Latest scams

Below are a the latest scams reported by Neighbourhood Watch. Archived scams can be found here.

What you need to know:

Individuals have been receiving phone calls from people claiming to be a police officer or banking official

The suspect will say either:

-- There has been fraudulent activity at the victim’s bank and the staff at the bank are involved, the victim is then asked to withdraw money to either keep it safe or assist the police with their investigation

-- A business such as a jewellers or currency exchange is fraudulent and they require the victim's assistance to help secure evidence by purchasing jewellery or exchange a large amount of currency to hand over to the police

-- The victim's card has been compromised and used to purchase goods by a suspect, the victim is requested to withdraw their money to keep it safe or hand over their bank card to the police

-- Occasionally the victim will be told to dial a non-emergency extension of ‘161’ to receive confirmation of the individual’s bogus identity, the bogus official will advise the victim to lie about the reason for the withdrawal or purchase if challenged by staff, as the staff member is involved in the fraud

-- A courier attends the victim’s home address to collect the goods the same day, often the victim is given a code word for the courier as a way of authentication

Your bank or the police will never:
  • Phone and ask you for your PIN or full banking password
  • Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping
  • Ask you to transfer money out of your account
  • Send someone to your home to collect cash, PINs, cards to cheque books

Fraudsters send fake Virgin Media emails threatening “automatic disconnection”

Action Fraud has received over 100 reports about fake emails that purport to be from Virgin Media. The emails threaten the recipient with “automatic disconnection” due to “invalid billing information”. The links in the emails lead to genuine-looking phishing websites that are designed to steal your Virgin Media account login details.

Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.

For more information on how to stay secure online, visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk

An ongoing TV Licensing phishing campaign, first identified by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) in September 2018, continues to be reported to Action Fraud in high numbers. Fraudsters are sending the public fake TV Licensing emails that are designed to steal their personal and financial information. Since April 2018, Action Fraud has received over 900 crime reports with victim losses totalling more than £830,000.

How you can protect yourself:

  • Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.
  • Don’t assume a phone call or email is authentic, even if someone knows your basic details (such as your name or address). Remember, criminals can spoof phone numbers and email addresses to appear as companies you know and trust, such as TV Licensing.
  • Your bank will never call and ask you for your PIN, full banking password, or ask you to transfer money out of your account.

What to do if you’ve fallen victim:

  • Let your bank know as soon as possible and monitor your bank statements regularly for any unusual activity.
  • If you suspect your identity may have been stolen you can check your credit file quickly and easily online. Use a reputable service provider and follow up on any unexpected or suspicious results.
  • If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk, or by calling 0300 123 2040.