The Midlands Fraud Forum (MFF) aims to promote awareness of fraud issues and promote best practice in countering fraud educate everyone on effective fraud prevention measures. Fraud occurs in both private and public sectors and will continue to escalate until we join forces and combat it together.
CRIMINALS STEAL OVER HALF A BILLION POUNDS AND NEARLY 80 PER CENT OF APP FRAUD STARTS ONLINE
UK Finance has released its half-year fraud report, detailing the amount its members reported as stolen through fraud and scams in the first half of 2023.
In the first six months of this year ruthless criminals had already stolen more than half a billion pounds from victims through fraud. In addition to the financial losses, these crimes often involve callous manipulation of the victim which can cause psychological and emotional harm. As the UK Finance report shows, criminals are increasingly using social media, online platforms, texts, phone calls and emails to deceive victims into giving up their personal details and their money.
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Action Fraud warns of social media account and email takeover scams
Action Fraud is urging people to use strong passwords and 2-step verification after receiving thousands of reports about hacked email and social media accounts.
Data from Action Fraud, the national fraud and cybercrime reporting service, shows that from August 2022 – July 2023, there were 18,011 reports of social media and email hacking.
Within these reports, 4,092 victims reported being extorted for money, or having their accounts used to perpetrate fraud against the wider public. In one example, Action Fraud has received over a dozen reports in the last two months relating to hacked social media accounts being utilised to promote fake Taylor Swift tickets.
Members of the public are less likely to suspect it’s a scam if the tickets appear to be sold by someone who has lots of friends on their profile and posts dating back many years.
What can you do to avoid being a victim?
If you live in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, report it at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. In Scotland, victims of fraud and cybercrime should report to Police Scotland on 101.
Suspicious emails should also be sent to SERS at email@example.com
TAKEAWAYS FOR BUSINESS
1. Check out your businesses IP address and browser security with the NCSC’s new cyber security service (it is free and easy to use). https://checkcybersecurity.service.ncsc.gov.uk/
2. Check your company accounts regularly. Whether it’s a bank account or payment service take the time to check the money coming into and out. If something seems odd question it!
3. Keep an eye on your invoices. If prices seem to be inflating rapidly, question it. Inflation may not be the only cause.
4. Business is encouraged to report fraud or cybercrime to Action Fraud.
BE SCAM SAFE
Stick it to the scammers
BBC Morning Live have promoted free stickers in their "Stick it to the Scammers" campaign. You can download and print your own #stickittothescammers stickers at home. You will need one A4 sheet of sticky paper, which you can buy from most stationary shops. The paper can either be one A4 sized sticker, or two A5 sized stickers, either way, you’ll also need a pair of scissors to cut out your stickers.
The stickers are designed to remind to treat incoming messages from unknown callers or senders, with extreme caution, and remind you they could be scam. Remember if it’s out of the blue, check it’s for you! You can always call an organisation back on a number you trust.
Simply load the sticker paper into your printer, download this file and then print it onto the sticker paper.