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Category >Annoucements

Royal Mail scam text messages

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Against Scams Partnership, are warning us all of a scam text message purporting to be from Royal Mail.

Royal Mail scam text messages

NHS Vaccine Scam

An NHS related scam text message has been brought to the attention of the cybercrime department. There is no additional information at this time. We should all be aware and exercise caution that this and similar messages are being received across the county.

The text message below states that the recipient is entitled to a vaccine and to receive more information they should click on the link in blue. Once the link is clicked, the recipient will see the message ‘we need to prove ownership of address’. They are then asked to provide bank account, sort code and a full bank card number. The message is a SCAM!

For genuine COVID-19 related advice including vaccination information, visit www.gov.uk and www.nhs.uk.

For more advice about protection from scams visit:  https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/community-protection/against-scams-partnership

Windows 10 OS update

On the 13th October 2020, Microsoft released a significant update to all users of Windows 10 OS. (CVE-2020-1047) (If you use Windows OS on a work computer, then updates may be managed by your ICT)

The update fixes 87 vulnerabilities with one having a Microsoft severity score of 9.8 out of 10 and has been described as dangerous. This bug can allow a criminal to take over any Windows operating system that has not been patched.

The second issue of note relates to Outlook in which the bug can be exploited by tricking the user into opening a specially crafted file with an affected version of the Microsoft Outlook software.

You may already have updates set to Automatic, but please check just in case the updates have not been applied.

To do this, click on the magnifying glass on the taskbar bottom left of your screen, then in the search bar start typing ‘windows update’, and you will then see Windows Update Settings appear, click on this and follow the instructions.

Romance and Dating Fraud

All this week, Cambridgeshire Police will be supporting a national campaign involving all the UK police services and some of the companies providing dating services. The campaign is to help raise the awareness of online romance/dating fraud and provide advice on how to stay safe online.

Romance, or dating fraud, occurs when a relationship is formed online, but the profile of the perfect partner you think you’ve met, is fake.
The scammer makes you believe you’re in a loving relationship spanning weeks, or perhaps months to gain your trust. However, the end goal is always a much more sinister one, with criminals after money or personal information.

Between August 2019 and August 2020, Action Fraud received over 400 reports a month from victims of romance fraud in the UK. Losses reported by victims during this time totalled £66,335,239, equating to an average loss of just over £10,000 per victim.

During June, July and August 2020, romance fraud reports jumped to more than 600 per month, indicating people may have met, and begun talking to, romance fraudsters during the national lockdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

It has a devastating emotional and financial impact on the victim, who often feel foolish for falling for the lies once they realise what’s happened. It may then have an impact on people deciding not to report such instances. Still, it’s vital to understand criminals are experts at impersonating people; they spend hours researching individuals for their scams.

Criminals from across the world use common dating apps to create fake accounts using images they copied from the internet. They use persuasive language to groom and control their victim, coercing them into parting with large sums of money or personal information.

During the week-long campaign, many dating apps will be running additional fraud protection advice throughout October to help raise awareness. The campaign will show signs to look out as they use more advanced technology to keep users safe. There are simple steps you can take to help keep yourself safe and several warning signs to look out for:

  • if someone you’re talking to declares their love quite quickly, with talk of making significant commitments like marriage or buying a house together, be wary and don’t give away too many personal details;
  • they claim to work overseas, perhaps in the military or medical profession, often painting a picture of themselves as being heroic, but also gives a credible reason for an international dialling code or poor internet connection. A lot of fraudsters are not based in the UK;
  • if they’re reluctant to meet in person, or even video chat and quickly want to move off onto other messaging platforms, which have better encryption, meaning evidence of your conversations are harder to find. Stay on the site’s messaging service until you’ve met someone or you’re sure they are who they say they are;
  • if they ask for financial help, it’s likely to be for something urgent and emotive, to trick you into feeling sorry for them and want to help. If you’re asked for money or are suspicious their photos aren’t theirs, most platforms have a reporting tool – which will help to protect others. They may ask you to buy gift cards, Amazon, iTunes and alike, a scratch of the back of the card and send them the code.
  • they tell you to keep your relationship quiet and insist you don’t tell your friends and family about them. This is because someone close to you is likely to question this person’s motives, as they’ve not been emotionally involved. They’re an excellent place to start if you’re unsure of someone’s motives and will give you their honest opinion, don’t shut them out or isolate yourself.

The top five platforms where victims reported first interacting with the criminal committing romance fraud were Facebook, Plenty of Fish, Instagram, Tinder and Match.com.

A technical tip, on any online image, you can do what is called a reverse image search. For example, on a profile, you could save the image of the person you are communicating with and then upload it to Google images or to a website called Tin Eye (others are available). It may return a search result that shows you where the image has featured on another website. Remember, just because the search result reveals no matches, it does not mean the profile picture is genuine. Criminals know of this feature, and so they manipulate images using software, or they use images that do not feature anywhere else on the internet.

For more information about protecting yourself, family or friends visit; www.actionfraud.police.uk or www.getsafeonline.org or read the advice on the dating app or website.

As always, please contact me with any non-urgent fraud or internet-related question.

Mr Nigel Sutton 8517
Cyber Protect Officer
Serious & Organised Crime (Intelligence and Specialist Crime Department)
Ext: 01480 422773

Car Key Burglaries

There has been an increase across the force of burglaries whereby the motive is to steal car keys and attempt to take vehicles. It is noted that with some of the reports received car keys have been left on view making it much more tempting for a criminal to commit an offence. Be mindful to keep your car keys and indeed any other valuables from view of a door, window or letterbox.

Dispersal Order In Peterborough Ahead of Planned Car Meets

A dispersal order encompassing the majority of Peterborough will be in place this weekend in a bid to reduce crime and disorder.

The measure has been taken by local neighbourhood policing teams in response to information and recent events of car meets and anti-social driving.

The order will be in place between 6pm today (Friday 14 August) and 6am on Sunday (16 August).

There have been more than 50 reports of drifting and car cruise issues in Peterborough since 1 January this year and we are aware this is a major concern of residents over public safety, anti-social behaviour (ASB) and criminal issues.

The issues surround the loud music, cars shutting down roads, both the noise and dangerous driving from drifting, ASB which sometimes occurs at these events and the general litter and damage to the environment which often follows such a meeting.

The order has been granted under Section 34 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, and allows for Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and police officers to direct a person to leave the area specified within the order if they have reasonable grounds to suspect their behaviour has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to members of the public. Failure to comply with the order can result in arrest.

We have put this dispersal order on to provide officers with extra powers to deal with those breaking the law and causing ASB, whilst allowing those partaking in these events and abiding by the law to do so without fear of action being taken against them.

The authority enables us to seize vehicles as well as ban people from the city of Peterborough for up to 48 hours if they are causing or are likely to cause any issues.

We are working with organisers, the local authority and other partners to make these events as safe and crime-free as possible.

The area covered by the order is the entirety of Peterborough City encompassed by the Paston Parkway, Werrington Parkway, Hurn Road, Woodcroft Road, Castor Road, Marholm Road, Soke Parkway, River Nene, Nene Valley Railway Line, Great North Road (Water Newton Bypass), A1, A1(M) Great North Road, London Road, Broadway (Yaxley), Peterborough Road (Farcet), Stanground Bypass, Toll Road, City of Peterborough Boundary to River Nene, Northey Road, Pearces Road, Eyebury Road, Crowland Road, A47, A47 Eye Road and back onto the Paston Parkway.

Lauren Alexander (Police, Senior Communications Officer, Cambridgeshire Constabulary)

Online Games for Teenagers

For those of you with teenagers who enjoy computers, then the National Crime Agency and Cyber Security Challenge UK have released CyberLand, a series of 16 free, fun and interactive online games that introduce key concepts of cyber security. CyberLand is suitable for all levels of technical ability.

By working their way through CyberLand’s immersive activities, physical games and practical challenges, children will:

  • learn about key cyber concepts such as the use of firewalls, public Wi-Fi and phishing emails
  • understand how to stay safe online
  • discover some of the key roles in the cyber security industry and how different individuals work together to protect our systems from attack
  • strengthen the skills they’ll need for a career in tech or information security

To visit CyberLand go to; https://www.cybersecuritychallenge.org.uk/what-we-do/schools-programme/cyberland#

And of course, because you should know loads about cyber security yourself, you can help them if needed. Recommended browser is Chrome.

The website is not specific to an age range but I have assumed 11 years onwards, that is not to say that younger children may equally be capable. The national press release refers to teenagers.

For more information about national cyber security opportunities for young people visit:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-virtual-cyber-school-gives-teens-chance-to-try-out-as-cyber-security-agents-from-home

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Welcome!

We are still working on our website adding new information on a regular basis. Please drop us a line if you can’t find what you are looking for.

To view my posts on online securities, please select the link Online Securities on the right.

I collected information on this subject from reliable sources like the police online scurity team and the Neighbourhood watch team. Sometimes we can be overhelmed with so many messages bombarded at us from so many sources that we missed out the important ones. The idea of having it in one place is to give you the freedom to browse through your own time and space.