Residents are being warned about a lot of scam emails and texts; most of which tell the recipient that they are locked out of their account, it has been blocked, or limited. These are all examples of phishing.
Phishing plays on the word ‘fishing’, in that the fraudsters fish for potential victims by sending emails, social media messages or text messages or making phone calls with urgent messages in the hope of persuading someone to visit the bogus website.
The fraudsters will use your details to steal your identity, or simply take the money you’ve paid and break all contact.
Spot the Signs:
- Their spelling, grammar, graphic design or image quality is poor quality. They may use odd ‘spe11lings’ or ‘cApiTals’ in the email subject to fool your spam filter.
- If they know your email address but not your name, it’ll begin with something like ‘To our valued customer’, or ‘Dear…’ followed by your email address.
- The website or email address doesn’t look right; authentic website addresses are usually short and don’t use irrelevant words or phrases. Businesses and organisations don’t use web-based addresses such as Gmail or Yahoo.
- Don’t assume anyone who’s sent you an email or text message – or has called your phone or left you a voicemail message – is who they say they are.
- If a phone call or voicemail, email or text message asks you to make a payment, log in to an online account or offers you a deal, be cautious.
- Make sure your spam filter is on your emails. If you find a suspicious email, mark it as spam and delete it to keep out similar emails in future.
- If in doubt, check it’s genuine by asking the company itself. Never call numbers or follow links provided in suspicious emails; find the official website or customer support number using a separate browser and search engine.
How to report it: Report it to Action Fraud online or call 0300 123 2040.