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Fraud News

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

Pilgrimage to Mecca scam

4th August 2010

Up to 40,000 people may have fallen victim to ‘Hajj fraud’, losing thousands of pounds to buy trips to Mecca that turn out to be non-existent.

In the months leading up to the Muslim Pilgrimage of Hajj, organised crime groups are using the names of licensed travel companies to advertise fraudulent deals to Saudi Arabia.

Hajj fraud

Embassy flooded with scam enquiries

4th August 2010

Internet fraudsters are logging into social networking accounts and contacting users’ friends, pretending they are in trouble and asking for money.

The US Embassy in London has been receiving enquiries every day from people who have been defrauded for hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars by internet contacts they believed were their friends or loved ones.

Types of scams

Do you really know who your Facebook friends are?

3rd August 2010

Millions of social networking users are not adequately using privacy settings, leaving them open to identity theft and fraud.

Research from Equifax found that 62% of Facebook users provide their full date of birth on their profile; more than three quarters provide a personal email address and almost a third give the name of their employer.

Facebook privacy settings should be used

Spot a car-buying scam

3rd August 2010

What Car? is warning potential car buyers and sellers about some of the scams fraudsters might use to con them.

Fraud can take a number of forms when buying a car. It may involve ‘clocking’, where the sellers wind back the odometer on high-mileage cars to sell them for more than they are worth. Criminals may sell stolen cars using bogus registration documents to make them seem legitimate, or sell written-off cars after repairing them to make them seem safe and good-looking.

Car selling scams