Facebook & Email Scam Advice

One in six Brits have been the victim of an online cyber attack, new research has revealed

Cyber attacks and phishing emails (pretending to be from your bank etc) are becoming increasingly common as people rely more on technology to do everything.  But despite the high number of victims, some 60% of smartphone users and nearly half (48%) of tablet users admit to not having any malware protection installed on their devices, leaving them vulnerable to online fraudsters.

Fake Gmail ‘Deferred Message’ Notification Opens Spam Drugstore Website

According to this email, Gmail has found a deferred message in your account. The email includes a link that offers to show you the deferred message.  However, the email is not from Gmail and clicking the link opens an incarnation of the infamous Canadian Pharmacy website.

This site tries to peddle all manner of pharmaceutical products, all without the need of a doctor’s prescription.   The spammers who run these campaigns bank on the fact that at least a few people who are tricked into visiting the drugstore website will linger and buy its products.  And, given how common such spam campaigns are, the tactic obviously pays off for the spammers. (From:  Hoax-Slayer.com)

Apple Store ‘Transaction Cancellation Form’ Phishing Scam

According to this email, which purports to be from Apple, you have purchased a TomTom from the Apple Store. (A TomTom is a GPS car navigation system). However, the email is not from Apple and is just a ruse designed to trick you into clicking the ‘cancel’ link.  Clicking the ‘Cancel Transaction’ button will send all of your information to criminals.

‘Facebook’ Email Claims Your Password Has Been Reset

According to this email, which appears to come from Facebook, your password was reset due to suspicious activity.  The message claims that you should click a link to fill in a form so that the password can be restored. The email is not from Facebook and is an attempt to trick you into installing malware.
More than a third of Brits have been targeted by ‘pension liberation’ fraudsters, an insurer has found

The majority of scammers are using emails and texts to target their victims. The messages invite the recipient to ‘review’ their pension or ‘release’ a portion of it as cash before the legal retirement age of 55.

Tesco Scams – I have received several emails purporting to be from Tesco with headings such as “Tesco suspended notification” or “Urgent re-activation of your online account”.  These are not from Tesco so please do not click on any link or request for your account details.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will never use texts or emails to:

  • tell you about a tax rebate or penalty
  • ask for personal or payment information

Forward any suspicious emails to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk or check HMRC’s guidance on recognising scams if you’re not sure.

Contact HMRC at security.custcon@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk if you think you’ve given any personal information in reply to a suspicious email or text.  Include brief details of what you disclosed (eg name, address, HMRC User ID, password) but don’t give your personal details in the email.    Unfortunately, as tax returns are now being completed, the scammers are busy targeting businesses and residents, which they tend to do this time of year.

Cut Price Domain Renewal

A new variation and a simple phishing trick aimed at people who own their Internet domain names.  Crooks email the owner advising them that their annual domain registration fee is now due.  It is simply a ruse to get victims’ credit card numbers for identity theft.



According to a Facebook Page, Australian airline Qantas is giving away free first class flights for all of 2015.

However, the Page has no connection to Qantas and it is not giving away free flights as claimed. This is an example of like-farming scams which are designed to gather as many likes as possible in the shortest possible time.   The fake pages with high like numbers can command high prices on the black market.  Once they have gained a large audience, the fake Pages can be used to perpetuate further scams.

Very similar scam Facebook pages are targeting other airlines, including Virgin Australia


Where to Get More Help

Your local Neighbourhood Action Group websites which contain lots of useful information about email scam advice and gives residents the opportunity to contact their NAG via the website if they have any issues in their area.  Websites currently up and running are for Newbury SW, Shaw/Speen/Donnington and Thatcham.   These web pages can be found by going into the website: www.uknags.org.uk and then click on Find your NAG.

The Thames Valley NHW Association provides various information, including personal alarms, SmartWater etc that can be purchased via Val McPherson, as well as promoting Neighbourhood Watch and listing events/meetings etc.

National Neighbourhood Watch gives you the opportunity to list your local NHW scheme and receive their newsletter.   There are only a few local schemes currently shown on this site and I would encourage Co-ordinators to add their information.

Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline:  03454 040506.


Angela Money

Newbury SouthWest NAG

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