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Police: Warning to summer holidaymakers as more victims are falling to holiday fraud

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog
  • £7.2 million lost, with airline tickets, online accommodation and timeshares targeted
  • ABTA, the City of London Police and Get Safe Online are once again joining forces to warn the public about the dangers posed by holiday booking fraud.
  • Number of reported cases has risen almost 20% year on year from 4,910 to 5,826.
  • The three campaign partners believe that these figures are only the tip of the iceberg with many victims not reporting the fact that they have been defrauded.
  • Findings from a new report reveal the scale of reported crime and expose common tactics used by fraudsters

The average amount lost per person to holiday fraud last year was approximately £1,200, but losses are not just financial; they can also have an impact on health. Over a quarter (26%) of victims say that the fraud had also had a significant impact on their health or financial well-being. Most worryingly of all, 259 people said the impact on them was severe, meaning that they had to receive medical treatment or were at...

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Police: Wonga data breach: how to protect yourself

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog

Wonga has confirmed a data breach where up to 250,000 accounts have been compromised.

The incident is now being investigated by the police and has been reported to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

Wonga has updated their website with further information and confirmed that they are contacting all those affected and are taking steps to protect them, but there are also some things you can do to keep your information secure.

Here’s what you can do to make yourself safer:

  • If the password you've used for the compromised account is being used elsewhere, change it immediately. Use three random words with a combination of numbers, symbols and upper and lower case characters to create a strong password.
  • If any of your financial details were compromised, notify your bank or card company as soon as possible. Review your financial statements regularly for any unusual activity.
  • Criminals can use personal data obtained from a data breach to commit identity fraud. Consider using credit reference agencies, such as Experian or...

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Police: Hoax ticket website set up to ‘scam’ fans and bring fraud into the spotlight

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog
  • More than 1,500 people tried to buy tickets from a fake website set up to raise awareness of fraud
  • More than 21,000 people have reported falling victim to ticket fraud in the last three years
  • More than £17million has been lost to ticket fraudsters in the last three years
  • Victims are most likely to be men in their twenties

More about the Surfed Arts campaign and how you can protect yourself from ticket fraudsters.


Recently Action Fraud and the City of London Police, in partnership with Get Safe Online and the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR), have been working to show members of the public just how easy it is to be tricked into buying fake tickets online. During a series of Facebook flash sales over 1,500 people tried to purchase music tickets from a fake ticket sales website called ‘Surfed Arts’. 



Police: Identity fraud reaches record levels

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog

A record 172,919 identity frauds were recorded in 2016 more than in any other previous year, according to Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service.

Identity fraud now represents over half of all fraud recorded by the UK’s not-for-profit fraud data sharing organisation (53.3% of all frauds recorded to Cifas), of which 88% was perpetrated online.

How fraudsters steal your identity

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 kind of fraud successfully, fraudsters need access to their victim’s personal information such as name, date of birth, address, their bank and who they hold accounts with. Fraudsters get hold of this in a variety of ways, from stealing mail through to hacking; obtaining data on the ‘dark web’; exploiting...

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Police: Fraudsters target universities in pay rise scam

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog

We’re urging university staff to take preventative action following more than 100 reports from victims receiving bogus pay rise emails.

Phishing emails claiming to be from university HR departments are being used by fraudsters in a bid to gather financial details by suggesting that university staff recipients are due a pay rise.

However, when recipients click on the link, they are taken to a fake website where they are asked to enter personal information, including university log in and financial details. Police forces and governmental agencies have also been targeted by similar emails.

Password protect your accounts

We’re now urging university staff to change any passwords associated with their email accounts and IT accounts. Passwords should use a combination of letters, numbers and special characters, preferably using random words as opposed to those with personal meaning, such as children’s or pet’s names.

Additionally you should avoid clicking on links or opening attachments in unsolicited emails or text...

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Police: Dating fraud victims report once every three hours

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog
  • Reports up 32% over two year period (January 2013-December 2015) according to new figures from City of London Police.
  • An average of £10,000 lost by dating fraud victims in the UK
  • New partnership created to work with the Online Dating Association to reduce the number of people who fall victim.

We’re warning anyone looking for love this Valentine’s Day to beware of fraudsters looking to rid their new partner of their savings. Every day we receive an average of seven reports of dating fraud.

The average victim of dating fraud will make their first transfer of money to the fraudster in less than one month of contact, showing how quickly and easily victims are defrauded. It takes another nine days on average before a victim reports the fraud to us.

How fraudsters use dating websites and apps

Nearly £40 million was lost through dating fraud between 2015 and 2016, with 3,889 reports made in total. However, evidence suggests that this doesn’t accurately represent the true scale of dating fraud due to the...

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Police: Take the Fraud Defence Test and protect yourself

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog

With fraud set to become the most prevalent type of crime in England and Wales, we’re urging you to act now to protect yourself from falling victim to fraud and cyber crime.

The Crime Survey of England and Wales, published tomorrow, is likely to indicate fraud and cyber crime now account for close to half of all crime, making you much more likely to be a victim of these crimes than any other. In July 2016, the crime survey indicated 3.8 million frauds and 2 million cyber crimes occurred in the 12 months to the end of March 2016.

How to protect yourself

  1. Sign up to our alert-by-email system to get the latest trending frauds across the country. The alerts are also sent to the 250,000 people who have signed-up to the Neighbourhood Alert System.
  2. Take the Fraud Defence Test. The test, developed by City of London Police and built with funding from the Home Office’s Police Innovation Fund, takes just a couple of minutes and is designed to help you understand how you could become a victim of fraud in relation to your...

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Police: Fake Amazon emails claim you have placed an order

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog

Action Fraud has received several reports from victims who have been sent convincing looking emails claiming to be from Amazon.

The spoofed emails from [email protected] claim recipients have made an order online and mimic an automatic customer email notification.  

In one example below, the scam email claims recipients have ordered an expensive vintage chandelier. Other reported examples include; Bose stereos, iPhone’s and luxury watches. 

The emails cleverly state that if recipients haven’t authorised the transaction they can click on the help centre link to receive a full refund. 

The link leads to an authentic-looking website, which asks victims to confirm their name, address, and bank card information.

One victim lost £750

One victim reported entering his Nationwide banking details and later found out £750 had been stolen from his account. 

After the victim notified Nationwide they cancelled the card and refunded the money in full. 

Amazon says that suspicious e-mails will often contain:



Police: “Department of Education” ransomware alert

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog

Fraudsters are posing government officials in order to trick people into installing ransomware which encrypts files on victim’s computers. 

Fraudsters are initially cold calling education establishments claiming to be from the “Department of Education”. They then ask to be given the personal email and/or phone number of the head teacher/financial administrator. 

The fraudsters claim that they need to send guidance forms to the head teacher (these so far have varied from exam guidance to mental health assessments). 

The scammers on the phone will claim that they need to send these documents directly to the head teacher and not to a generic school inbox, using the argument that they contain sensitive information.

The emails will include an attachment - a .zip file (potentially masked as an Excel or Word document). This attachment will contain ransomware, that once downloaded will encrypt files and demand money (up to £8,000) to recover the files.

It should be noted that similar scam attempts have been...

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Police: 1 billion Yahoo accounts compromised

Written by RSS Poster ActionFraud's blog

The compromised accounts appear separate from a 2014 breach disclosed in September, when Yahoo revealed that 500 million accounts had been accessed.

Yahoo has taken steps to secure user accounts and is working closely with law enforcement. 

The internet giant is also notifying potentially affected users and is requiring people to change their passwords.

How to find out if your account has been compromised and how to protect yourself

  • If you think you have been affected change your password and security questions for your online accounts. Use three random words to create a strong password. Numbers and symbols can still be used, however three random words is the key to creating a strong and memorable password.
  • Monitor your account for any suspicious or unexpected activity.
  • Be very wary of any emails purporting to come from Yahoo, particularly if they prompt you to click any links, download any attachments or give out any personal information. 
  • Be wary of anyone calling asking for personal information, bank details or passwords. If in...

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