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The following was received by us directly for the Met Police Cyber Crime Unit:
NHS TEST & TRACE SCAMS
This government service is extremely important in the fight against coronavirus and it’s vital the public are on board with it; however, people have concerns about the opportunity for criminals to commit scams and some scam texts are already in circulation.
NHS Test & Trace will never ask you for financial details, PINs or passwords and will never visit your home. Also, Contact Tracers will never:
- Ask you to dial a premium rate number (eg those starting 09 or 087);
- Ask you to make any form of payment;
- Ask for details of your bank account;
- Ask for your social media identities, login details, or those of your contacts;
- Ask for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up passwords or PINs over the phone;
- Ask you to purchase a product;
- Ask you to download software or hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet;
- Ask you to access any website that does not belong to the Government or NHS.
Whilst it is possible for criminals to fake official phone numbers, they cannot fake official website addresses. Anyone with concerns about a phone call, text message or email in relation to Test & Trace is encouraged to check the website address provided carefully. If possible, type the official address (https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk) followed by unique characters given to you, directly into your browser.
If you think you have been sent a scam message, please report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
GENERAL SCAM ADVICE FROM THE MET POLICE CYBER CRIME UNIT
- Criminals use every opportunity to defraud innocent people. They will continue to exploit every angle of this national crisis and we want people to be prepared.
- The Met is not trying to scare people at a time when they are already anxious but want everyone to be aware of the simple steps they can take to protect themselves from handing over money, or personal details, to criminals.
- Law enforcement, government and industry are working to protect us, raise awareness, take down fraudulent websites and email addresses, ultimately to bring those responsible to justice.
- If you think you’ve fallen for a banking scam, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
- You can report suspicious texts by forwarding the original message to 7726, which spells SPAM on your keypad. You can report suspicious emails by forwarding the original message to firstname.lastname@example.org where an automated system will scan the email and if malicious links are found, the associated website will be taken down.
Criminals are expert at impersonating people, organisations and the police, spending hours researching you, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment. They contact you by phone, email, text, on social media, or in person and will try to trick you into parting with money, personal information, or buying goods or services that don’t exist. If you are approached unexpectedly:
Stop: take a moment to think before parting with money or information could keep you safe;
Challenge: it’s ok to refuse any requests; only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
Protect: contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam and report it to Action Fraud.
- The police, or your bank, will never ask you to withdraw money or transfer it to a different account. They will also never ask you to reveal your full banking password or PIN.
- Do not click on links or attachments in unexpected or suspicious texts or emails.
- Confirm requests are genuine by using a known number or email address to contact organisations directly.
- To keep yourself secure online, ensure you are using the latest software, apps and operating systems on your phones, tablets and laptops. Update these regularly or set your devices to automatically update so you don’t have to worry.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has launched the Cyber Aware campaign with six actionable steps to protect yourself. By implementing these six ‘Cyber Aware’ tips and flagging threats to the NCSC, you will keep yourself and others secure from the vast majority of threats:
- Create a separate password for your email
- Create a strong password using three random words
- Save your passwords in your browser
- Turn on two-factor authentication
- Update your devices
- Turn on backup
To find out more, visit CyberAware.gov.uk
Bromley Neighbourhood Watch Association
Find us on the Web at: www.bnwa.co.uk