Friday 30 December 2022

#Bikemarking ๐Ÿšจ by Bexley Police for free

#Bikemarking ๐Ÿšจ

Did ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป leave a ๐Ÿšฒ under the ๐ŸŒฒor fancy a new year cycle❓


Tuesday 27 December 2022

Beware DVLA phishing scam email


DVLA scam email

Screenshot (click above to view enlarged) of the scam email received today 27 December 2022 with a fake phishing url received by a borough resident and alerted us to warn others.

The purpose of a scam email is often to get you to click a link. This will take you to a website which might download a virus to your computer, or steal passwords or other personal information. This is sometimes known as 'phishing'.

Suspicious text messages should be forwarded (as a screenshot or screen recording) to the number 7726 which is free of charge. Suspicious emails should be forwarded (as a screenshot) to report@phishing.gov.uk, as was this one in this case. 

Needless to say do no click on links that turn out of the blue. Take time to research and check out this blog for advice and further information on similar scams.

Phishing: Spot and report scam emails, texts, websites and calls

This scam was shared by Which? on 17 Nov 2022.


Prevent your Land Rover (or any such car) from getting stolen

One way is to disable keyless as shown in this video:-


Another way is have physical barriers as shown in this video:-


Learn how thieves may steal your car whether you have a car with a chipped, transponder or key less entry and start there is a way to bypass these security systems and steal a car, including expensive and luxury cars like high end Mercedes, Audi's and other Make and Models. And take steps to prevent and make it harder for such high-end cars being a target for theft as shown in this video:-


Post Christmas Crime Prevention police advice


Bin Collections: Beware of burglars seeing your boxes to carry out their own Christmas shopping! If possible please turn the boxes inside out or keep them out of sight.

Christmas wrapping and boxes left outside your home, particularly those advertising expensive items, could put your home at risk of being targeted by burglars. Please wait for the next refuse collection before you put your rubbish out or consider a trip to the tip instead.

Do you protect important items?

Some items you own may be very expensive, unusual, antique or have sentimental value, and therefore would be extremely hard to replace if lost or stolen.

It's a good idea to:

  • security-mark items including bikes, mobiles and laptops.
  • keep receipts, serial numbers safe and phone IMEI numbers safe.
  • photograph and insure expensive or unique items.
  • install a safe, bolted to the ground or a wall, or use a safety deposit box at the bank.
  • register important items for free on the national Immobilise database – this can help us return them to you if they are stolen and then recovered.




For more information on how to keep your home safe and secure, visit our website: www.kent.police.uk/police-forces/kent-police/areas/kent-police/campaigns/kent-against-burglary

 #KentAgainstBurglary

Find out How to





Monday 26 December 2022

Worst knife crime stats in London revealed

 In a recent publication by the Daily Mail (26-12-2022), "London's WORST boroughs for knife crime revealed: Capital had more reports of bladed weapons than any other city in 12 months at 13,405 - with Southwark, Westminster and Croydon having the most dangerous streets." (gdpr)

Knife Crime Offence Count: 5,740 from the Official MPS Crime Data Dashboard for the period June 2022 - October 2022, revealed the following stats (no particular order) of some worst London boroughs compared to some local boroughs in comparison:

The links navigate to the Met data knife crime dashboard where more detailed information can be viewed of the volumes by crime type.

Bexley knife crime stats June 2022-October 2022 screenshot

[Click screenshot to view enlarged]


Friday 23 December 2022

WARNING PICKPOCKETS ARE AFTER YOUR MONEY, CARDS, WALLETS AND PHONES

If you have to or are going to shop, as Christmas gets closer the usual suspects are out on the lookout for anything of value they can take from shoppers.


"This happened yesterday (22-12-2022) in Schuh in Bexley Broadside shopping and shared on the Nextdoor app to warn others. Please see the footage of how I was a victim of robbery yesterday on my birthday. The lady in the black with a mask on follows me around the shop until she manages to reach into my bag takes my phone." This has been reported to the police. Needless to say, keep your bags zipped, in front of you and not on the side or behind you to make it harder to be a victim of theft.

This can ruin peoples Christmas so be careful and if you see this happening call 999 and report it. Don't put yourself at risk.

Source: Nextdoor

๐ŸŽ„Stay Safe and Vigilant๐ŸŽ„

Thursday 22 December 2022

Beware feeding potatoes to horses can be lethal - Appeal for information

A recent post on social media platform Facebook revealed a member of the public against another member of public to stop feeding horses potatoes in the Barnehurst area last week and refused to do so.

What is normal for humans to eat, potatoes can be lethal to horses, in this case causing them to get colic and face a hefty vet bill!

This is an appeal for information if this person or anyone who knows this person in the photo below (taken from the facebook post) to contact the original poster asap. Thank you for your cooperation.

Individual feeding horses as mentioned

Source: Moderator of Barnehurst Gossip Column (22-12-2022)

Internet search reveals an external source on 'CAN HORSES EAT POTATOES? ' (gdpr).

Which? Revealed: the 5 strangest scams of 2022

 Imposter CEO

Scammers are exploiting the current cost of living crisis, playing on pressures around our household finances at a time of soaring bills and inflation.

Every month, we receive hundreds of scam reports, including from victims who've lost substantial amounts of money. But in addition to the more convincing and dangerous frauds, less sophisticated criminals have concocted some surprisingly inept scams.

One of the most notable was a fake email 'from' Elon Musk, promising lucky recipients 10 bitcoin - worth around £140,000 - for free. Another ridiculous scam saw fraudsters attempt to trick Which? employees by posing as our chief executive, Anabel Hoult.

Here are the five strangest scams we’ve seen this year.

Strangest scams

Source: Which? (22-12-2022)


Monday 19 December 2022

Enjoy Christmas and New Year safely

Wrap up warm, and ‘Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!’

New Year – routine chores?

This, time of year, is a good time prune many varieties of plants, trees and shrubs so have a look at them; ensure that they do not provide a climbing aid into your property or prevent that all important clear view into your frontage that may deter crime. Be mindful though; those brambles, other spiky plants and stinging nettles on your boundary are nature’s own deterrent to intruders, any cuttings can be used to fill gaps in a hedge line.

Consider supplementing your boundary security with some nice spiky plants, they look and smell nice but may also be a deterrent to intruders. Suitable advice can be sought from The Royal Horticultural Society or your local garden centre.


  • Fences and gates, are they still intact and well maintained, do the gates lock securely.
  • Outside lighting, are they all working okay and are they clean?
  • Sheds and outbuildings, are they still intact and well maintained, lubricate the locks exposed to the weather.
  • Smoke detectors, are they working okay and in date and where appropriate do the batteries need replacing, remember mains operated ones may have a battery back- up that may need replacing regularly.
  • CCTV systems: like with your lighting ensure that they are kept clean and maintained. Smart doorbells or other that may use a solar charger, at this time of year they may not be getting much of a charge so consider topping up the battery with a charger where appropriate.
  • Property marking; over Christmas you may have received some new tools, electrical or computing items consider using an appropriate property marking product.
  • 21/12/22 was the shortest day so we still have a few more ‘darker nights’, make your home looks like you are in even when you are out by having lights on timers in the house and perhaps a TV simulator.
  • Lastly in this list, don’t leave your car unattended on the drive with the engine running whilst you de-ice/de-mist it, it only takes a minute to steal it and it may affect an insurance claim.
๐ŸŽ„Stay Safe and Vigilant๐ŸŽ„


Warning and How to Prevent Keyless Car Theft



As days are getting darker, see also tips to prevent car thefts on the rise (given last year) and crime prevention & security advice.

Single shaft steering wheel locks are not as secure as a 'Disklock'. Thatcham approved.

Thatcham Approved Disklok


Covers the whole steering wheel. Some insurance companies offer reduction if fitted. Thieves can't easily saw through bar or wheel. The above are easily available online (example Amazon - click on the caption links in the images shown above), however it is a good idea to shop around for the particular size and build quality to suit your car needs.




Thursday 15 December 2022

Beware fire in the lounge video from LFB

Fire Safety info from Jim Morford Bexley London Fire Brigade Borough Commander.

Fire in lounge video – remember the gas fire never actually makes contact with the washing, the fire occurs due to being too close to the gas fire.  A real possibility with the cost of living at the moment.

For further information visit https://www.london-fire.gov.uk/about-us/our-campaigns/total-recalls-making-whitegoods-safer/

Online Home fire safety checker and Home fire safety booking

Many fires at home start accidentally, and the effects can be devastating. To help prevent accidents and keep you safe, we provide a free home fire safety visit service.


Or ….

call us free on 0800 028 4428

email smokealarms@london-fire.gov.uk

text/SMS 07860 021 319


Fire risk checklist – for vulnerable people


Helps determine if a Home fire safety visit is required. To assess fire risks visit

https://www.london-fire.gov.uk/safety/carers-and-support-workers/using-a-fire-risk-checklist/

Watch out for loan fee fraud in the run up to Christmas

The cases of loan fee fraud are up by a fifth compared to last year, but what is it? It’s a scam where a fraudster asks you for an upfront fee, usually between £25 and £450, in order to take out a non-existent loan. They usually target people who have been searching for loans online.

We know this time of year, plus an ongoing cost of living crisis, can mean extra added pressure on your finances but always check the legitimacy of the lender by using the FCA’s website to ensure they are registered. Find out more about these loan fee scams and how to dodge them.

Dodge loan fee fraud 

Listen in: is ticket fraud ruining football?

When it comes to big sporting events, fraudsters are always looking to take advantage of fans desperate to find a ticket. Resale tickets for Euro 2020 were found to be selling for as much as £17,000, and similar prices were being touted for this year’s FIFA World Cup.

Listen in to our investigation into ticket fraud. We’ll hear from those who have lost thousands, explain how scammers operate, and investigate what needs to be done to combat it.

Ticket fraud

Monday 12 December 2022

Beware 12 Scams of Christmas

 

12 Scams of Christmas (Dec 2022)


For further information, click on image above to view enlarged or in PDF here.

Source: Friends Against Scams.

๐ŸŽ„Stay Safe ๐ŸŽ„

Saturday 10 December 2022

New warning from Action Fraud about cost of living scams in the run up to Christmas

Criminals are using the cost of living crisis to scam the public – don’t become a victim.

Law enforcement, government and private sectors partners are working together to encourage members of the public to be more vigilant against fraud, particularly about sharing their financial and personal information, as criminals seek to capitalise on the cost of living crisis.

Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police.

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 ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud*.

Report: Suspicious emails can be reported by forwarding them to: report@phishing.gov.uk. You can also report suspicious text message by forwarding them to 7726 (it’s free of charge). Your reports help us to remove the emails and websites used to perpetrate fraud and cyber crime.

We’ve listed some of the most common scams circulating right now with advice on how to spot, report and avoid falling victim.

Energy Bill Rebates

Between September 1, 2022 and November 13, 2022 Action Fraud received over 350 reports relating to fake text messages and emails purporting to be from the UK Government. The messages state that the recipient is “owed” or “eligible” for an energy bill discount as part of the Energy Bill Support Scheme.

Although the content of messages can vary, a significant number of emails are titled “Are you Eligible to Apply for Energy Bill Rebate” or “Government energy rebate scheme”, with a header in the email body stating “E.ON: Gas and electricity supplier”. Some emails include the Ofgem logo in an attempt to legitimise the correspondence.

The links in the emails and texts lead to genuine looking websites that are designed to steal personal and financial information.

Households in the UK do not need to apply for the Energy Bill Support Scheme and you will not be asked for your bank details. If you have spotted a suspicious text message, please forward it to 7726. If you have received an email which you’re not quite sure about, you should forward it to: report@phishing.gov.uk

In recent months, people have reported receiving suspicious phone calls from fraudsters claiming to be from their bank or the police. The scammer warns the recipient that several suspicious transactions have been made on their account related to scam government energy rebates and asks them to transfer their funds into a ‘safe account’.

Remember, your bank or the police will NEVER ask you to transfer money or move it to a safe account.

Cost of Living Payments

Since its announcement in May, fraudsters have been seeking to capitalise on coverage related to the government’s cost of living scheme, which offers £650 to millions of low income households.

The Department for Work and Pensions has issued a warning about scams related to cost of living assistance following reports of scam phone calls, emails and text messages. In one such example, the recipient is  asked to claim or apply for the payment by registering via a link. The links in the emails and texts lead to genuine looking websites that are designed to steal personal and financial information.

Please remember, if you are eligible for cost of living assistance, you do no need to apply for the payment or contact the DWP directly. Payment to you is automatic and the DWP will never ask for personal details by SMS or email. More information is available here.

Fuel vouchers, phone bill discounts and supermarket offers

There has been a rise in consumers being targeted by phishing emails pretending to be from utility companies claiming to provide savings on energy bills, as well as offering fuel vouchers, phone bill discounts and supermarket offers. These emails are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are designed to harvest personal and financial information.

A number of supermarket brands have been spoofed in fake ads on social media with offers of too good to be true deals, competitions or giveaways. A number of people have reported seeing fake ads offering free food products that are due to expire. The ad encourages people to register via a link in order to win or claim the food. In reality, the offer does not exist and the third party website is designed to steal your personal or financial information.

In recent months, a number of people have reported receiving suspicious phone calls from scammers claiming to be from their phone provider. The scammer states that the phone owner is eligible for a discount on their phone bill due to cost of living hardships and then asks a series of questions designed to steal their personal information. 

If you see an offer that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Always check the brand’s official website or social media channels to verify whether an offer is authentic.

You can report suspicious phone calls to Action Fraud here: Report a phishing attempt | Action Fraud

Fake investment opportunities

Money laundering and other financial crimes are on the rise as scammers continue to prey on people looking to save as much money as they can or offset rising costs by making investments that promise high returns. There are many different types of investment fraud, which usually involve criminals contacting people out of the blue and convincing them to invest in schemes or products that are worthless or do not exist. Once the criminals have received payment, they cease contact with the victim.

Fraudsters are using a range of social media platforms to contact people with offers of non-existent bank refunds. In many cases, the fraudster shares a fake screenshot showing amounts ranging from £1,289 to £1,855 being deposited into an account. This is intended to encourage the recipient to share their bank details and claim a refund. In reality, no refund exists and the scammer will use your financial information to steal money.

How to protect yourself from financial investment fraud:

Investment opportunities:
 Don’t be rushed into making an investment. Remember, legitimate organisations will never pressure you into investing on the spot.

Seek advice first: Before making significant financial decisions, speak with trusted friends or family members, or seek professional independent advice.

FCA register: Use the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) register to check if the company is regulated by the FCA. If you deal with a firm (or individual) that isn’t regulated, you may not be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) if things go wrong and you lose your money.

For more information about how to invest safely, please visit: https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart

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

Source: Action Fraud (06-12-2022)

LFB - Campaign to make white goods safer

London Fire Brigade (LFB) want to make white goods safer for everyone, so we are calling on manufacturers to make a number of changes to the way they currently operate.

Visit their Total Recalls campaign to find out why.

Friday 9 December 2022

Beware a sophisticated Paypal phishing Scam

This was posted on Nextdoor:-

"There is a sophisticated Paypal Scam doing the rounds. Using your email address if you have a Paypal account they put a request for funds of between £700-£900 for a purchase of gift vouchers into your Paypal where it will sit as a pending payment. 

The trick is then that you also get an email appearing to be from Paypal addressing you by first name and surname to say that there is a message on the request from the requestor. The requestor says the payment is suspicious and if this is not genuine to call their 0800 number. This phone number may put you through to a scammer who will ask for all your personal details including credit card number and address. That is what they want to steal. So don’t call it. The transaction should expire off your Paypal account naturally after a few days as unauthorised but you can call Paypal to have it cancelled. 

This scam tries to make people believe the payment has already gone through so check your credit card or bank account and you’ll see it hasn’t. Foreword any email you receive that you are suspicious of to phishing@paypal.com. Be safe."

You can find more information and advice on phishing here and how to report them.

Thursday 8 December 2022

Beware Pickpockets - Are you a prime target?

From today's newsletter (8 Dec 2022):-

"Timely reminder
From PCSO Joyce Barlow Dear Resident Some timely advice when out and about Christmas shopping. Christmas Message. ๐ŸŽ„Christmas is cheer! The scent of German sausage fills the air. Plinky Plonky Christmas tunes rattle out of little speakers. Upcycled “live laugh love” toilet roll holders adorn entire stalls. ๐ŸŽ It’s Christmas market time. While you’re looking for that fill-in gift for the uncle you don’t really like or the token gesture present for the office idiot, be careful as pickpockets are about. You may have an idea of what a pickpocket looks like but they’re far less likely to stand out in a crowd than you might think since blending in is part of how they avoid being caught. Here’s how to spot a potential pickpocket and avoid losing your belongings to one. How to spot a pickpocket ➡️ The observers These include people loitering in public places who appear to be checking out passers-by, paying particular interest to their handbags, and shopping bags, and where they might place their wallets or purse. For example, be aware of individuals who appear to be focusing their attention on the waist area of others. This may be an indication of criminal intent and probable theft. But do bear in mind the fact that some people are naturally shy and do avoid eye contact. Always follow your instincts. ➡️ The opportunists Pickpockets also operate in shops and department stores, where people are more likely to be standing still, distracted and so paying less attention to their belongings, making them an easier target. Be more aware of your surroundings in busy shops and shopping centres because they’re ideal places for pickpockets, as it’s easier for them to brush past people, take items, and blend into the crowd. ➡️ Team tactics Pickpockets don’t always operate alone, they may work in teams to distract the target while someone unseen removes the items and blends back into the crowd. Another member might step in as an enforcer in the event of an altercation. ➡️ Crowding in Thieves vary their tactics based on the location and the density of the crowd. One tactic is where a group of them push up against a victim in a crowded shop or street then quickly reach into the victim’s pocket and steal their wallet, phone or purse. ➡️ Dirty tricks Remember, pickpockets are very skilled at what they do. They know all the tricks and are extremely light-fingered with most of their thefts only taking a second or two. One of their tactics is ‘hugger mugging’ where a thief will appear to be over-friendly for no particular reason and hug you while pickpocketing you. ➡️ The point of distraction Pickpocket teams are adept at creating distractions. This could be anything from a game to a loud shout, all designed to avert your attention while an unseen accomplice steals your valuables. So do try not to be easily distracted. Are you a prime target? ๐ŸŽ Dos ✔️ Do keep purses and bags closed and secure at all times ✔️ Do carry bags in front of you or diagonally across your chest ✔️ Do return cards to your purse or wallet quickly and zip it up or button it ✔️ Do use a purse that’s difficult to open. One that zips or snaps shut is best, and keep it closed ✔️ Do use a money belt if you’re carrying a significant quantity of cash ✔️ Do conceal your wallet in a buttoned or zipped pocket where it doesn’t bulge ✔️ Do keep a list, separate from your wallet and phone, of contact numbers of family in case your phone is stolen ✔️ Do keep a photocopy of your airline tickets, passport, credit cards and any other documents that would be impossible or inconvenient to replace if stolen ๐ŸŽ Don'ts ❌ Don’t hang stuff on the back of a chair. ❌ Don’t leave anything on the back of a pushchair. ❌ Don’t place your belongings out of sight on the floor. Remember, having a zipped bag doesn’t mean you’re totally safe. Thieves have been known to walk behind victims while slowly unzipping bags. Yes, they can be that bold. So, never underestimate a pickpocket."

Friday 25 November 2022

Come and get your bike marked with @bikeregister kits

Come and get your bike marked with @bikeregister kits no need to book just turn up
๐Ÿ“†Sunday 27th November
⏰11am - 3pm
๐Ÿ“Danson Park, Outside the boat house
@BexleyCSP @BexleyCyclists

The Mayor's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) for London

The Mayor has announced that the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be expanded across all London boroughs from 29 August 2023

The ULEZ in central and inner London has been very effective in rapidly reducing air pollution in those areas. The Mayor now wants to extend those benefits to outer Londoners, and set the whole of London on a path towards becoming a zero pollution city.  

The ULEZ standards are not changing – this means that if you do not currently pay the charge for your vehicle, it will remain compliant after these changes come into effect. You can check if your vehicle is affected on the TfL website, search “TfL vehicle checker”, or click below: 

The ULEZ will continue to apply 24 hours a day every day of the year except for Christmas Day (when there is no public transport).


For further detailed information visit The Mayor's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) for London website (source).


ULEZ Expansion 2023 - for coverage, discounts, penalties and map.


UPDATE: Joint statement by Hillingdon, Harrow and Bexley Councils: https://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/article/10280/Joint-statement-from-Hillingdon-Harrow-and-Bexley-councils-on-ULEZ-expansion

Thursday 24 November 2022

Community Weapon sweeps - Good news from SE

On Wednesday 16th of November officers from Thamesmead and Belvedere SNT carried out a number of activities in support of Operation Sceptre.

Great work by Belvedere and Thamesmead East SNT The activities were carried out in partnership with Bexley and Greenwich Community Safety unit, Peabody Wardens and Greenwich Community Wardens.

We carried out weapon sweeps in Picardy Street, Belvedere and Arnott Close, Thamesmead where a number of knifes and dangerous implements were found. In addition to this a number of used syringes were discovered in accessible areas posing a clear risk to local residents.

The operation continued in the afternoon where a knife arch Operation was carried out outside Mcdonalds in Thamesmead, this particular area has recently suffered with an increase in robberies so local residents were happy to see a proactive approach to tackle the problem.

Today’s operation was a great example of joint working and each weapon seized could potentially be a life saved.

We will continue such operations and continue to safeguard local residents.

More than 100 arrests in UK's biggest ever fraud operation

An international one stop spoofing shop has been taken down in the UK’s biggest ever fraud operation, led by the Metropolitan Police.

More than 200,000 potential victims in this country alone have been directly targeted through the fraud website iSpoof.

At one stage, almost 20 people every minute of the day were being contacted by scammers hiding behind false identities using the site.

They posed as representatives of banks including Barclays, Santander, HSBC, Lloyds, Halifax, First Direct, Natwest, Nationwide and TSB.

Scotland Yard’s Cyber Crime Unit worked with international law enforcement, including authorities in the US and Ukraine, to dismantle the website this week.

This was a crucial phase in a world-wide operation, which has been running out of the public eye since June 2021, targeting a suspected organised crime group.

iSpoof enabled criminals to appear as if they were calling from banks, tax offices and other official bodies as they attempted to defraud victims.

Victims are believed to have lost tens of millions of pounds while those behind the site earned almost £3.2 million in one 20 month period.

Detective Superintendent Helen Rance, who leads on cyber crime for the Met, said: “By taking down iSpoof we have prevented further offences and stopped fraudsters targeting future victims.

“Our message to criminals who have used this website is we have your details and are working hard to locate you, regardless of where you are.”

Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said: “The exploitation of technology by organised criminals is one of the greatest challenges for law enforcement in the 21st century.

“Together with the support of partners across UK policing and internationally, we are reinventing the way fraud is investigated. The Met is targeting the criminals at the centre of these illicit webs that cause misery for thousands.

“By taking away the tools and systems that have enabled fraudsters to cheat innocent people at scale, this operation shows how we are determined to target corrupt individuals intent on exploiting often vulnerable victims.”

The Met’s Cyber and Economic Crime Units co-coordinated the operation with the National Crime Agency, Europol, Eurojust, the Dutch authorities and the FBI.

In the UK, more than 100 people have been arrested, the vast majority on suspicion of fraud.

iSpoof allowed users, who paid for the service in Bitcoin, to disguise their phone number so it appeared they were calling from a trusted source. This process is known as ‘spoofing’.

Criminals attempt to trick people into handing over money or providing sensitive information such as one time pass codes to bank accounts.

The average loss from those who reported being targeted is believed to be £10,000.

In the 12 months until August 2022 around 10 million fraudulent calls were made globally via iSpoof, with around 3.5 million of those made in the UK.

Of those, 350,000 calls lasted more than one minute and were made to 200,000 individuals.

Losses reported to Action Fraud as a result of the calls and texts via iSpoof is around £48 million. Because fraud is vastly underreported, the full amount is believed to be much higher.

The Met, which has also worked closely with the Cyber Defence Alliance and UK Finance, is asking anyone who believes they were contacted as part of a scam where a number was spoofed to report this online via Action Fraud.

The Met’s Cyber Crime Unit began investigating iSpoof in June 2021 under the name of Operation Elaborate. It was created in December 2020 and had 59,000 user accounts.

Investigators infiltrated the site and began gathering information alongside international partners.

The website server contained a treasure trove of information in 70 million rows of data. Bitcoin records were also traced.

Because the pool of 59,000 potential suspects is so large, investigators are focusing first on UK users and those who have spent at least £100 of Bitcoin to use the site.

A wave of UK arrests followed with details of other suspects passed onto law enforcement partners in Holland, Australia, France and Ireland.

Earlier this month the suspected organiser of the website was arrested in East London. He has been charged with a range of offences and remanded in custody.

There are more than 70,000 numbers that have been contacted via iSpoof that the Met has linked to an identified suspect.

We are actively contacting those numbers this week asking owners to visit our website for more information and to report any fraud losses online.

Eurojust President Mr Ladislav Hamran said: “As cybercrime knows no borders, effective judicial cooperation across jurisdictions is key in bringing its perpetrators to court. Eurojust supports national authorities in their efforts to protect citizens against online and offline threats, and to help see that justice gets done.”

Europol Executive Director Ms Catherine De Bolle said: “The arrests today send a message to cybercriminals that they can no longer hide behind perceived international anonymity. Europol coordinated the law enforcement community, enriched the information picture and brought criminal intelligence into ongoing operations to target the criminals wherever they are located. Together with our international partners, we will continue to relentlessly push the envelope to bring criminals to justice.”

Commander Nik Adams, from the City of London Police, said: “As the national lead force for fraud, we have coordinated activity across the country with other police forces and Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs) to provide a co-ordinated response to support the Metropolitan Police Service with their action and help make this operation a success. Our collaborative approach has supported this operation, which is also underpinned by our work with the National Economic Crime Centre (NECC) within the National Crime Agency.

“Collaborative and proactive operations like this to tackle fraud are vitally important in clamping down on criminals and preventing innocent members of the public from being targeted for their hard-earned money.”

We would always encourage members of the public to follow the Take Five to Stop Fraud advice and if they think they have been a victim of fraud, to contact their bank immediately and report to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk.

Source: Action Fraud (24-11-2022)



7 ways to spot a scam website

In the first half of 2023, purchase scams rose by 43% year on year, and as we enter the peak shopping period of the year, the numbers are li...