It is several years since I published the following article in an attempt to provide information to the readers of this website that would save them from losing money to on-line fraudsters.  Reports in the media would suggest that many people are still being robbed by such people and I am again drawing the attention of readers to the ways in which they can keep safe.  The addresses and contacts are, as far as I am aware, still current but if any details are known to be incorrect, I would like to be informed.

The following item is a copy of a message from Essex Community Messaging

Scams & Suspect Traders - a round-up of some recent notifications

It seems that there is always someone trying to relieve you of your hard earned money & possessions. To help avoid becoming a victim make sure that anti-virus packages on your PC or smartphone are up to date, if you receive unsolicited phone calls hang up without giving any information and if you have cold callers at your door say ‘No thanks’ & close the door.

In addition to the two scams recently publicized on Essex Community Messaging I’ve listed some of the common scams that are also being used at present. While some are obviously false others are quite convincing at first sight.

Email Scams

  • Phishing scam Email received stating that ‘your account has been compromised / your security details need updating’ or ‘You have won a £xxx prize’ with a request to click on a link to update or provide information. There is often the threat that your account will be closed if you do not take action. Clicking on the link and giving the information can lead to financial loss or identity theft or download programs that may intercept personal information (Malware) or lock your computer until a fee is paid (Ransomware).

This type of email often appears genuine as it will have the company logo and correct postal addresses etc. However, if you hover your cursor over the ‘from’ on the email the address shown will not be the company you expect.

Some of the company names the scammers have used – all the High Street Banks, Credit Card companies, BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Tesco, Vodaphone, Sky, EE, HMRC, Amazon, PayPal, Royal Mail, DHL and many more

  • HMRC, & Local Councils – ‘You are due a refund of Income Tax or Council Tax, click on the link to reclaim’. Again, clicking on the link and giving information can lead to financial loss or identity theft or download programs that may intercept personal information (Malware).

If you receive these types of email, please forward them to the security department of the company it is meant to be from. I have included a list of some useful links at the end of this document.

Phone Scams

  • The caller claims to be from ‘Windows Security’ or ‘Microsoft’ and claims that a virus has been detected on your computer. They say that they can fix it if given remote access and explain how to give them your IP address (this is the unique id of your computer). They are then able to access your computer to gain your information or download malware or ransomware. This scam often ends with a demand for money to release control of your computer. The best way of dealing with this type of call is just to hang up without giving any information.

 

  • The caller claims to be from your Phone, Broadband or Satellite provider and says that you are due a refund. You are asked to either confirm your banking details, amend your online account or contact your bank with details they supply. Doing this can result in financial loss

Some of the company names used by the scammers - BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Vodaphone, Sky, EE

The best way to deal with this type of call is not to get involved in any discussion, don’t give any information, just hang up.

Cold callers

A number of reputable charities use door to door fundraising. Their representatives will carry photo ID and are often dressed in branded clothing. They will be happy for you to call a number at their headquarters to confirm their ID and that they are genuine callers. If you have access to the internet the charity will probably have details on their website of the areas being canvassed. Among the charities using door to door canvassing are Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, British Red Cross, RSPCA, British Heart Foundation. These organizations should not be confused with those shown below

  • “Nottingham Knockers” – so named as they were first identified operating in Nottingham. Their sales pitch usually is: - ‘I’m an ex-convict working with the police/ probation office/local council trying to go straight by selling goods door to door….’ The goods are usually low quality and overpriced. They may show an I.D., this will not have been issued by any council or the police.                

 

  • Cold calling Builders claiming that work is needed on your roof / property. If an estimate is given the final bill tends to be much higher. They apply pressure to pay up front or take the owner to their bank to withdraw cash.

If you are thinking of having any work done our suggestion is to get a detailed estimate from more than one builder of your choice before agreeing to any work being started. Further advice on dealing with suspect traders is given on the Essex Police website at http://www.essex.police.uk/be_safe/rogue_traders.aspx

If you are cold called by any suspect trader our advice is not to engage in conversation and just close the door. Do not agree to any work being done and do not hand over any money. Let the Police know your concerns by calling the non-emergency number 101, or in an emergency dial 999.

Postal

  • Congratulations! You have won £ xxxxxxx in the Anyplace Lottery. To release the funds please send an administrative fee to …

Ask yourself – have I bought a ticket? No? Then I can’t have won. If you send money for the administrative fee this invariably leads to further requests for money – and ‘winning’ notifications from other competitions you haven’t entered.

If you receive this sort of mail throw it in the recycling bin.

Who to contact if you receive scam or phishing e-mails

 

Banks & Credit Cards

Alliance & Leicester phishing@santander.co.uk

American Express spoof@americanexpress.com

Bank Safe Online via www.BankSafeOnline.org.uk

Barclays internetsecurity@barclays.co.uk

Britannia ihaveseenascam@co-operativebank.co.uk

Co-operative ihaveseenascam@co-operativebank.co.uk

HSBC phishing@hsbc.com

Lloyds TSB emailscams@lloydstsb.co.uk

Mastercard scams@fraudwatchinternational.com

NatWest phishing@natwest.com

PayPal via www.paypal.com

RBS phishing@rbs.co.uk

Santander phishing@santander.co.uk

TD Bank Financial Group phishing@td.com

VISA phishing@visa.com

 

Other Useful Contacts

Action Fraud phishing@cityoflondon.police.uk

Action Fraud www.actionfraud.police.uk

Amazon stop-spoofing@amazon.com

BT (British Telecom) abuse@bt.com

Companies House fraud@companieshouse.gov.uk

Cyber Crime Website www.cyberstreetwise.com

Foreign Email scams scams@fraudwatchinternational.com

HMRC phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

Microsoft (including Hotmail, Live, Outlook) http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/outlook/abuse-phishing-junk-email

Ofcom www.ofcom.org.uk/contact-us/

Office of Fair Trading scam line enquiries@oft.gsi.gov.uk

Sky abuse@sky.com

TalkTalk via www.talktalk.co.uk

Tesco support@tescobroadband.com

Virgin http://netreport.virginmedia.com/netreport

Vodafone www.vodafone.co.uk/contact

Waitrose customersupport@waitrose.co.uk

 

AN EXAMPLE OF AN ATTEMPTED PHISHING EXPEDITION

I have received an attempted phishing attack that is extremely convincing and feel that the action that I have taken might be of value to people who are also attacked in a similar way.

I have an account with with a company called FastHostsUK and the name used in the phishing attempt was QuickHostsUK. This is similar enough to catch out a recipient who was not paying enough attention - for whatever reason. I'm certain that many, if not all, of us have either been caught out or nearly so by such a similarity as this.

Various clues from my protection software and the text (that I read without clicking on any of the links) convinced me that the email was not genuine.

The most obvious clue in practically all phishing emails is the use of 'Dear Customer' in the opening of the email. If the sender is from a genuine organisation, your name will be known to that organisation!

Many of you will be aware of this and other clues but may not be aware of the VERY IMPORTANT course of action to take. 

If you quite correctly delete the suspect email without following any blue-coloured link to another website which usually asks you to verify your details, then you will be safe. (If you do follow a link, your details will not be verified, they will be obtained from you in order to defraud you in some way.)

However, that action is insufficient to reduce this sort of fraud.

There is a website that is run by the national police in an attempt to stop phishing, and similar attempts, that collates all reported attacks. It requires people to complete a small, anonymous survey and then to forward the suspect email to a website before deleting it from your computer.

The website is www.actionfraud.police.uk/fraud-az-phishing

If, however, you think that your computer has been infected with a fraud-connected program, use this website - www.actionfraud.police.uk/fraud-az-malware

BE AWARE AT ALL TIMES AND REMAIN SAFE.

Brian Townsend

19:43, 01 Aug 2019 by Brian Townsend

 

Parochial Church Council (PCC) 100 Club

Monthly Draw Results

The winning subscription numbers for this year are given below.

        2019

      JAN

      FEB

     MAR

     APR

    MAY

   JUN

    JUL

1st Prize (£20)

50

62

76

19

64

75

41

2nd Prize (£10)

43

13

91

52

59

59

51

3rd Prize (£5)

90

34

87

11

3

80

72

 

UPDATE for August 2019

 I thank all members, both longstanding and recently-joined, for their support of the 100 CLUB and the full membership that has resulted for yet another year.  It is, of course, impossible for every member to have a winning number during the year but I do wish success to all of you in the monthly Draws.

Your support of the 100 CLUB is really important particularly as the Church Council (please note that this is not the same as the Parish Council) still has a long way to go before the rotten cladding on the steeple can be replaced with a more durable timber.

On behalf of the Parochial Church Council, may I thank everyone concerned in the membership renewal process - volunteer collectors and renewing members plus the one new member - for their support of this important contribution to the upkeep of the church fabric.

Certificates of Membership - Reminder

Certificates of Membership have been issued to all new members and those members who have increased their holdings but any member requiring a replacement certificate should contact me via the MAKING CONTACT link or on 828 302.

Winning numbers

If you have a subscription for a winning number, you will automatically receive a cheque for the stated amount from the PCC Treasurer – you do not need to do anything.

If you would like to be included on the 2020 Waiting List for subscription numbers, whether to start a subscription or increase your present holding, please complete a 100 CLUB Contact Form by clicking here. To view the winning numbers for previous years, please click here.            

100 CLUB facts

The June 2016 Draw was the 250th since the 100 CLUB was formed in order to provide a steady contribution to PCC funds.  The next milestone worthy of note will be the 300th. Draw in 2020.

It is now more than 22 years since I started the 100 CLUB and, in that time, over £10,000 has been given to members as prizes with the annual membership remaining at 100% for the majority of that time.

It is appropriate, therefore, to record the gratitude of the PCC for the support of the members, many of whom joined the CLUB on its creation. 

The 100 CLUB has to be licensed under the Lotteries Act. There are operating rules and any member wishing to receive a copy of the Rules should contact me.

To return to the PCC 100 Club News, please click here

Brian Townsend, Honorary 100 CLUB Secretary

19:39, 01 Aug 2019 by Brian Townsend

Green house 8.3 feet x 8.3 feet, FREE to anyone who would like to come and collect it.

Some broken glass but apart from that in good working order. please call Julie on 01621 828428

17:05, 01 Mar 2017 by Peter John Taylor

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