|We’re warning people to be vigilant after cold callers targeted an elderly and vulnerable woman who then paid more than £1000 for unnecessary work.|
The woman was called by a ‘home savings’ company offering boiler services, citing better energy efficiency and a £500 saving.
She was then quoted a price of £1,200 for a boiler flush, and was visited at her home in Peterborough by men who hit her radiators with hammers and showed her bottles supposedly containing dirty remnants/water from the radiators.
The woman was then presented with a card machine and paid the money.
As the colder part of the year approaches, please remain wary of similar calls and remember if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you aren’t expecting to hear from a salesperson or business, be cautious of your dealings with them. Do not feel pressured into handing over money or bank account details to pay for a product or service that you weren’t planning to buy before they called or arrived at your door.
For more advice and information on fraud and cold callers, visit the force’s dedicated web pages by clicking here.
Tara Cox, Corporate Communications
|Beware BT Phishing E-mails One of our wonderful supporters has been in touch to let us know about a fake BT e-mail that they have received, trying to ‘phish’ for personal and account information. This may be doing the rounds so, as with all our scam warnings, please share this message onwards to your e-mail contacts, on social media and community webpages to help people to be aware and stay safe. Of course if you’re not a customer of BT then you’re likely to suspect that this is a scam but in many cases of phishing e-mails, the fraudster has obtained the e-mail addresses of people who are customers of a company to target them with fake e-mails from the company in question. |
Please see the image of the bogus e-mail shared by our supporter below.
Tell-tale signs that this e-mail is not genuine are:
The sender’s address is not a BT e-mail address (in this case the sender was 72227283@clouddata(dot)com ). Tip: you can check a senders address by hovering over or clicking on their name.
The customer not being addressed by name. Usually your bank or a company that you have an account with will know your name and use it to greet you.
The ‘T’ in BT being used in lower case in the body of the message.
Spelling errors e.g. buttton.
The pressure or urgency to act i.e. within 2 days. Scammers like to apply pressure so someone might not take the time to think or seek advice.
The request for the recipient to click a link and give personal/account/banking information. This is the ultimate aim of a phishing e-mail – to obtain your information by deception, in order that it can be used to steal your money or trick you again in the future.
Phishing e-mails like this can be reported by forwarding to firstname.lastname@example.org .
For advice about scams contact Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133. If you lose money to a fraudster report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or on their website www.actionfraud.police.uk . Please share and beware! Thank you. Follow us on Twitter| Facebook|Cambridgeshire.gov.uk/against-scams
Action Fraud has received over 700 reports from members of the public about fake emails purporting to be from the NHS. The emails claim to be able to provide people with a “digital passport” that “proves you have been vaccinated against COVID-19”. These emails are fake, and the links within them lead to genuine-looking websites that steal your personal and financial information.
How to protect yourself:
In the UK, coronavirus vaccines will only be available via the National Health Services of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a GP surgery or pharmacy local to you, to receive your vaccine. Remember, the vaccine is free of charge. At no point will you be asked to pay. The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details. The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking passwords. The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine. The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips. Your vaccination status can be obtained for free through the official NHS app, NHS website, or by calling the NHS on 119.
How to report scams:
If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, you can report it by forwarding the email to: email@example.com. Suspicious text messages can also be reported by forwarding them to the number: 7726 (it’s free of charge).
If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.
|Undelivered Parcel Scams Continue Whilst we have warned about undelivered parcel scams several times in the past few months and there have been a number of recent arrests for these crimes (see our July newsletter), these scams continue to be commonplace and take many different guises which could easily dupe someone who isn’t in the know. So please be on your guard and warn others to be so too. These scams involve a (smishing) text message or (phishing) e-mail claiming to be from a parcel delivery company such as Royal Mail, DPD, Hermes, Post Office, Parcel Force or others. (Please note that this list is not exhaustive and that fraudsters assume many different identities in an attempt to trick someone out of their money). The message will state that a parcel delivery was unsuccessful or that the postage paid was insufficient and therefore you must pay a redelivery fee or the original shipping fee in order to receive the package. In each case there is a link provided to input payment details – and that link is designed to steal your bank or card information. We can share lots of examples of different version of these messages below to give you an idea of the sort of thing that you might receive. But remember, these are just examples and that these scams constantly emerge and evolve with slightly different wording. In some cases the scam involves an exorbitant fee being taken at the point someone provides their payment details (and not just the small fee claimed in the original message). In other cases a phone call will follow, purporting to be the victim’s bank (after all, in the case of a fake text, the scammer already has their victim’s number and, if they input payment details in the hyperlink, the scammer gains their banking details too). The caller will sound very official, explaining that they can see payment details were provided to a fraudulent web link and therefore the person needs to transfer their money to a ‘safe’ account. Some victims have lost all their savings by being conned into making a bank transfer (push payment) this way. These scams have been particularly prevalent due to the increase in online shopping in recent times – a perfect illustration of how fraudsters take advantage of any situation or trend to exploit people for their money. In most cases these scam texts come from a mobile number which should be a red flag that it might not be genuine – but don’t forget that scammers can ‘spoof’ numbers to appear the same as the number of the organisation they are copying. So if you have a genuine message from Hermes in your phone messages and a new message comes in and appears in the same conversation ‘thread’ on your phone, this doesn’t mean it’s a genuine Hermes message as the scammer could have spoofed Hermes’s number. Our simple message is a parcel delivery company would not ask you to pay a redelivery or unpaid shipping fee online so do not click on any links inviting or instructing you to do so. In the case of e-mails it is often helpful to hover over or click on the sender’s name to see their true e-mail address which usually shows that they are nothing to do with the courier they are mimicking. But in any case, the same simple message applies as above – a parcel delivery company would not ask you to pay a redelivery or unpaid shipping fee online so do not click on any links inviting or instructing you to do so. Forward scam texts to 7726 and phishing e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org . Report scams to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk . Please take care and warn others – many people are still confused by different versions of this same basic scam. Thank you. Equipment used to send smishing texts on a large scale. Follow us on Twitter| Facebook|Cambridgeshire.gov.uk/against-scams|
Stay Connected with Cambridgeshire County Council
|This email was sent to email@example.com using GovDelivery Communications Cloud on behalf of: Cambridgeshire County Council ·Shire Hall, Castle St ·Cambridge CB3 0AP, UK|
|Warning After Attempted Dog Thefts In Cambridgeshire|
We are sending out an important message following a national rise in dog thefts and a number of attempted burglaries across the north of Cambridgeshire.
Between 16 and 23 February, there were several reports of attempted burglaries and concerns around these being a precursor to dog thefts.
Nationally there has been an increase in reports of dog thefts, however we have been made aware of incidents and concerns regarding potential attempted dog thefts across north Cambridgeshire, in particular the Thorney and Whittlesey areas.
We are urging residents across the whole county to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to us. Social media can be a great platform for providing information but it is extremely important this information is passed to us and not just shared on the internet.
At least five reports have included seeing a blue Audi A3 in the area of the attempted burglaries and suspicious activity, therefore we are asking members of the public to be on the lookout and report any concerns to us.
Advice on how to best protect your pet from thieves: Keep an ID tag on your dog at all times Lock gates using bolts at the top and bottom, along with a heavy-duty padlock Ensure there are no places where dogs or other animals can escape or be pulled through, if they are left in a back garden Never leave your pet in the garden unattended Fit a bell or gate alarm so it makes a sound when someone opens it Purchase a driveway alarm so you are alerted to any visitors, these can also be used in rear gardens Make sure your dog is microchipped and their details are updated so that they can be returned if they are stolen and subsequently found Avoid leaving a dog tied up outside a shop or left alone in a car, even for a few minutes Take lots of photographs of your dog to prove ownership if it’s stolen and then found Report dog theft to police straight away
If you have information about a stolen dog or suspicious behaviour, you can report it via our webchat service or by calling 101 if you do not have internet access.
For more advice, visit our dedicated dog theft information page.
|Message Sent By|
Lauren Alexander (Police, Senior Communications Officer, Cambridgeshire Constabulary)
|Covid Vaccine Scam|
|Sadly, scammers continue to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to commit fraud on unsuspecting victims.|
We’ve had reports of fraudsters sending fake text messages, which claim you are entitled to a dose of the newly-approved vaccine.
The bogus message states that you are entitled to a vaccine and to receive more information you should click on the link.
Unfortunately, these texts are fake. Once you click on the link, you are taken to a webpage, which is branded to look like a genuine NHS page, which requests to see ‘proof of ownership of address’ in the form of your bank account, sort code and a full bank card number.
Do not give your bank or card details to make payment for a vaccine or to prove your residential address.
Coronavirus vaccines are free and the NHS will never ask for any money or your bank details.
Further information about scams is available here.
Cyber Protect Officer
|Help Us Understand How Covid-19 Has Impacted Crime and Other Activities|
COVID-19 and crime survey
We are delighted to be working with University College London to understand how COVID-19 has impacted upon people’s routine and online activities, crime and their perceptions of it.
To help with this work, we are encouraging our supporters to participate in a short survey (surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9LGPHDL) which closes on 23rd December.
As well as understanding how the pandemic has affected things to date, the aim of the survey is to understand how it might do so in the future. Your participation will be really valuable and help us understand things that other data cannot.
We estimate that it will take about 15-20 minutes to complete. Your responses will be stored securely and you will not be asked for any information that would identify you as an individual.
If you are willing to take part, please complete this survey: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9LGPHDL
Please support this work – with your help I am sure we can gain real insight into the effects of COVID-19 on crime.
Central Support Team, Neighbourhood Watch Network
As many of you will be aware, unfortunately some selfish individuals decided to pour an unknown but possibly corrosive liquid onto many cars around the village last night causing a lot of distress to residents and potential damage to numerous vehicles.
Our Police Liaison Councillor, James Hutchcraft was around the village as soon as he was aware of the incidents last night speaking to residents and collecting photos etc to pass onto the police.
The Council have contacted the community policing team regarding the incidents and to express their concerns over this despicable behaviour.
The best course of action for residents in the face of such incidents is always to contact the police, directly and immediately.
We would encourage anyone who has any photographic evidence to either forward it directly to the police or if you prefer, to the Council at:
and Councillor Hutchcraft at
The Council are deeply troubled by recent incidents in the village, especially as these have come at a time when the Police are planning to cut 40 of the County’s PCSOs. Following the announcement, we wrote to Lucy Frazer MP, the Crime Commissioner, and the Chief Constable to implore them to reconsider their decision. Residents in rural communities deserve to live peacefully knowing that there are sufficient police resources on hand to both prevent and action crimes in our village.
|Scam Warning and Passwords Guidance|
|Council Officer Impersonation Scam We’ve had a report that some residents in Fenland have recently been visited by rogue traders purporting to be Council officers offering loft insulation.|
Please be aware that Fenland District Council are not carrying out such work, nor do they endorse any companies offering loft insulation, or supply details of residents to such companies. It is likely that these traders are using the Council’s name to access properties in order to steal or to try to get customers to agree to work, whether it is needed or not.
Whilst this matter has been brought to our attention in Fenland, don’t forget that criminals know no boundaries and will try their luck over a wide area. Please share this warning far and wide.
If you are visited by a cold caller on the doorstep please remember you do not have to answer the door, it is not impolite to not answer to people you are not expecting. However if you do decide to answer the door remember to: Ensure back doors and windows are locked Use your door chain to answer the door Ask for proof of ID Check the ID has not been tampered with e.g. new photo stuck over Contact the organisation to check the visitor is genuine – using a number you know to be correct such as from their official website, social media page or a bill (i.e. not a number on the ID card) Refuse to engage with anyone who does not offer reliable proof of ID A genuine caller will not mind waiting for you to make these checks. Report rogue traders to the police on 999 (if still present) or 101 after the event. For a free ‘Please leave and do not return’ door sticker please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Protect Your Passwords Neighbourhood Watch are currently running a campaign to help you to protect your passwords find out more at https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/passwords.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) also advises people to use three random words to create a strong and memorable password e.g. kneepastahopscotch. By adding numbers and punctuation characters to your password this makes it stronger still e.g. kn33p@st@h0p5c0tch!
NCSC also advise the following to keep your online accounts secure: Use a unique and separate password for your email. Store your passwords somewhere safe: save to your browser or use a password manager. Add extra security to important online accounts: turn on two-factor authentication. If your account has been hacked please see NCSC’s useful guide to recovering a hacked account and this handy infographic .
|Week-Long Operation To Highlight Knife Crime|
|Police in Cambridgeshire will be taking part in a national operation to tackle knife crime this week.|
The week-long operation aims to reduce knife related crime and tackle violence across the county.
In Cambridgeshire, offences involving knives or sharp instruments rose 58 per cent from 908 incidents in 2018 to 1,436 incidents in 2019. Between January and October this year there have been 1,178 offences.
On average, officers are arresting three people a week in Cambridgeshire for knife related offences (168 in 2018, 199 in 2019 and 168 between Jan-Oct 2020).
During the crackdown the force will be conducting knife sweeps, talking to retailers about selling to young people and educating school children through virtual presentations about the dangers of carrying knives.
There will also be a live question and answer session on the force Facebook page on Thursday at 7pm (12 November) where members of the public can find out more about knife crime.
Superintendent Robin Sissons said: “While offences involving knives have risen, Cambridgeshire’s figures are still below the national average and in line with a rise in offences across the country.
“It’s simple; knives ruin lives.
“People carrying knives, particularly young people, do so without understanding the real consequences of using them, the devastation it can cause to those who are seriously injured or fatally wounded, nor the impact on the families who have lost loved ones.
“We’d like to urge the family and friends of people who carry knives to encourage them to stop. That one conversation could be life changing and that one small action could be enough to save a life.”
It is illegal to: Sell a knife of any kind to anyone under 18 years old Carry a knife in a public place without good reason – unless it’s a knife with a folding blade three inches long or less eg a Swiss Army knife Carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife Use any knife in a threatening way The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5,000.
If you know someone who carries a knife, you can report it to us or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or via their website.
|Scam Warning – Fake Paypal Emails|
Action Fraud is warning people selling items online to be on the lookout for criminals sending fake PayPal emails.
Between January 2020 and September 2020, 21,349 crime reports were made to Action Fraud about fake PayPal emails. Victims reported losing a total of £7,891,077.44 during this time. Those targeted included people selling jewellery, furniture and electronics via online marketplaces. Reports of fake PayPal emails to Action Fraud made up a third of all reports of online shopping and auction fraud during this period.
How does it happen?
Criminals have been targeting people selling items online, by sending them emails purporting to be from PayPal. The emails trick victims into believing they have received payment for the items they’re selling on the platform.
Typically, after receiving these emails, victims will ship the item to the criminal. This leaves them at a further disadvantage having not received any payment for the item and also no longer being in possession of it.
How can you protect yourself? Sellers beware: If you’re selling items on an online marketplace, be aware of the warning signs that your buyer is a scammer. Scammers may have negative feedback history, or may have recently set up a new account to avoid getting poor feedback. Don’t be persuaded into sending anything until you can verify you’ve received the payment. Scam messages: Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details. How to spot the difference: A PayPal email will address you by your first and last name, or your business name, and will never ask you for your full password, bank account, or credit card details in a message.
If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud online at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
|Message Sent By|
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)
Criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to try and get their hands on your money and personal information. To date, Action Fraud has received reports from 2,378 victims of Coronavirus-related scams, with the total losses reaching over £7 million.
How you can protect yourself from Coronavirus-related scams:
There are some simple steps you can take that will protect you from the most common Coronavirus-related scams. Here’s what need to do:
1 – Watch out for scam messages
Your bank, or other official organisations, won’t ask you to share personal information over email or text. If you receive an email you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): email@example.com
2 – Shopping online
If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, for example, by checking to see if others have used the site and what their experience was. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, other payment providers may not provide the same protection.
3 – Unsolicited calls and browser pop-ups offering tech support
Never install any software, or grant remote access to your computer, as a result of a cold call. Remember, legitimate organisations would never contact you out of the blue to ask for financial details such as your PIN or full banking password.
NHS Test and Trace scams:
The NHS Test and Trace service plays an important role in the fight against coronavirus and it’s vital the public have confidence and trust in the service. However, we understand the concerns people have about the opportunity for criminals to commit scams.
What you need to know:
Contact tracers will only call you from the number 0300 013 5000. Anyone who does not wish to talk over the phone can request the NHS Test and Trace service to send an email or text instead, inviting them to log into the web-based service.
All text or emails sent by NHS Test and Trace will ask people to sign into the contact tracing website and will provide you with a unique reference number. We would advise people to type the web address https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk directly into their browser, followed by the unique reference number given to you, rather than clicking on any link provided in the message.
The NHS Test and Trace service will never: ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087) ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind ask for any details about your bank account ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS
If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. If you live in Scotland, please report directly to Police Scotland by calling 101.