At this time of year when we all return to work and have a full inbox it is easy to fall prey to fraudsters. Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime and here they offer advice on what to look out for.
You can help disrupt fraudsters by reporting scam emails to us. It shouldn’t take you any longer than 2 minutes to make a report and we do not collect any of your personal information. You should only use this tool to report phishing campaigns where you have not lost any money or exposed your personal details.
The reports received by Action Fraud will be forwarded to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) for collation and analysis.
This will enable crucial intelligence to be gathered and preventative action to be taken. The activity will seek to disrupt the fraudsters and close down the links between them and the victim.
What should you do if you’ve received a scam email?
- Do not click on any links in the scam email.
- Do not reply to the email or contact the senders in any way.
- If you have clicked on a link in the email, do not supply any information on the website that may open.
- Do not open any attachments that arrive with the email.
If you think you may have compromised the safety of your bank details and/or have lost money due to fraudulent misuse of your cards, you should immediately contact your bank.
Fake emails often (but not always) display some of the following characteristics:
- The sender’s email address doesn’t tally with the trusted organisation’s website address.
- The email is sent from a completely different address or a free web mail address.
- The email does not use your proper name, but uses a non-specific greeting like “dear customer”.
- A sense of urgency; for example the threat that unless you act immediately your account may be closed.
- A prominent website link. These can be forged or seem very similar to the proper address, but even a single character’s difference means a different website.
- A request for personal information such as user name, password or bank details.
- The email contains spelling and grammatical errors.
- You weren’t expecting to get an email from the company that appears to have sent it.
- The entire text of the email is contained within an image rather than the usual text format.
- The image contains an embedded hyperlink to a bogus site.
If you think you may have been the victim of fraud or cybercrime and incurred a financial loss or have been hacked as a result of responding to a phishing message, you should report this to Action Fraud
Have you spotted a suspicious email?
The message might be from a company you don’t normally receive communications from, or someone you do not know. You may just have a hunch. If you are suspicious, you should report it.
Your report of a phishing email will help us to act quickly, protecting many more people from being affected.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) will analyse the suspect email and any websites it links to. They’ll use any additional information you’ve provided to look for and monitor suspicious activity.
If they discover activity that they believe is malicious, they may:
- seek to block the address the email came from, so it can no longer send emails
- work with hosting companies to remove links to malicious websites
- raise awareness of commonly reported suspicious emails and methods used (via partners)
Whilst the NCSC is unable to inform you of the outcome of its review, they can confirm that they do act upon every message received.
With around 100 members any business in Dorset with less than 30 employees can join Dorchester Chamber for business for £60p/a (no VAT).