Friday, 22 October 2021

Don't fall victim to Cryptocurrency fraud



Action Fraud is warning the public to remain vigilant when making investments, as criminals cheat hundreds of millions of pounds out of victims through cryptocurrency fraud.

Data from Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, reveals a staggering £146,222,332 has been lost to cryptocurrency fraud since the start of this year – which is almost a third more (30 per cent) than  was lost throughout the whole of 2020.

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Craig Mullish, from the City of London Police, said:

“Reports of cryptocurrency fraud have increased significantly over the past few years, which is unsurprising given everyone is spending more time online. Being online more means criminals have a greater opportunity to approach unsuspecting victims with fraudulent investment opportunities.

“We would encourage anyone thinking about making an investment to do their research first and to stop and think before making an investment as it could protect you and your money.”

Since the start of this year, Action Fraud has received 7,118 reports of cryptocurrency fraud, with an average loss per victim of just over £20,500.

18 to 25 year olds accounted for the highest percentage of reports (11 per cent) and over half (52 per cent) of victims were aged 18 to 45 years old.

One common tactic used to defraud victims is the use of celebrity endorsements. Criminals will present professional and credible looking online adverts, send emails and create websites to advertise fake investment opportunities, including cryptocurrency. Often, fake testimonials are accompanied with a picture of a well-known figure to help the investment seem legitimate. Between April 2020 and March 2021, Action Fraud received 558 investment fraud reports which made reference to a bogus celebrity endorsement – with over three quarters (79 per cent) of reports mentioning cryptocurrency as the commodity they invested in.

What is cryptocurrency fraud?

Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency designed to work as a medium of exchange. Cryptocurrencies are known for their market volatility so the value of investor’s assets go up and down quickly. As more people have invested their money in cryptocurrencies, criminals have capitalised on this as an opportunity to commit fraud.

Criminals advertise schemes promising, in some cases, high returns through cryptocurrency investing or mining. Frequently advertised on social media, criminals try to lure you in with adverts offering easy money quickly in order to obtain your money or personal information.

How to protect yourself

  • Be wary of adverts online and on social media promising high returns on investments in cryptoassets or cryptoasset-related products and be suspicious if you are contacted out the blue about an investment opportunity. This could be via a cold-call, an e-mail or an approach on social media.
  • Don’t be rushed into making an investment. No legitimate person or firm will pressure you into making an investment, or committing to something on the spot. Take time to do your research.
  • Most firms advertising and selling investments in cryptoassets are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authorotiy (FCA). This means that if you invest in certain cryptoassets you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong – so always check the FCA Register to make sure you’re dealing with an authorised firm and check the FCA Warning List of firms to avoid.
  • Seek advice from trusted friends, family members or independent professional advice services before making a significant financial decision. Even genuine investment opportunities can be high risk.
  • Use a financial advisor accredited by the Financial Conduct Authority. Paying for professional advice may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it will help prevent you from being scammed.
  • Only use the telephone number and email address on the FCA Register, not the contact details the firm gives you and look out for subtle differences.
  • Just because a company has a glossy website and glowing reviews from ‘high net worth’ investors does not mean it is genuine – fraudsters will go to great lengths to convince you they are not a scam.
  • Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you think you’ve been a victim of an investment fraud, report it to Action Fraud online at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. For more information about investment fraud, visit www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart

Action Fraud also advises that the public follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign to keep themselves safe from fraud.

  • Stop: taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
  • Challenge: could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Protect: if you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Source: Action Fraud (18-10-2021)

Thursday, 21 October 2021

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH 2021 CRIME AND COMMUNITY SURVEY LAUNCHED

This is a National Neighbourhood Watch survey although there is a section about your local or Bexley Neighbourhood Watch.

Please take 5/10 minutes to complete the survey.

surveymonkey.co.uk/R/CL72YGJ

For the second year running, we want to hear your thoughts about crime, community, and how effective Neighbourhood Watch is.

 

www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CL72YGJ

 

The survey, launched on Wednesday 20th October 2021, is open to the public across England and Wales, regardless of whether they live in a Neighbourhood Watch area or not.

 

The results will enable us to better understand on a national and regional level crime, fear of crime and benchmark whether membership to a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, or living in a Neighbourhood Watch area, has an impact on levels of crime, concern about crime, neighbourliness, and the willingness of communities to work together.

 

Last year our survey received just over 30,000 responses from across England and Wales providing us with a rich and useful set of data. This year we will be able to compare our data to last year’s results.

 

Please share this survey via email and social across all the various communities which you belong to whether they be a Neighbourhood Watch community or other such as sport, religious or work community.  This will help us receive a good balance of responses from Neighbourhood Watch members and non-members which will enable us to compare experiences between these two groups.


A good response in all regions will ensure we can publish a national report and provide individual regions with their own reports.

All data will be anonymised and aggregated and will be used by Neighbourhood Watch to ensure our work is effective, inclusive, and representative.


The survey closes on the 16th of November. Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Beware DPD phishing scam text


DPD phishing scam text from spoofed 07306064030 - 20 Oct 2021

Reported to 7726 as shown


Replied spoofed +447306064030 to 7726 as shown

  • Received the above DPD phishing scam text this morning (20 Oct 2021).
  • Reported it as SPAM to 7726 as shown
  • Reported the spoofed mobile sent from to 7726 as shown.

Do not click on links or attachments in unexpected or suspicious texts or emails

Report suspicious emails: If you have received an email which you’re not quite sure about, you can report it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service by forwarding the email to - report@phishing.gov.uk.

Report suspected scam texts which they’ve received but not acted upon to their mobile network provider by forwarding them to 7726, which is free of charge.

You can also report the scam to Action Fraud, the national fraud reporting centre.

For further advice and information on how to deal with suspicious emails and text messages visit https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/suspicious-email-actions 

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Cold-call phone scams or vishing

Vishing (fraudulent telephone callsis the fraudulent practice of making phone calls or leaving voice messages purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as bank details and credit card numbers.

Fraudsters pretending to be officers have been targeting the elderly and vulnerable by calling their home landline.

Watch out for fake calls (from a withheld number) by someone who says they're a police officer, giving a name, police station and police ID, and claiming that you have been a victim or serious fraud on your bank account.

Known as the ‘no hang-up scam’, this is where the fraudster keeps the line open, spoofs a dial tone and the fraudster’s accomplice answers and impersonates whoever the victim thinks they are trying to call.

These cold-call phone scams typically involve fraudsters deceiving people into believing they are speaking to a police officer, a member of bank staff or a representative of another trusted company or agency such as a government department.

Usually, the fraudster will convince an individual that they have been a victim of fraud and will ask for personal and financial information in order to gain access to their account.

Beware giving bank details


Never disclose the following details over the phone:
  • four-digit card Pin to anyone, including the bank or police
  • full password or online banking codes
  • personal details, unless you are sure who you are talking to
These callers have no connection with the police. The police or your bank will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, password, or to transfer money to another account to keep it safe.

Anyone who has given out their personal information to a caller they now think was a fraudster should contact their bank immediately.

To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Phishing alert: fake McAfee and Norton Antivirus emails

A familiar phishing scam has returned: scammers are trying their luck at convincing people they need to renew antivirus protection they didn’t know they had.

Fake emails posing as McAfee and Norton Antivirus informing people that their subscription is at an end and needs renewing are currently circulating. The emails ask you to click through on links in order to ‘renew the subscriptions’.

We’ve seen copies of both so you know exactly what to watch out for.

Fake McAfee antivirus email

The McAfee renewal phishing email tells people their subscription has expired and that they ‘strongly recommend renewing your McAfee subscription to keep your privacy online and protect your communications.’

 

Fake Norton Antivirus email

On the other hand, the fake Norton Antivirus email is a bit more canny. Devoid of colour and any official branding, it uses the format of a payment invoice, claiming that your subscription has been automatically renewed and updated. 

 

This is partly an attempt to trick you into contacting the scammers using the details at the bottom of the email. 

Spotting fake antivirus emails

Luckily, these emails aren’t as sophisticated as others we’ve seen, but they still pose a threat. They’re absent of official logos or branding and are poorly written, making them easier to spot.

The Norton scam email was sent from a personal email address and uses the wrong currency. It also grossly inflates the cost of subscription: it quotes $542.68 (almost £400) – the actual UK cost of Norton 360 protection is £124.99 for an annual subscription.

These emails are trying to convince people that they have these antivirus products and that they need to be renewed to protect your device. They want you to think that your devices are unprotected and vulnerable.

Both McAfee and Norton have dedicated pages on their websites informing people of the potential scam emails out there claiming to be from them. 

When we made Norton aware of the email a spokesperson confirmed that the email did not originate from them, they said:

“NortonLifeLock is a trusted name in consumer Cyber Safety. We encourage consumers to be vigilant and monitor for phishing attempts, where, commonly, cybercriminals attempt to take advantage of the trusted reputation built by companies and public bodies, to try and trick and defraud consumers.

Any NortonLifeLock customer with a concern should contact our customer support teams, while we also provide helpful tips and techniques for identifying and reporting phishing on our website.”

We reached out to McAfee but it did not respond.

Continue to report phishing emails

You can report phishing email attempts to Action Fraud or you can send them on directly to the National Cyber Security Centre at report@phishing.gov.uk

If you think you may have fallen victim to a phishing email, let your bank know what’s happened straight away.

Guide: how to spot a scam

Guide: how to get your money back after a scam

You can also help protect others from scams like this by making us aware of them using our Scams Sharer tool.

Source: Which?


Monday, 18 October 2021

Using CCTV at your home when being filmed

Some users of domestic CCTV systems need to comply with data protection laws. This depends on what their cameras can see.

Data protection laws don’t apply if the cameras cover only the user’s own private property, including their garden. Therefore, visitors caught on these cameras don’t have specific data protection rights in relation to the images captured on those cameras.

But what if the cameras capture images of people outside the boundary of the user’s property – for example, in neighbours’ homes or gardens, in shared spaces, or on a public footpath or a street? Then neighbours, passers-by and anyone else caught on camera will have rights under the data protection laws.

Capturing and recording such images is not itself a breach of the data protection laws. But CCTV users must ensure they comply with these laws and respect the data protection rights of people whose images they capture.

This applies to any video surveillance equipment mounted or fixed on a home, and can include cameras fitted into doorbells.

What are my rights?

If you are filmed on someone’s domestic CCTV system, which is capturing images outside the boundary of their home, the data protection laws give you several rights.

In particular, you have the following rights:

  • To be told that a home CCTV system is being used. The CCTV user must let people know they have CCTV. Signs are the most common way of doing this. They must be clearly visible and legible.
  • To ask for a copy of the information that is held about you. This is known as making a subject access request. You can ask verbally or in writing for copies of any footage where your image is identifiable. The CCTV user must respond to this request within one month. Bear in mind that if they regularly delete footage they no longer need, they might not hold your images.
  • To ask the CCTV user to erase any personal data they hold about you.
  • To ask that the CCTV user does not capture any footage of you in future. However, the nature of CCTV systems may make this very difficult and it might not be possible for the user to do this.

 

I’m unhappy about the use of a home CCTV system. What can I do?

Use ICO's online tool to determine the best course of action in your situation. 

Start now

Remember that if the CCTV system focuses only on the user’s home, the data protection laws don’t apply and the above rights won’t apply to you.

In most cases CCTV cameras are installed around a private home to monitor and protect personal property, and to ensure the safety of the user and their family. Normally, the images captured will only be used to identify individuals after an incident. The images are then passed to the police or to insurance companies if there’s a claim. Any organisation receiving images, such as the police or insurers, must comply with the data protection laws in how they handle and use this information.

We know CCTV systems can feel intrusive – especially if they capture images outside the boundary of the user’s property. This is why we have published guidance for domestic CCTV users. The guidance gives good-practice tips and reminds users of their obligations under the data protection laws.

However, in most CCTV-related disputes between neighbours, the ICO will not consider it appropriate or proportionate to take enforcement action against the CCTV user.

Source: Domestic CCTV systems – guidance for people being filmed

ICO - Your Data Matters

Using CCTV at your home

There are many domestic CCTV systems on the market to help you protect your home. If you’re thinking of using one, you need to make sure you do so in a way that respects other people’s privacy.

If you set up your system so it captures only images within the boundary of your private domestic property (including your garden), then the data protection laws will not apply to you.

But what if your system captures images of people outside the boundary of your private domestic property – for example, in neighbours’ homes or gardens, shared spaces, or on a public footpath or a street?

Then the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA18) will apply to you, and you will need to ensure your use of CCTV complies with these laws. This guidance refers to them as the ‘data protection laws’.

Regardless of whether or not your use of CCTV falls within the data protection laws, the ICO recommends you use it responsibly to protect the privacy of others.

What does ‘private domestic property’ mean?

It means the boundary of the property (including the garden) where you live.

How can I use CCTV responsibly at my property?

You should ask yourself whether CCTV is actually the best way to improve your home security.

Think about the following questions:

  • Do I really need CCTV?
  • Are there other things I could use to protect my home, such as better lighting?
  • What is the most privacy-friendly way to set up the system?
  • What areas do I want the cameras to capture?
  • Can I position the cameras to avoid intruding on my neighbours’ property or any shared or public spaces?
  • Do I need to record the images, or is a live feed enough?
  • Has my CCTV system got an audio-recording facility? Audio recording is very privacy-intrusive. So in most cases where householders use CCTV, they should disable audio recording.

Think about the problem you are trying to tackle. It will usually be to safeguard you and your property against crime. Check your local police advice about crime prevention. Better locks, security lighting or an alarm system may be more effective and less expensive ways of securing your property.

If you decide to use CCTV, think about what areas need to be covered, and whether your cameras need to capture images beyond the boundary of your property. Remember, if your cameras don’t capture images beyond your boundary, the data protection laws won’t apply to you.

What is the law if my CCTV captures images of people outside my own home and garden?

If your CCTV captures images beyond your property boundary, such as your neighbours’ property or public streets and footpaths, then your use of the system is subject to the data protection laws.

This does not mean you are breaking the law. But it does mean that, as the CCTV user, you are a data controller. So you will need to comply with your legal obligations under the data protection laws.

You can still capture images, but you need to show you are doing it in ways that comply with the data protection laws and uphold the rights of the people whose images you are capturing.

What must I do if I capture images of people outside my own home and garden?

If you are capturing images beyond your property boundary, you should have a clear and justifiable reason for doing so. In particular, you will need to think why you need these images. If asked by an individual or the ICO, you will need to be able to explain your reasons, so you should write them down now. You should also write down why you think capturing the images is more important than invading the privacy of your neighbours and passers-by.

You will also need to:

  • Let people know you are using CCTV by putting up signs saying that recording is taking place, and why.
  • Ensure you don’t capture more footage than you need to achieve your purpose in using the system.
  • Ensure the security of the footage you capture – in other words, holding it securely and making sure nobody can watch it without good reason.
  • Only keep the footage for as long as you need it – delete it regularly, and when it is no longer needed.
  • Ensure the CCTV system is only operated in ways you intend and can’t be misused for other reasons. Anyone you share your property with, such as family members who could use the equipment, needs to know the importance of not misusing it.

You also need to make sure you respect the data protection rights of the people whose images you capture. This includes the following things:

  • Responding to subject access requests (SARs), if you receive any. Individuals have a right to access the personal data you hold about them, including identifiable images. They can ask you verbally or in writing. You must respond within one month and give them a copy of the data.
  • Deleting footage of people if they ask you to do so. You should do this within one month. You can refuse to delete it if you specifically need to keep it for a genuine legal dispute – in which case you need to tell them this, and also tell them they can challenge this in court or complain to the ICO.
  • Consider any objection you get now from particular people about capturing their image in the future. Given the nature of CCTV systems, this may be very difficult to do. However, you should again think whether you need to record images beyond your property boundary – particularly if your system is capturing images from a neighbour’s home or garden.

What happens if I break the law?

If you fail to comply with your obligations under the data protection laws, you may be subject to enforcement action by the ICO. This could include a fine. You may also be subject to legal action by affected individuals, who could pursue court claims for compensation.

If you follow our guidance and take all reasonable steps to comply with your data protection obligations, the ICO is unlikely to regard you as a regulatory risk. So the ICO would be unlikely to think that taking enforcement action against you was a proportionate use of its resources.

 What else should I think about?

  • Before you install the system, consider speaking to your neighbours and explaining what you are doing. Listen to any objections or concerns they may have. It may also be useful to invite your neighbours to view the footage you capture. This may relieve any concerns they have about your use of CCTV. It may also avoid disputes escalating or complaints being made about your recording.
  • The phrase ‘domestic CCTV system’ refers to the use of any video surveillance equipment mounted or fixed on your home. It can include cameras fitted to doorbells.
  • You should remember that your use of a domestic CCTV system may be appropriate, but publicly uploading or streaming footage of identifiable people would need more justification. In most cases it would not be justifiable.
  • You don’t need to register with the ICO or pay a fee (this is a change from the previous law). However, you must maintain records of how and why you are capturing these images, and for how long you are keeping them. You may need to make these records available to the ICO on request.



This video is a discussion on the recent judgement in the case of Ring cameras and doorbells. The case involved claims for harassment, breach of data protection, and nuisance.

Disclaimer: Neither this nor any other video, may be taken as legal advice.

Don't fall victim to Cryptocurrency fraud

Action Fraud is warning the public to remain vigilant when making investments, as criminals cheat hundreds of millions of pounds out of vict...