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You are at home and the telephone rings. The voice on the other
end claims to be a fraud investigator from your credit card
company. He tells you there has been suspicious activity on your
credit card. But first, he needs to confirm some details as a
security check. You are worried about your account and you’re keen
to help. You give him you are card details and he promises to get
back to you.
It sounds plausible, but you have just been had. And that
fraudster is off spending on your credit card.
So how can you avoid being scammed over the phone? Detective
Inspector Roger Cook, head of the Force’s Cheque and Credit Card
Unit, has this advice:
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You have finally found a buyer for that item you advertised on
an online auction.
The cheque arrives, but it’s for a lot more than the agreed
price. Your buyer gives you an explanation and asks you to return
the balance as a cash transfer and deliver the item at the same
time. You send off the goods and do the transfer without waiting
for the cheque to clear and then you find out that the cheque was
stolen or counterfeit. Now they’ve got your goods and your
Our advice is:
If you’re thinking of buying on an online auction, make sure
that the address and postcode provided by the supplier is valid. If
you’ve got doubts, don’t send any money.
If you do fall victim to fraud on an online auction, contact
your nearest police station.
Q: I have received an email from my bank
informing me that they are upgrading their security software. The
email is asking me to forward my user name and password to them, or
is asking me to log into a website, via a link, to complete the
procedure. What should I do?
A: You should never, ever, respond to an
unsolicited request from anyone asking you to pass on your security
details (whether it be your log in name, password, mothers maiden
name or other security identifier). A legitimate organisation, such
as a bank, will never ask its customer for these details.
If you are ever in doubt as to whether to proceed, it is always
safer to say no! Then, telephone your bank on an advertised number
and tell them exactly what you have received. The bank will always
be happy to receive a call from you where security of your account
Alternatively, you can report the abuse to the internet service
provider (ISP) that the fraudster is using. You can usually do this
by sending the scam e-mail you have received to
'email@example.com', where fraudsters.isp.com
is the domain name that the fraudster is using. For instance, if
the return address of the e-mail you have received is
firstname.lastname@example.org, then you should send the message to
It usually involves an email purporting to be from a bank or
other financial institution asking the potential victim to
re-activate their on-line bank account, or to register via a fake
website which looks very much like your regular bank website. You
will be asked to input your user name and password at this website.
These details are then picked up by the criminals who will then
transfer money away from your account.
The fact that you have received an email does not, in any way,
suggest that there has been a breach in the security of your bank.
These criminals will send out thousands of emails (SPAM) to people
who may not even have an account with the bank mentioned, in the
hope that some (who do have such an account) will respond to
In many cases, the web site you are taken to will replicate the
real banks website and contain links to the real website. It will
often replicate the security padlock at the bottom of your
Don't forget, you can also speak to one of our Fraud Desk
officers on 020 7601 6999.
Imagine your surprise when you receive an email from a legal
firm to tell you that you are the only known beneficiary of the
will of "Joe Bloggs".
Joe died in an accident on the Kigali Highway and has left millions
of dollars. After intense research, the law firm has discovered
that you are the only known beneficiary. To confirm the point, they
have sent you a copy of what looks like the will of Joe Bloggs,
naming you as a beneficiary.
The fraudsters will even create a web site based around the name of
known law firm where you can find more information and contact
Be warned, you are being scammed.
Do not reply, even out of curiosity. If you do reply, you are only
confirming that the email reached someone.
For more information, contact our Fraud Desk on 0207 601 6999.