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Houghton and Wyton Parish Council

Scams - face to face and online

COVID Vaccine Scam Jan 2021

07/01/2021 1/1
Information sent on behalf of Cambridgeshire Constabulary

Sadly, scammers continue to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to
commit fraud on unsuspecting victims.
We’ve had reports of fraudsters sending fake text messages, which claim you are
entitled to a dose of the newly-approved vaccine.
The bogus message states that you are entitled to a vaccine and to receive more
information you should click on the link.
Unfortunately, these texts are fake. Once you click on the link, you are taken to a
webpage, which is branded to look like a genuine NHS page, which requests to
see 'proof of ownership of address' in the form of your bank account, sort code and
a full bank card number.
Do not give your bank or card details to make payment for a vaccine or to prove
your residential address.
Coronavirus vaccines are free and the NHS will never ask for any money or your
bank details.

Nigel Sutton
Cyber Protect Officer
Cambridgeshire Police
Message sent by
Tara Dundon (Police, Comms officer, Corp comms)

Weekly Policing Update - Scam Awareness Information 24/03/2020 12:04:28 [315998]


Dear St Ives and Villages Ecops Subscribers,

It is not possible to bring you our normal weekly Policing Update for your community at the moment, although I hope to be able to do so within a few days.

Meanwhile, here is some information to alert you to the frauds and scams that unscrupulous criminals are using to exploit the Corona virus situation, published by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. It is an unfortunate fact that criminals seek to take advantage of the vulnerable wherever and whenever they can, so do please be on your guard and don't let yourself be taken in by these fraudsters.

Scams Partnership urges people to be vigilant against COVID-19 scammers

MEMBERS of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Against Scams Partnership (CAPASP) are warning people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to be vigilant against scammers who are taking advantage of Covid-19.

As Covid-19 spreads rapidly across the world, various reports have emerged about fraudsters seizing the opportunity to defraud.

In the UK, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has reported that victims have lost over £800k to scams relating to the coronavirus since February 2020.

Many of the scams involve criminals contacting victims by email, phone or text message posing as genuine organisations such as banks, police officers or health providers. The fraudsters may claim to provide medical guidance, investment opportunities or a safe place to transfer and keep money – using coronavirus as a cover story. Alternatively, victims are tricked into disclosing personal or financial information or clicking on links which could contain malware.

Corona virus testing kit scam. In Cambridgeshire, doorstep scammers are reported to have been visiting residents purporting to be from Red Cross or other legitimate organisations, and offering to provide coronavirus testing kits – for a hefty fee.

Flight cancellation scam. If you have had a holiday cancelled, beware of individuals or organisations making contact asking for bank details to refund your money. Your travel agent or airline should refund directly by the original payment method.

Fake email or website scams. Watch out for authentic looking websites or emails seemingly from official channels such as Public Health England or WHO (World Health Organisation). These may look very convincing and offer enticing information for a fee or a single click on a link or attachment. Clicking may install malicious software which can monitor the victim’s every move and provide the details to criminals. Recent examples include e-mails or websites claiming to be able to show local cases of Covid-19 but which are in fact designed to infect the victim’s computer with malware to steal banking and log-in information.

Online offers for vaccinations. There are currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges, prescriptions or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Covid-19 coronavirus. DO NOT send money, buy bitcoin or vouchers to anyone offering this.

Bogus charity callers. Fraudsters may pose as charitable organisations claiming to help individuals or businesses in these challenging times. Check the authenticity of any caller on the phone or doorstep by contacting the organisation on the number you know to be correct. If the caller was on the phone make sure you wait at least 10 minutes or use a different handset to conduct your authenticity check.

Tax refund scam. E-mails purporting to be from HMRC or GOV.UK are being sent by scammers with the promise of a tax rebate ‘for dealing with the coronavirus outbreak’ at the click of a link. The link is likely to infect the device with malware and allow private information to be stolen.
Good Neighbour scam. People in self-isolation have been approached by criminals offering to help with shopping who take the resident’s money and never return.
Acting Police and Crime Commissioner, Ray Bisby says:
“In these difficult times, there are many genuine people and organisations offering to support people’s health and wellbeing needs within their local community, such as shopping, collecting prescriptions or providing a friendly conversation over the phone.
“These people will carry official documentation or identification and will ask YOU to contact THEM if you need any help.
“Remember, always check ID of people knocking at the door – do your own, independent research to contact the organisation in question rather than using any contact details on the ID itself.

“Please stay safe and look after one another."
Best wishes,
Chris Shaw, PSV
St Ives Police Station

Telephone and online (World Wide Web/Internet) scams are illegal ways of getting money under false pretences.

They are many and varied and can be very convincing so you have be alert.

There are new scams constantly being created and because of the growing risk it was decided to create this information page.

Other Information Sources

The Metropolitan Police, click  on 'The little book of BIG scams 2nd Ed.' in the files at the bottom of this page.

Money Magpie - go to this site by clicking and then search for 'scams'.

The latest scam, we are aware of,  will be described here and there are links to other sites with comprehensive lists.

Reporting Scams

Contact Action Fraud by clicking: where you can report incidents online.

 Report any suspicious activity in your area via the non emergency number 101 or anonymously via Crime stoppers on  0800-555111.

Latest Scam in this area - April 2017

Fraudsters are sending out a high volume of phishing emails to personal and business email addresses, pretending to come from various email addresses, which have been compromised.
The subject line contains the recipient’s name, and the main body of text is as below:
 “Hi, [name]!
 I am disturbing you for a very serious reason. Although we are not familiar, but I have significant amount of individual info concerning you. The thing is that, most likely mistakenly, the data of your account has been emailed to me.
 For instance, your address is:
 [real home address]
 I am a law-abiding citizen, so I decided to personal data may have been hacked. I attached the file – [surname].dot that I received, that you could explore what info has become obtainable for scammers. File password is – 2811
Best Wishes,”
The emails include an attachment – a ‘.dot’ file usually titled with the recipient’s name.

This attachment is thought to contain the Banking Trojan Ursniff/Gozi, hidden within an image in the document. The Ursniff Banking Trojan attempts to obtain sensitive data from victims, such as banking credentials and passwords. The data is subsequently used by criminals for monetary gain.

Protect Yourself:
Having up-to-date virus protection is essential; however it will not always prevent your device(s) from becoming infected.
Please consider the following actions:
Don’t click on links or open any attachments you receive in unsolicited emails or SMS messages: Remember that fraudsters can ‘spoof’ an email address to make it look like one used by someone you trust. If you are unsure, check the email header to identify the true source of communication (you can find out how by searching the internet for relevant advice for your email provider).
  • Do not enable macros in downloads; enabling macros will allow Trojan/malware to be installed onto your device.
  • Always install software updates as soon as they become available. Whether you are updating the operating system or an application, the update will often include fixes for critical security vulnerabilities.
  • Create regular backups of your important files to an external hard drive, memory stick or online storage provider. It is important that the device you back up to is not connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that as well.
  • If you think your bank details have been compromised, you should contact your bank immediately.

If you have been affected by this or any other fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visit

Please use the buttons below or click these links to Reply to, Rate or Forward this message. Do not reply or forward using your standard email functions.

December 2016

This is a message sent via eCops. This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)



Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Lloyds customers should be on the lookout for a new sophisticated fraud that involves fraudsters sending fake bank letters. 

The convincing letters being sent are a replica template from Lloyds and include their logo, address and signature from a customer service representative.  
The letter tells recipients that there have been some “unusual transactions” on their personal account and asks them to call a number highlighted in bold to confirm they are genuine. 
When victims call the number, an automated welcome message is played and the caller is asked to enter their card number, account number and sort code followed by their date of birth.Victims are then instructed to enter the first and last digit of their security number.
The fraud was spotted by the Daily Telegraph who was alerted to it by a reader who had three identical letters sent to an office address. On separate occasions the Daily Telegraph ran some tests using fake details and were passed to fraudsters who claimed to be from a Lloyds contact centre. The bank has confirmed that the phone number and letters are fake. 
The letters are essentially a sophisticated phishing attempt and serves as a warning to consumers to question written correspondence from their banks. 
Remember Banks will never ask for your account deatails by post or telephone.

If you are ever suspicious about correspondence from your bank you should call the customer serviced number on the back of their card. 
To report a fraud and cyber crime, call us on 0300 123 2040 or visit

Telephone Preference Service

A person phones and suggests that she is acting on behalf of the telephone preference service and the government and states that they can stop all unwanted calls. 

It at first sounds authentic as they give out details of your name, address and sometimes the first four digits of the card they say you pay your phone bill on (obviously they are guessing, you hope).

They then say they need a small fee for the service and start to ask about expiry details of your card etc.

If you say this is a Scam they will provide their supervisors contact details which are bogus.

 The official Telephone Prevention Service is free - click here for details.

HMRC  Telephone Scam

Fraudsters pretending to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are expanding their unscrupulous activities after years of sending out fake emails to now phoning unsuspecting consumers – and some are duping victims into paying them in gift cards and vouchers. 

If you get a phone call from somebody saying they are HMRC following up payment of outstanding tax and asking you

to press '1' -  DON'T - JUST HANG UP. If you do press 1 and you are asked to pay by getting pre-paid vouchers and passing on the voucher numbers then you will lose that money!


This is a message sent via eCops. This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)



Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Courier fraudsters have been identifying themselves to victims on the telephone as “Detective Constable Martin Benton of New Scotland Yard Fraud Department”. The fraudsters will invent a story regarding fraudulent activity on your card and request your bank/card details.
No such person exists at the Metropolitan Police. If you receive a call from someone purporting to be this individual, terminate the call immediately.
Protect yourself against courier fraud:

  • Your bank will never send a courier to your home
  • Your bank and the police will never collect your bank card
  • Your bank and the police will never ask for your PIN
  • If you receive one of these calls end it immediately

Victim Advice:

  • If you have handed over any details to the fraudster, call your bank and cancel your cards immediately.
  • ?If you want to call your bank, then do it from another telephone.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online or by telephone 0300 123 2040.

March 2015

This is a message sent via eCops. This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)



Online auction sites are regularly targeted by fraudsters advertising desirable items for sale which are below market value, but do not exist. Fraudsters use a variety of techniques to persuade the potential buyer that the item is genuine and that any advanced payment will be protected or reimbursed should the product be faulty or not received.

Protect yourself:

  • Stay within the auction guidelines stipulated on the website.
  • Payments made via bank transfer, money transfer or e-money are not protected, should you not receive the item.
  • View the item in person if possible.
  • If the item advertised seems too good to be true, it probably is.


Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Action Fraud has seen an increase in the amount of victims signing up for free trials for unapproved or misleading pharmaceuticals or supplements.

The scam usually involves a ‘pop up’ on your computer or a text message advertising a free 14-day trial. In signing up to this trial you are asked for your credit or debit card details and after the 14 days have elapsed, recurring payments are taken.

Recurring payments or continuous payment authorities are similar to a direct debit, but can be much harder to cancel or identify who is debiting your account. In most cases victims are finding it extremely difficult to cancel the subscription and the products are either not delivered or are inferior.

Common pharmaceuticals or supplements being advertised are teeth whitening products, food supplements and slimming tablets.

Protect Yourself

  • If you desire such products speak to your GP or a local pharmacist.
  • Be vigilant of free trials and always read the Terms and Conditions.
  • Conduct basic online research of the company before registering your details and financial information.

It is important to remember that in most free-trial cases because you have paid for a product and received it, this cannot be recorded as a fraud. If you have already entered your card details on one of these websites, call up you bank immediately to stop these payments and give us a call on 0300 123 2040 for advice.


This is a message sent via eCops. This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)



Scam postcards are being delivered to UK residents’ homes claiming that a parcel containing “jewellery” is waiting for the homeowner.
Jan 2015 This

is a message sent via eCops. This information has been sent on behalf of Cambridgeshire Constabulary

The "police officer" telephone scam came to light again yesterday. We received 6 calls from elderly residents in Huntingdonshire where the caller claimed to be a Metropolitan police officer from the "Serious Fraud Office" stating that they had people in custody in relation to money transactions who were in possession of their personal details. Attempts then made to coerce personal and bank details from the victims and asking them to withdraw money from their bank. Unfortunately on one occasion the victim passed over £10,000 to a male who attended his address to collect the money. It is likely that more calls were made which have not been reported to police. If you received a call or know either a friend, neighbour or family member who did please let us know, call us on our non-emergency number 101.

Neither banks nor the police will call and ask you to pass personal or bank details over the phone - please pass this onto friends and family and keep an eye on any vulnerable neighbours.

Report any suspicious activity in your area via the above number or anonymously via Crime stoppers on  0800-555111.


Dave Griffin 

Other Information Sources

The Metropolitan Police, click  on 'The little book of BIG scams 2nd Ed.' in the files at the bottom of this page.

Money Magpie - go to this site by clicking and then search for 'scams'.

Reporting Scams

Contact Action Fraud by clicking: where you can report incidents online.

 Report any suspicious activity in your area via the non emergency number 101 or anonymously via Crime stoppers on  0800-555111.