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.

 

Theft in Monxton

Between 6th-13th January a private gate was stolen which opened onto the public footpath opposite the Manor Farm grain store in Monxton. 

Please keep a lookout for the gate pictured and remain vigilant for any suspicious activity. 

If you have any information to assist Police, please contact 101 ref:

INC-20200113-0103

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