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Police: Identity fraud figures soar

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog
  • Record 89,000 cases recorded in first six months of year by Cifas
  • Sharp rise in identity fraudsters applying for loans, online retail, telecoms and insurance products.
  • Identity fraud now accounts for 56% of all fraud reported by Cifas members, of which 83% was committed online. 

Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, has released new figures showing that identity fraud has continued to rise at record levels in the first six months of 2017. A record 89,000 identity frauds were recorded, up 5% from last year.

Although the number of identity fraud attempts against bank accounts and plastic cards has fallen these still account for more than half of all identity fraud cases.

How fraudsters operate

The vast majority of identity fraud happens when a fraudster pretends to be an innocent individual to buy a product or take out a loan in their name. Often victims do not even realise that they have been targeted until a bill arrives for something they did not buy or they experience problems with their credit rating.

To carry out this...

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Police: Bogus traders targeting victims using Grenfell fire tragedy

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog

Homeowners and housing organisations are reminded to stay alert as reports suggest that bogus traders are using the Grenfell Tower fire to pose as council officials or professionals in the fire prevention industry to defraud them for services or goods that don’t exist or aren’t necessary.

The fraudsters are allegedly cold calling or visiting the homes of potential victims to offer services such as a free or subsidised safety inspection of a property, using the tragedy as the reason for their contact.

Fake fire prevention services

Fraudsters have been known to use incidents or disasters that have been in the news to make themselves look convincing and prompt victims into paying out.

Intelligence also suggests fraudsters may be trying to contact companies or organisations and claiming to offer contracts to provide services or goods to protect their home or building from a similar incident from happening.

https://twitter.com/actionfrauduk/status/875744874888388608

Whilst we’re currently unaware of anyone...

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Police: Sharp rise in reports of council tax rebate fraudsters at work

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog

Fraudsters may be posing as local council officials or professionals and cold-calling customers stating that they are eligible for a general tax or council tax rebate, with a sharp increase in the number of reports relating to fake council tax refunds in the last few weeks.

They’ve been reported to calling potential victims or use a range of other techniques, such as send text messages, to convince the intended victims that their tax rebate is legitimate, when in fact this may not be the case. The fraudsters will tell you how much tax you can claim back but emphasise that an advance fee payment is required in order to make the tax claim successful.

Whilst it may not be easy to identify if a tax rebate is legitimate, you should take care and know for certain that the tax you are planning to claim is genuine. A genuine company or organisation will never ask you for an advance fee payment to cover the administration costs in order to claim tax.

Protect yourself from tax rebate fraud



Police: ALERT: What to do during a ransomware incident

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog

Following a global ransomware incident which took place yesterday we’re reminding businesses and individuals how they can protect themselves from ransomware and what they should do if they become a victim.

How to protect yourself:

  • Don’t click on links, or open any attachments, you receive in unsolicited emails or SMS messages. The links may lead to malicious websites and any attachments could be infected with malware.
  • Always install software updates as soon as they’re available. Whether you’re updating the operating system or an application, the update will often include fixes for critical security vulnerabilities.
  • Install anti-virus software on your computer and mobile devices, and keep it updated. Bear in mind that ransomware can often be picked up by visiting disreputable sites including illegal movie streaming websites and some adult sites.
  • Create regular backups of your important files to an external hard drive, memory stick or online storage provider. It’s important that the device you back up to isn’t...

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Police: City of London Police collaborate with Microsoft to tackle computer software service fraud

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog

Yesterday four people were arrested as the result of two years of work from Microsoft and the City of London Police into the global problem of computer software service fraud.

In Woking, Surrey and Sussex Police Cyber Crime Unit arrested a 29-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman on suspicion of fraud. They have since been bailed.

In South Shields, a 37-year-old man and 35-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of fraud by NERSOU officers. Both were later released pending further enquiries.

Microsoft collaboration with police

The arrests have come about as a result of work by the City of London Police and forensic and investigative services provided by Microsoft analysing tens of thousands of Action Fraud reports and working with other affected organisations, such as BT and TalkTalk, to attempt to trace the source of the problem. This analysis and enquiries undertaken by the City of London Police have shown that many of the calls originate in India and that the worldwide...

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Police: Apple blocks Binary Options trading apps

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog

Binary Options are called ‘Binary’ because there can be only two outcomes – win or lose. To trade, all you need to do is bet on whether the price of something (such as a currency or precious metal) will rise or fall below a certain amount - if it is correct, you win and get paid. If not, you lose all of the money you originally invested. 

These schemes also allegedly involve, among other things, the refusal to credit customer accounts or reimburse funds to customers, identity theft, and manipulation of software to generate losing trades.

Binary Options trading itself is not illegal, but fraudsters have exploited the huge growth in popularity, with companies aggressively targeting social media platforms with flashy commercials promising impressive returns. Fraudulent Binary Options websites are often well-designed and professional looking, and brokers and traders - often working from scripts - will sound friendly, professional and knowledgeable. They will be paid on commission and have no interest in ever making...

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Police: Greater Manchester Police warn of fraudulent online fundraising pages

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog

In the wake of the Manchester attack on Monday evening, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is warning people to be cautious of online fundraising pages as it has emerged that fraudulent pages are being set up which request donations to support the families of the victims.

Spot the signs

Fraudulent fundraising websites often use topical events, such as a terror incident or natural disaster, to make it look like their charity has been created only recently in response, while the website may also be badly written or have spelling mistakes.

When you go to a donation page, fraudsters can record your credit or bank account details, so if you are unsure, seek further advice before donating any money.

Donate to an official page

If you do wish to donate, GMP is recommending that people visit the official Just Giving page set up by the Manchester Evening News in partnership with the British Red Cross.

Report it

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, please report to Action Fraud. For up to date fraud and cyber crime alerts, please follow Action Fraud on Twitter and Facebook.



Police: Shock rise in Binary Options fraud as Sir Richard Branson warns of fake investments

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog

The City of London Police is warning about the growing problem of criminals using the reputation of prominent people to give investments credibility. Sir Richard Branson has spoken out after growing increasingly frustrated by fraudsters claiming that he, or his companies, are involved or invested in them.

How Binary Options fraudsters entice victims

Victims have contacted Sir Richard Branson when they have discovered that their investments are worthless or non-existent.

Fraudsters often use aggressive sales techniques or names of prominent people or business locations to entice victims to invest.

We have seen a large increase in reports of binary options fraud with the number of reports tripling in the last financial year, with the financial losses increasing from £2million to £13million during the same period.

Binary Options are not currently regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), so investments in them are not protected by the UK’s financial services complaints and...

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Police: Hajj fraud figures are just the tip of the iceberg

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog

City of London Police are raising awareness to encourage people to report Hajj fraud. Law enforcement and figures within the Muslim community believe that a 86% drop in reports compared to last year does not accurately represent the full scale of the problem of Hajj fraud, with many victims feeling too embarrassed, ashamed or frightened to report what has happened to them.

Raising awareness among Muslim communities

To try and break down barriers, 11 police forces will be engaging with their local Muslim communities through meetings and via their own social and digital media channels with the assistance of the CBHUK. The City of London Police will also be holding a day of action to raise awareness with local travel agents and issue warnings around fraudulent practices in the Birmingham and London areas where this specific type of fraud is particularly prevalent.

The City of London Police will visit Gatwick, Heathrow, Birmingham and Stanstead airports for briefings in order to raise awareness of Hajj fraud and will...

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Police: Cifas call for better fraud education as they reveal new fraud figures

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog
  • New report shows over 325,000 internal and external fraud cases recorded in total in 2016, up from 321,092 in the previous year.
  • Organisations successfully prevented £1.03 billion in fraud losses through non-competitive data sharing.
  • Identity crimes (identity fraud and facility takeover) remain the biggest threat, representing 60% of all fraud recorded.
  • 88% of identity frauds were committed online, compared to 30% of facility takeovers occurring online
  • Cifas is calling for more emphasis to be put on educating people about fraud in order to prevent facility takeover from taking place

Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, has released a new report called ‘Fraudscape’ which details the fraud trends they have discovered from over 325,000 fraud cases recorded by them in 2016. The data has been reported to them by over 387 organisations, including major UK brands.

Fraudscape showed that facility takeovers increased by 45% from 15,497 to 22,525. Over 50% of the facility takeovers...

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Latest ActionFraud\'s Blog Stories

Identity fraud figures soar
Bogus traders targeting victims using Grenfell fire tragedy
Sharp rise in reports of council tax rebate fraudsters at work
ALERT: What to do during a ransomware incident
City of London Police collaborate with Microsoft to tackle computer software service fraud

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