Our Crime Reduction team is advising people to be alert to bogus telephone calls, supposedly from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), following some reports from the county’s residents.
“These scams often involve people receiving a call out of the blue and being told that HMRC is investigating them. If you can’t verify the identity of the caller, we recommend that you do not speak to them.”
Please be alert to this sort of activity by scammers, which is known as “phishing”, and do share this advice with your friends and relatives. Especially those who may not be inclined to check the validity of the calls, or who may be vulnerable.
Phishing is a method used by fraudsters to access valuable personal details, such as usernames, passwordsand banking details. This information has a monetary value for criminals.
· Be aware and proactive
o When responding to emails or phone calls, never give your login or any personal details.
o If you receive an email from a company that claims to be, or appears to be, legitimate, but is requesting these details, use a telephone number for the organisation that you have sourced reputably. Speak to them directly to confirm that the message is genuine before responding.
· Use your spam filter
o If you detect a phishing email, mark the message as spam and delete it. This ensures that further messages cannot reach your inbox in future.
· Know your source
o Never respond to a message from an unknown source.
o Take care not to click any embedded links. Phishing emails are usually sent to a vast number of randomly generated addresses. However, clicking embedded links will provide verification of your active e-mail address. Once this occurs it may prompt further malicious emails.
o Even “unsubscribe” links can be malicious.
o Ensure that the email is from a trusted source and you are, in fact, subscribed to the service.
· Genuine organisations like banks or HMRC will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, password or bank details.
· The email address that appears in the ‘from’ field of an email is not a guarantee that the email came from the person or organisation that it claims to have originated from.
· Fraudsters are unlikely to know your real name, so the email may address you in vague terms, for example ‘Dear Valued Customer'.
· Phishing emails will probably contain odd ‘spe11ings’ or ‘cApitALs in the ‘subject’ box and contain spelling or grammatical errors in the email – this is an attempt to get around spam filters and into your inbox.
|Message sent by|
|Louise Ross (Police, Communications Officer, Be)|