Check out the latest Scam Alert!
by John Trotter (July 2022)
WE hope that the Sefton heatwave was okay for you. I found that there were many scam stories online last week and have taken a look at some resources to help us all to fight the scammers and stay safe online.
First, some new help for us all to check whether a website shown as a link in an unexpected message is valid. Check if a website link is safe using the CIFAS link: www.getsafeonline.org/checkawebsite
Get Safe Online has partnered with Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, to launch ‘Check-a-Website’.
This is an innovative new feature, hosted on www.getsafeonline.org that invites users to check if a website is safe to use before accessing. It is expected to prevent thousands of people in the UK falling victim to unwanted online scams every year.
Check a website is an easy-to-use online tool that helps determine whether a website is likely to be legitimate or a scam before you visit it. Users simply type in the address of the website they want to check, and their results will appear within seconds.
Provided in the UK by Get Safe Online, in conjunction with Cifas, ScamAdviser, Barclays and other partners, it cleverly uses an algorithm to provide a trust score based on more than 40 data sources, as well as thousands of reports of malicious websites from law enforcement agencies, regulators and consumer brands every week.
Hosted on Get Safe Online’s UK website, individuals can also access this new feature using the below link: https://www.getsafeonline.org/checkawebsite/
There is also a new guide provided by NCSC to help us recover an online account that has been hacked. If you find yourself locked out, follow the 8 steps below to help you on the road to recovery.
Update your devices
2. Contact your provider
3. If your email account was hacked
4. Change passwords
5. Set up 2-step verification (2SV
6. Notify your contacts
7. If you can’t recover your account
8. Contact Action Fraud
Finally for this week, some information from Which? about a BP fuel giveaway scam that’s going the rounds on social media. Rising fuel costs are on the radar of scammers, inspiring them to create new ways of tempting you to part with your money. The scam Facebook advert appears as ‘Discounts on 200 fuel litre cards’ and is a ‘sponsored’ post. It uses an image of a crowded BP petrol station with a hand holding a BP fuel card. ‘Due to the current rise in fuel prices, BP is running a promotion for its customers, allowing them to get a 200 litre fuel card for £1.78.’ Underneath the image, a button labelled ‘Order Now’ leads to a dodgy website designed to take your details. When the link in this particular scam ad is clicked on, you’re sent to a dodgy website that uses the BP logo and says: ‘Congratulations! You have been selected to participate in the BP promotion! The government in cooperation with “BP” announced the distribution of fuel cards on 200 litres at 1.78£ [sic] to the British.’ It then asks three questions: Are you from the United Kingdom? How much gasoline do you use per month? Do you use BP gas stations? Once these are answered, you’re given three attempts to choose the ‘correct box’ with the fake fuel card prize in it from 12 onscreen gift boxes. If the correct box is selected, you’re taken to a page that offers you the non-existent fuel card for £1.78 and asks for your personal details including name, address and email.
Do not fall for this, and if you see it on Facebook, report it as a scam and block the sender.
If you or someone you know is struggling to pay bills or outstanding debts, Citizens Advice may be able to help. Citizens Advice Sefton telephone service is available: For general advice . 0808 278 7841 (freephone) Mon – Fri 9.30am – 4.30pm and text relay for people with hearing impairment: Text relay: 03444 111 445 for people with hearing impairment .The debt number is 0151 318 6407. 9.30 to 4.30 Mon to Fri. Our local website address is- www.https://seftoncab.org.uk/Citizens Advice Lancashire West telephone is available between 9.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday, & 9.00am and 1.00pm Saturdays on Adviceline 0344 245 1294