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‘Anaconda coughs up an entire hippo’ scam hits Facebook

11th August 2010

A rogue application that is spreading virally across Facebook can access affected users’ profiles, their list of friends and can re-post the bogus message as a status update and wall post.

Sophos is warning Facebook users about the scam, which automatically posts status updates on affected users’ profiles with the message: “OMG, this is the biggest and scariest snake I have ever seen, check out this video [LINK REMOVED]”.

Fraudsters use hospice’s name

10th August 2010

People are being warned about bogus callers who are saying they are calling on behalf of a hospice and asking for donations over the phone.

These calls are fraudulent. The Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice in Surrey is reassuring the public that they would never ask directly for donations over the phone or for personal credit card details to be given over an unsolicited phone call.

Don’t give out personal details online

Romance scam victim tells her story to prevent further crimes

10th August 2010

A romance scam victim has waived her anonymity to raise awareness of this latest fraud wave in conjunction with Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre.

Ms Brenda Parke, a 60 year old retiree, was scammed out of £60,000 during February and March this year after joining an online dating site and befriending a man calling himself Bradford Cole. Over the following weeks they developed a close relationship via e-mails and phone calls.

Scandinavian employment scam

9th August 2010

Police are asking members of the public to be aware of an internet-based employment scam that offers employment through Scandinavian companies.

Fraudsters contact victims by email pretending to be from a company that is looking for representatives in ‘your’ area to carry out online work. The job offer promises monthly wages and an attractive commission.

How does the Scandinavian employment scam work?

Phishing remains a threat

9th August 2010

Action Fraud is reminding everyone that fraudsters send hundreds of phishing emails every day, trying to trick people into handing over their personal information.

Phishing emails pretend to be from a genuine company and usually claim that it is necessary for a customer to ‘update’ or ‘verify’ their customer account information. They often ask customers to click on a link from the email to a website. Although the website may look genuine, it is in fact a bogus website.

‘Microsoft Lottery’ is a scam

6th August 2010

Anyone who receives an email telling them they have won ‘The Microsoft Lottery’ is being warned that this is a scam – there is no Microsoft lottery.

The so-called Microsoft Lottery is just one of several forms of lottery fraud. Lottery fraud is an advance fee fraud, which fraudsters use to try to trick people into paying an upfront fee for a fictitious gift or cash prize.

How does lottery fraud work?

The human cost of fraud

5th August 2010

Read the accounts of 11 victims of fraud and the impact it had on their lives.

In 2009, the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies was commissioned to conduct research on victims of fraud for the National Fraud Authority – the government agency that runs Action Fraud – and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). ‘The human cost of fraud’ is the report that has been published as a result.

The human cost of fraud includes accounts from the following fraud victims:

100,000 computers infected with bank scamming technology

5th August 2010

Thousands of people are at risk of having their personal data used by cybercriminals to commit fraud.

It is likely that internet users’ computers became infected with the Zeus botnet after clicking on a link in a spam email or visiting an infected website. The botnet is allowing criminals to collect personal data from PCs, including online banking log-in details, credit and debit card numbers and any other passwords entered into the infected machines.

UK targeted in scam