Fraud UK – Atos Victims Group http://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/ Sun, 10 Oct 2021 10:24:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default1.png Fraud UK – Atos Victims Group http://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/ 32 32 Nine accused of scam selling vintage cars https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/nine-accused-of-scam-selling-vintage-cars/ https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/nine-accused-of-scam-selling-vintage-cars/#respond Sun, 10 Oct 2021 06:34:00 +0000 https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/nine-accused-of-scam-selling-vintage-cars/ A young couple from Downpatrick have been accused of being at the center of an alleged nearly £ 100,000 online scam involving classic cars. Between them, Jason Donoghue and Scarlett Joyce (25), 31, face 59 counts of conspiring to “defraud and deceive” a litany of alleged victims who thought they were making down payments or […]]]>

A young couple from Downpatrick have been accused of being at the center of an alleged nearly £ 100,000 online scam involving classic cars.

Between them, Jason Donoghue and Scarlett Joyce (25), 31, face 59 counts of conspiring to “defraud and deceive” a litany of alleged victims who thought they were making down payments or buying. classic cars like an E-Type Jaguar, Triumphs, Austins and Mini vans or cell phones.

Donoghue, of St Patrick’s Drive in Downpatrick, faces a total of 57 counts, including 36 counts of conspiracy to defraud or cheat, 11 counts of misrepresentation fraud, nine counts of acquiring criminal property and a conversion of criminal property.


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Ruthless fraudsters deceived victims over £ 2 billion during Covid-19 pandemic https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/ruthless-fraudsters-deceived-victims-over-2-billion-during-covid-19-pandemic/ https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/ruthless-fraudsters-deceived-victims-over-2-billion-during-covid-19-pandemic/#respond Sat, 09 Oct 2021 00:26:07 +0000 https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/ruthless-fraudsters-deceived-victims-over-2-billion-during-covid-19-pandemic/ Ruthless fraudsters deceived victims over more than £ 2bn during the Covid-19 pandemic by targeting isolation and confusion caused amid lockdown, shock figures reveal Authorities recorded 4.6 million fraud cases between January last year and June Fraudsters have stolen a record £ 754million in the first six months of this year alone The situation is […]]]>

Ruthless fraudsters deceived victims over more than £ 2bn during the Covid-19 pandemic by targeting isolation and confusion caused amid lockdown, shock figures reveal

  • Authorities recorded 4.6 million fraud cases between January last year and June
  • Fraudsters have stolen a record £ 754million in the first six months of this year alone
  • The situation is now so serious that the banks say it is a threat to national security










Fraudsters have deceived victims of more than £ 2 billion during the pandemic, shock figures reveal today.

Ruthless criminals have exploited the isolation and confusion caused by the lockdown to steal savings at an unprecedented rate.

They have pocketed a record £ 754million in the first six months of this year alone, up 30% from the same period last year.

As ministers face calls to bring the crisis under control, Money Mail today launches a survival guide to help readers protect their money.

Authorities recorded 4.6 million cases of fraud between January last year and June this year. The situation is now so serious that the banks say it is a threat to national security

Analysis of bank figures shows victims tricked into sending money directly to fraudsters lost £ 834million between January last year and last July. Only £ 357million has been repaid.

“Authorized push payment” scams include fake parcel delivery text messages sent to cell phones as online shopping exploded in door-to-door orders.

Criminals also took advantage of the vaccine rollout to trick individuals into giving up their personal information and took on loners with romantic drawbacks.

Another £ 1.2bn has been lost to unauthorized fraud, where criminals armed with personal bank details use savings accounts.

Authorities recorded 4.6 million cases of fraud between January last year and June this year. The situation is now so serious that the banks are saying it is a threat to national security.

“Fraud is cruel, it destroys lives and we have seen a huge increase during the pandemic,” said Mark Tierney of the Stop Scams UK campaign group. Money Mail’s Stop the Bank Scammers campaign called on ministers and banks to do more.

'Authorized push payment' scams include fake parcel delivery text messages sent to mobile phones as online shopping exploded under door-to-door orders

‘Authorized push payment’ scams include fake parcel delivery text messages sent to mobile phones as online shopping exploded under door-to-door orders

But since the campaign launched three years ago, fraudsters have been allowed to continue to steal ever-increasing amounts.

Writing in Today’s Mail, Rip Off Britain presenter Angela Rippon supports our guide to fraud and says it is imperative that the government act to stop the “pernicious tide” of scams.

She writes: “Isolation meant people of all ages felt more vulnerable than usual – and vulnerability is exactly what scammers look for in their next potential victim. Your defenses are already down.

Most banks signed up to a fraud refund code in 2019 and have pledged to ensure that no blameless victims of transfer scams are left behind.

Yet the most recent figures from the banking industry show that less than half of the money lost to transfer scams during the 18-month period has been returned.

Campaigners also pushed the government to hold internet giants accountable for hosting investment fraud websites that cost victims more than £ 240million during the pandemic.

Gareth Shaw, from consumer lobby group Which ?, said: “We have seen online platforms allowing fraudsters to operate with impunity.

“It is clear that the laws and regulations currently in place to protect consumers are simply not suited for their purpose.”

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BST study finds third of people reportedly struggling to eat after under £ 500 fraud https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/bst-study-finds-third-of-people-reportedly-struggling-to-eat-after-under-500-fraud/ https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/bst-study-finds-third-of-people-reportedly-struggling-to-eat-after-under-500-fraud/#respond Thu, 07 Oct 2021 11:30:49 +0000 https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/bst-study-finds-third-of-people-reportedly-struggling-to-eat-after-under-500-fraud/ About one in three people (32%) would struggle to feed themselves and their family if they lost less than £ 500 to fraud, with that figure rising to 50% for a loss of £ 1,000, according to a news report study conducted for BST. TSB launched its own fraud money back guarantee in 2019 to […]]]>

About one in three people (32%) would struggle to feed themselves and their family if they lost less than £ 500 to fraud, with that figure rising to 50% for a loss of £ 1,000, according to a news report study conducted for BST.

TSB launched its own fraud money back guarantee in 2019 to cover people who get scammed due to an honest mistake. He found that nearly three-quarters (74%) of people would argue that their bank offers a guaranteed refund.

Many banks have signed up for a voluntary refund code to help people who are tricked into transferring money to a fraudster, but some are concerned that some will expect customers to have in-depth knowledge of scams.

Other recent initiatives from the banking and construction industry have included setting up hotlines that customers can call if they receive a suspicious contact that could be a scam.

TSB said industry figures show that, on average, people lose £ 3,346 to authorized push payment (APP) scams where they are tricked into transferring money.

More than a quarter (28%) of the 2,000 people who took part in the survey said their mental health would be affected if they lost less than £ 500 to scammers, rising to 45% if they lost £ 1,000 .

The TSB has found that young people are more likely to have been victimized or to know someone who has been the victim of fraud in the past 12 months – one-third of those aged 18 to 34 (32%) being agreement compared to less than a fifth of 35 to 54 year olds (18%) and 13% of over 55s.

The bank said its guarantee has paid off 98% of all bank fraud cases since April 2019, up from 42% of funds lost to fraud returned to the victim across the industry, rising to 49% under voluntary reimbursement from the sector. coded.

Seven in 10 respondents (72%) said customers should be informed about their bank’s performance on fraud refunds.

The TSB said its money back guarantee has helped it become better informed about the nature of fraud cases because of the more transparent conversations customers now have with its fraud department – as they realize they don’t. are not “blamed”. He argued that this approach protects mental health as well as finances.

Latest scams to watch out for

The UK Finance trade association has argued that criminals are exploiting weaknesses beyond the control of banks – and coordinated action including other sectors is needed to tackle what it has described as a threat to national security.

Debbie Crosbie, Chief Executive Officer of the TSB, said: “There is still a lot to be done to better protect people and for industry and government to work together to combat this threat.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK, said: “With so many people walking a financial tightrope right now, struggling to deal with the triple whammy of rising household bills, cuts in benefits and when the holidays are over, the very last thing they need is to be targeted by unscrupulous criminals.

“Fraud can have a catastrophic and life-changing impact, not only financially, but also on people’s trust, well-being and relationships.

“There are still far too many cases where innocent people are tricked by criminals into accepting a fraudulent transaction and then having to fight their bank for a refund.

“With only about half of victims reimbursed under the banking code, it’s clear that it’s not working as well as it should. The TSB’s recognition that we can all be victims of fraud and that banks are the better placed to provide protection is very welcome. “

Age UK offers free information on its website to help people avoid scams, find out more here.



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You can also follow our Twitter account @Recordmoney_ for regular updates here.

A UK finance spokesperson said: “Fraud has a devastating emotional impact on victims and the stolen money is used to fund serious organized crime.

“The banking industry invests billions in advanced systems to prevent fraud in the first place, but criminals exploit weaknesses beyond the control of banks, such as online platforms, to target customers. action across sectors to tackle what is now a threat to national security. “

Get the latest news on savings and benefits straight to your inbox. Sign up for our weekly Money newsletterhere.



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How to protect yourself from scams, from phishing to dating fraud https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/how-to-protect-yourself-from-scams-from-phishing-to-dating-fraud/ https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/how-to-protect-yourself-from-scams-from-phishing-to-dating-fraud/#respond Thu, 07 Oct 2021 00:16:50 +0000 https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/how-to-protect-yourself-from-scams-from-phishing-to-dating-fraud/ Your account may be raided, a family member has been arrested, a lucrative investment is about to disappear, or you could face a fine. Each of these lines has been tried on a Telegraph reader. In all of these scenarios, there will never be such a rush that you can’t hang up and call back. […]]]>

Your account may be raided, a family member has been arrested, a lucrative investment is about to disappear, or you could face a fine. Each of these lines has been tried on a Telegraph reader.

In all of these scenarios, there will never be such a rush that you can’t hang up and call back.

4. If you are asked to do something, beware

If your bank calls you about emptying your account, why is it asking you to move the money rather than just do something? If the police really care about fraudsters in your bank, why are they asking you to move your savings rather than make arrests?

At some point in these scams, you will be asked to move your money, make a purchase, or give certain information that means criminals can, like full passwords and access codes.

5. Perform it in front of a friend

Another pair of ears will help decode if something is a scam. Could it really be that your niece or nephew has been arrested in the United States and the immediate bail needs to be sent electronically? Probably not.

Like many scams, this one looks silly on paper, but knowing the name of a younger relative and knowing they’re overseas – perhaps through a social media post – can mean that a particularly harsh-nosed con artist can drag you into bad decision-making. Like the other scams listed here, this worked on someone too.

Again, save time by hanging up and calling back to check.

6. Ask more questions than you are asked

Only do this if you feel confident; otherwise hang up.

Done well, it will save you some time to think for yourself, but you may also be able to confirm your suspicions about the person you’re talking to. Scammers will know the basics of the organization they are impersonating, but not everything.

Where do they work? Which town ? When did they join? Where did they work before? How big is the office? How many people work there? There will be a time when they can give up.


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Fraud incidents via Facebook Marketplace https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/fraud-incidents-via-facebook-marketplace/ https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/fraud-incidents-via-facebook-marketplace/#respond Wed, 06 Oct 2021 10:17:21 +0000 https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/fraud-incidents-via-facebook-marketplace/ Police issue warning following fraud incident that took place via Facebook Marketplace. A recent incident saw a woman from Cheltenham swindle £ 600 over the sale of a phone she had advertised. The woman arranged for a man to come to her address so he could purchase the phone and when the buyer arrived he […]]]>

Police issue warning following fraud incident that took place via Facebook Marketplace.

A recent incident saw a woman from Cheltenham swindle £ 600 over the sale of a phone she had advertised.

The woman arranged for a man to come to her address so he could purchase the phone and when the buyer arrived he said he would pay through online banking.

The victim gave his bank details and the money was presented as deposited. The phone was therefore returned because the victim believed the payment had been made.

She later found out that the man had canceled the transfer and was no longer able to be contacted.

A number of similar incidents have taken place over the past few months and people may not be aware of the risk they are taking by selling phones through the Marketplace.

The public is advised not to accept payment offers in this manner and instead use a more secure payment method such as Facebook Pay or cash.

Before using an online platform to buy or sell, please check the processes in place to protect yourself from financial loss if a transaction does not go as planned.

Police recognize that buy and sell pages can be a good way to earn extra money and get rid of unwanted items in your home, but they ask you to consider the following tips when selling items. objects in this way:

1) Meet the buyer in a public place you know and know, maybe even a local parking lot or cafe / restaurant you know is covered by CCTV.

2) Take a friend or relative with you.

3) If you feel nervous or unsure of the situation you are in, maybe you can take a photo or video so that the buyer can later be identified in the event of a dispute or theft.

If you have been the victim of this scam, please notify the police by filling out the following online form or calling 101: https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/soh/seen-or-heard/


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Auto insurance scam: what is ghost brokering? How to spot false policies https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/auto-insurance-scam-what-is-ghost-brokering-how-to-spot-false-policies/ https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/auto-insurance-scam-what-is-ghost-brokering-how-to-spot-false-policies/#respond Tue, 05 Oct 2021 19:29:41 +0000 https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/auto-insurance-scam-what-is-ghost-brokering-how-to-spot-false-policies/ Auto insurance is vital for all motorists, but a new scam by the name of phantom brokerage threatens not only to leave drivers without valid insurance, but out of pocket as well. Senior Fraud Officer, Stephen Adams at Confus.com, spoke to Express.co.uk to share an overview of ghost brokerage and how drivers can avoid it. […]]]>

Auto insurance is vital for all motorists, but a new scam by the name of phantom brokerage threatens not only to leave drivers without valid insurance, but out of pocket as well. Senior Fraud Officer, Stephen Adams at Confus.com, spoke to Express.co.uk to share an overview of ghost brokerage and how drivers can avoid it.

According to data from Action Fraud, there were 351 reports of shadow brokerage between January and August 2021.

The majority of these were reported by drivers aged 17-19, with individuals losing an average of £ 2,250 each, as well as the risk of driving with invalid insurance.

What is a ghost brokerage scam?

Shadow brokerage is a form of insurance fraud in which victims unwittingly purchase bogus auto insurance policies.

Ghost brokers, the people behind the scam, are professional fraudsters who sell counterfeit or invalid discounted insurance policies.

These scams are most often advertised online, but can also be promoted within local communities.

More often than not, their main selling point is cheap auto insurance.

READ MORE: Some elderly road users ‘will have to stop driving’, experts warn

How to spot and avoid a ghost brokerage scam?

Mr Adams explained to Express.co.uk the top four signs consumers should look out for when buying car insurance and what to do if they suspect their details have been used by a broker ghost.

How they communicate with you

Reputable businesses are always connected to a landline number and should have it listed as the primary point of contact on their official website.

Mr Adams said: “Usually you won’t find a phantom broker with a landline number as they tend to only use mobile phone numbers, often communicating through WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.”

These seasoned professionals also know how to sell a business, and this can be noticeable in their use of the language.

Mr Adams explained, “When you sell a deal if you have doubts, the shadow broker will have ways to redirect the doubt.

“It might involve dazzling yourself with jargon or confidence. “

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How they advertise their services

Advertisements for car insurance deals on social media should be a major wake-up call, according to the expert.

He explained, “Scammers also tend to advertise on student websites, social media platforms, and money saving platforms, clearly targeting a younger audience.

“There are plenty of Instagram ads from ‘brokers’ promising to guarantee quality insurance at great prices, with some particularly emphasizing the legitimacy of what they offer, while others touting their talents to cover. the difficult ones to insure. “

Ghost brokers can also use comparison sites when they are looking for quotes for you.

Mr. Adams also pointed out that they can even claim to work for well-known insurance companies.

He said: “Legitimate brokers will generally have direct relationships with insurers and policies and be able to find you the best quotes, so be sure to check both and do your research.”

The price is too good to be true

According to the expert, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

He said: “Always keep in mind that if one insurance quote is considerably cheaper than several others you have received, chances are it is offered by a fraudster.”

When purchasing auto insurance, it is a good idea to take note of any offers you have received and compare them.

Mr Adams noted: “If they are all much more expensive, then the alarm bells should ring.”

Checking customer reviews for the business is also a good idea to see the reputation of the business citing your offer.

Mr Adams added: “Be aware that while you normally have to pay an ‘administration fee’ before or after the policy is put in place, ‘shadow brokers’ may tend to control the process.

“Sometimes they’ll even make the payment for you first and then send you some paperwork to fill out, asking that the administrative fee be passed to them directly from the bank instead of the insurance company.”

Always check the FCDO

A legitimate insurance broker with proper authorization must appear on the Financial Services Register on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) website.

Mr Adams said: “If the ‘broker’ isn’t around, doesn’t have their own website, or only discloses a cell phone number or email address as a contact, you absolutely must beware. “

What to do if your details were used by a shadow broker

In the unfortunate event that your details have been used by a shadow broker, the first step is to contact the insurer and ask them to terminate the policy.

Mr Adams explained: “This will prompt the insurance company to perform additional checks if someone re-requests a policy using your contact details.”

If you are involved in a scam, it is essential that you report it to Action Fraud.

Mr. Adams urges clients to provide “as much information as possible about the ‘broker’ and how they contacted you.”

He added: “You can also contact the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) cheat line or the Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System (CIFA) registration.

“Keep an eye on your bank accounts to make sure everything is as it should be.

“Also check your credit report, as this will allow you to flag any research done by companies that you don’t recognize that could point to a fraudulent request made on your behalf. “


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Money mules: how young people are lured into money laundering | Scams https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/money-mules-how-young-people-are-lured-into-money-laundering-scams/ https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/money-mules-how-young-people-are-lured-into-money-laundering-scams/#respond Mon, 04 Oct 2021 06:00:00 +0000 https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/money-mules-how-young-people-are-lured-into-money-laundering-scams/ TThe job offer seemed timely. He was offering between £ 500 and £ 1,000 per week to work from home as an agent for cryptocurrency transactions. Lauren *, 21, was heavily in debt after a period of unpaid sick leave and jumped at the chance to rebalance her finances. “He had been promoted on social […]]]>

TThe job offer seemed timely. He was offering between £ 500 and £ 1,000 per week to work from home as an agent for cryptocurrency transactions. Lauren *, 21, was heavily in debt after a period of unpaid sick leave and jumped at the chance to rebalance her finances.

“He had been promoted on social media by a few people I had been to school with, so I trusted him,” she says. “It seemed such a coincidence that it happened just when I needed it.”

Lauren contacted the recruiter and was asked to provide photos of her passport along with her address and bank details as identification. “They pretended they were checking me out,” she said. She was asked to open a cryptocurrency account and two savings accounts with her mortgage company, Nationwide, and was told she would receive a commission for processing money transfers.

His suspicions were raised when £ 700 was deposited into his Nationwide checking account and ordered to transfer it to the new cryptocurrency account. “I was asking questions and I was told not to ask questions and I warned that they had all of my sensitive information,” she says. “That’s when my heart sank.”

Lauren had unwittingly signed up to become a money mule, a person who allows her bank account to become a conduit for the proceeds of organized crime. Online fraud has increased by a third since the start of the pandemic with £ 2.3bn lost by consumers and criminal gangs are increasingly targeting cash-strapped youth with clean criminal records for help them move the stolen money undetected by banks and authorities. The number of people under the age of 30 suspected of being money mules climbed nearly 80% last year, according to figures from the Crime Prevention Agency. Cifas – and with the start of academic terms, students are likely to be targeted by attractive job offers on social networks.

The cost to those who sign up can be devastating. While criminal gangs are obscure figures, often based overseas, their mules are easily identifiable. Banks are required to question unusual payments and, if a transaction is found to be suspicious, the account can be frozen and authorities alerted. Customers who have knowingly or unknowingly used their account for money laundering purposes are recorded on the National Fraud Database which prevents them from opening a bank account, requesting a loan or even a mobile phone contract. They also face up to 14 years in prison.

Lauren’s accounts were frozen by Nationwide as soon as the £ 700 was paid. [perpetrators] told me not to confess because I would be arrested, ”she said. “They blamed me so I pretended I didn’t know anything about the transfer when Nationwide questioned me. It was so scary. I didn’t know who these people were, how many there were or if they lived there.

Six weeks of fear followed as Nationwide investigated. Lauren had to make her boyfriend pay her salary until she could open a basic account at another bank. “It was the worst month of my life,” she says. “There wasn’t a time when I didn’t think about it but I couldn’t tell anyone what had happened. I was so ashamed and alone. I couldn’t eat or sleep. It was difficult to operate. I knew I had to be honest, but I didn’t know when the time was right to speak up or if the gang would come and get me when I did.

Eventually, Lauren broke down and confessed to a Nationwide fraud investigator. “I was shocked to find that they already knew what had happened. They were just waiting for me to be honest, ”she said. “They told me that they were dealing with five or six such cases every day and that if I hadn’t confessed everything, they would have reported me to the police.

Not all money mules are drawn to the promise of making money. Charlie *, an international student from Hong Kong, lost her bank account and solvency during her first term at college after agreeing to serve a new friend.

“She was an Indian national and asked me if her father could send me money for her alimony from India because she had not yet managed to open a bank account in the UK”, she says. “I agreed and a small amount was transferred to my Lloyds account and cashed it at an ATM and handed it over. Two weeks later she asked me if I could help her again and her father transferred £ 1,400 which I also cashed out for her.

Soon after, Charlie’s account was frozen by Lloyds, leaving her unable to pay her living expenses. She discovered that the funds sent by her friend’s father had been stolen from a UK client. Because she had withdrawn them quickly, she could not prove that she had not benefited from the fraud.

It was three years ago. Charlie was able to open a bank account in Hong Kong to finance the rest of his studies. However, when she tried to set up a UK account with Monzo this summer, she found out she was blacklisted. “It turns out that my friend’s father is an accomplished con artist and I had no idea his crimes would affect me years later,” says Charlie, now 22.

Lloyds agreed to remove her from the national database after Guardian Money provided email correspondence showing Charlie had been duped. “When we identify that an account has been used to receive fraudulent funds, we take our obligations very seriously and take appropriate action with the account holder,” said a spokesperson.

“It is really important that account holders, and in particular students, are aware of the consequences of being caught moving fraudulent funds and more advice is available through the student account section of our website. Even unsuspecting mules risk ending up without a bank account and with a damaged credit rating. “

Lauren suffered no financial loss as a result of her approach to money laundering. Nationwide has admitted that she made an honest mistake and is willing to let her open a new account. Emotionally, however, she has paid a high price and is still concerned that the perpetrators will come after her for reporting them. “I still haven’t told any friends or family about it,” she says. “I wouldn’t want someone looking at me and thinking that I was the type of person who would do this knowingly. I had never heard of silver mules until it was too late and it was the mistake of not telling Nationwide what had happened that took over my life.

* Not their real names


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How Scammers Can Use Forgotten Details Of Your Online Life To Bring You Back Scams https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/how-scammers-can-use-forgotten-details-of-your-online-life-to-bring-you-back-scams/ https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/how-scammers-can-use-forgotten-details-of-your-online-life-to-bring-you-back-scams/#respond Sun, 03 Oct 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/how-scammers-can-use-forgotten-details-of-your-online-life-to-bring-you-back-scams/ II am sitting in a meeting room in Cambridge when a photo of a cat in a puzzle box appears on the whiteboard. “Is this your cat? Asks anti-fraud expert Steve Goddard. I agree. “Is his name Chester?” I nod my head again. And so begins an overview of my online life. My joy at […]]]>

II am sitting in a meeting room in Cambridge when a photo of a cat in a puzzle box appears on the whiteboard. “Is this your cat? Asks anti-fraud expert Steve Goddard. I agree. “Is his name Chester?” I nod my head again.

And so begins an overview of my online life. My joy at seeing my cat’s protest against my puzzle addiction slowly turns to unease at the overall picture that Goddard, who works for a company called Featurespace that detects and prevents scams, has pieced together.

Within five minutes, I find out that the details of my school lunch activities are available if you know where to look, that I take many more pictures of the flowers than I thought I would and that I gifted to the children. crooks enough information for them to have a chance to wind me up.

These snippets are tools that Goddard says a scammer could use as a jumping off point to “socially” me – someone could use them to gain my trust and manipulate me into passing on details that they could then deploy in. a scam. “It starts to disarm you because you think ‘no one will ever know’ and you think ‘I have to know them,’ he said.

Chester, Hilary Osborne’s cat. Photography: Hilary Osborne

Goddard shows me a tweet in which I express my despair over a delivery company that can’t find my house, and suggests that it would have been easy for someone to impersonate the courier and pull the best of me. Or, he suggests, “If I wanted to engineer you socially, I could pretend to be a student from your old school who wanted to get into journalism.”

It’s true. It wouldn’t occur to me that the person was a con artist because I had no idea that all of this information was available. And with my guard down, I could start giving out information that could be used to part with my money.

In the first half of this year, £ 355million was lost in the UK due to authorized push payment fraud, where people transferred money to crooks’ accounts. Some of these crimes started with fraudsters who socially manipulated victims they encountered on dating sites. Others with people contacted by someone claiming to be in the fraud department of a bank and manipulating them that way.

“Criminals are increasingly evading advanced security systems in banks through social engineering scams that directly target people and trick them into giving away their money and personal or financial information,” says UK Finance, l professional banking association. Identity theft scams, where a criminal calls and claims to be from a trusted organization, such as your bank, are on the increase. “Criminals use information from open sources on the Internet to form a picture of their victim to target,” he adds.

Rory Ines, founder of Cyber ​​Helpline, a voluntary organization that supports people who have been scammed, says he sees a large number of victims who have been deceived with social engineering tactics “and it all increases the time”.

I always thought I had been careful enough online – giving up enough on myself to enjoy conversations with people I had never met, while avoiding those games where you reveal the names of your first one. pet, your mother’s maiden name, and all of your bank passwords at the same time. But the demo showed me that there were things I had forgotten and clearly showed that the information other people were sharing added to the picture.

The starting point was Facebook. Because of that and my failure to make my account private, Goddard was able to say, “We know where you work, we know where you went to school, and we know where you are from. “

From there, through my tweets on Scouting, Goddard had been able to find several of my old addresses. And via old copies of my school’s magazine uploaded to his online archives, he was able to remind me of my success at talking about Welsh rugby and feminism without deviation or hesitation in a sixth form. Just one Minute competetion.

However, my current address is not online – we have chosen not to appear on the open version of the electoral roll. And I have disabled geotagging on my photos, so it’s not clear where they were taken. These are two good steps to take.

Young woman checking her facebook on a computer
Making your Facebook account private is a good start to being more secure online. Photograph: Alamy

Steven Murdoch, professor of security engineering at UCL, explains that rather than using Goddard’s in-depth approach to find someone, most criminals will use more basic techniques, such as email. and phishing texts, to get the information they want. “Their current techniques work very well and make them a lot of money,” he says. “When they target someone [like] the boss of a business, this is when you start to see more investment in time to make social engineering work.

Goddard says it’s impossible to determine how often these techniques are used, and there is no separate category for them in UK Finance statistics.

A few years ago, Cash presented the case of a company that was scammed after a partner responded to an actual tweet from Metro Bank. A scammer who saw the tweet called and pretended to be from Metro and persuaded them to give enough other details to have their account hacked.

“The type of social engineering attack does not tend to spread [up] easily given the time and effort required to be successful, and is therefore most often used by individuals rather than the ‘call center’ approach of criminal enterprises, ”Goddard said. “The trigger for targeting an individual can be targeted or opportunistic, like overhearing a conversation or accessing sensitive or actionable information like a photo or a bank statement. “

Maybe if I was in the newspaper celebrating a lottery win, or on social media talking about an inheritance, a scammer might decide it was worth finding a way to earn my trust.

For the Goddard team, understanding what information people give out and how it can be socially manipulated by scammers is an important part of the job of designing systems to stop scams. The company provides banks with software that detects unusual behavior and flags payments that appear to be problematic.

“You can’t control some of these things, but it’s being aware that it’s there,” Goddard explains.

Murdoch says people will always give details online, and rather than asking customers to change their lifestyles, banks should look at their own systems. But until they make some changes, it seems worth checking out what you can find out about yourself online and removing, or making private, anything that people are unhappy with people seeing. . You can make it harder for criminals by removing some pieces of the puzzle.


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Retirees targeted in Co Down fraud cases https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/retirees-targeted-in-co-down-fraud-cases/ https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/retirees-targeted-in-co-down-fraud-cases/#respond Sat, 02 Oct 2021 12:06:00 +0000 https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/retirees-targeted-in-co-down-fraud-cases/ A retiree from Northern Ireland has been scammed by fraudsters claiming he owed legal fees, police have revealed. Officers are investigating a series of incidents in the Ards and North Down area on Friday. In one case, an elderly person was scammed for “a large amount of money”. Superintendent Brian Kee said: “Police have received […]]]>

A retiree from Northern Ireland has been scammed by fraudsters claiming he owed legal fees, police have revealed.

Officers are investigating a series of incidents in the Ards and North Down area on Friday.

In one case, an elderly person was scammed for “a large amount of money”.

Superintendent Brian Kee said: “Police have received a report that a man in his 60s was contacted by a man claiming he owed a company legal fees.

“He was told if he paid them quickly he could get a full refund. Unfortunately, the man made several payments before finding out he had been scammed.

“In a second incident in the same area, an 80-year-old man reported that he had been informed by his bank that an overseas-based company had attempted to withdraw money from his account.

“Fortunately in this case, the bank was able to rectify the transaction.”

Superintendent Kee continued, “We understand how painful it is for people who have their hard earned money cheated. It is a horrible experience for them.

“We always urge people to contact the company the person claims to be directly, through an original independent phone number, before speaking to them further.

“It’s also very important to talk to older or vulnerable members of your family and explain that legitimate businesses and suppliers will never look up their personal information, such as banking information, over the phone. “

Anyone who is concerned that they have been the victim of a scam report the matter to Action Fraud through their website www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

The police can be contacted on the non-urgent number 101 or you can submit a report online using the non-urgent report form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/

For more tips and information visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni or the ScamwiseNI Facebook page @scamwiseni

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Super agent Zahavi indicted in fraud investigation https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/super-agent-zahavi-indicted-in-fraud-investigation/ https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/super-agent-zahavi-indicted-in-fraud-investigation/#respond Sat, 02 Oct 2021 01:23:29 +0000 https://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/super-agent-zahavi-indicted-in-fraud-investigation/ Agent Pini Zahavi has been involved in the transfers of numerous star players, including Neymar’s record-breaking transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017. Ian Walton / Getty Images Influential football agent Pini Zahavi has been indicted in Belgium as part of an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing at second division club Royal Excelsior Mouscron, the federal […]]]>

Influential football agent Pini Zahavi has been indicted in Belgium as part of an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing at second division club Royal Excelsior Mouscron, the federal prosecutor’s office said on Friday.

Zahavi is one of the most influential agents in world football. He has been involved in the transfers of numerous star players, including Neymarthe record for travel to Paris Saint Germain in 2017.

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The office confirmed Zahavi’s indictment following reports in the Belgian press that the 78-year-old former journalist had been charged by an investigating judge with “forgery, forgery, fraud and money laundering. In the Mouscron affair.

The club was placed under provisional administration two years ago on suspicion of money laundering and was subsequently charged.

According to local media, Belgian prosecutors suspect Zahavi, who took over the club in 2015, of illegally financing Mouscron through offshore companies.

The club is owned by businessman Gérard Lopez.

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