rather store them in the boot and make sure the car is locked;
  • Always lock your bike. Use a D lock and make the locked bike difficult to manoeuvre by keep any gaps between the lock and bike frame small.

Online shopping

When online shopping ensure you go to official websites and have adequate anti-virus software, especially when purchasing expensive items.

See the advice in the Alert of 22nd November and check the tips at the Safe Online website: www.getsafeonline.org/safechristmasshopping

Christmas Cheer

Operation Scrooge

Andover Police have launched a campaign named Operation Scrooge to deter shoplifters/organised crime groups in the run-up to Christmas. Officers from the Neighbourhood Policing Team have begun the preventive measures from the switch on of the Christmas lights. There will also be a Crime Prevention stall on Saturday 23rd November in the High Street to remind shoppers how they can protect themselves and their property

Operation Scrooge will see police liaise with retailers, give advice to shoppers and carry out high-visibility patrols in Andover town centre and its retail parks. Their aim is to deter and detect crime, providing reassurance to the public and businesses.

Protect your personal items – Keep them safe, be mindful of your surroundings!

The campaign will continue until 31st December 2019.

Safe Shopping

It is no surprise that the lead-up to Christmas – including Black Friday – is the busiest time of the year for online shopping. But it’s the busiest time for fraudsters too.

So before you start your Christmas Shopping in earnest, please take a few minutes to read the following online tips:

www.getsafeonline.org/safechristmasshopping

Have a Happy and secure Christmas!

David James