Selected alerts from Thames Valley Police distributed through the Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud have noticed a rise in the reporting of victims being recruited via Facebook to sell items for suspects on eBay – often stating that it is a quick way of making money. The items are said to be bankrupt stock, purchased via auctions, and need to be sold on quickly. The majority of the items reported have been Apple Mac Book Pro/Electrical Items. The victim places the items on eBay and once the items are sold, the victim will get paid and transfer the funds to the suspect/recruiter. Once the suspect/recruiter gets the funds, the purchasers are claiming that they have received empty cereal boxes or often no goods at all, leaving the victim being reported as the actual suspect, and leaving them out of pocket as their account will be debited. Protect yourself:
- Consider conducting research on other information provided by the seller, for example: a mobile phone number or email address could alert you to negative information associated with the number/email address online.
- Be very cautious of unsolicited emails or approaches over social media promising opportunities to make easy money.
- When accepting offers, verify the company/entity details provided to you and check whether they have been registered in the UK.
- If you think the deal or offer is too good to be true then it probably is!
If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visitingwww.actionfraud.police.uk.
A new investment fraud trend is targeting members of the public who are seeking to sell their wine investment. Fraudsters agree to purchase the victim’s wine, but instead transfer the stock into their own account without paying the victim. The fraudulently obtained wine is then believed to be sold on to other, unsuspecting victims. How does it work? Fraudsters set up fake companies and websites as well as exploit the names of legitimate, established companies to facilitate this fraud. They cold-call the victims and offer to purchase their wine for significantly more than the actual market value. Fraudulent documents, such as purchase agreements, are used to facilitate the fraud and are sent to the victims via post and email. Some fraudsters have gone as far as setting up fake escrow services in order to fool the potential sellers that the payments have been transferred. The fraudsters send the victims instructions to transfer their wine into storage accounts held within legitimate bonded warehouses. The victims are informed that upon doing this they will be paid the agreed amount. The use of storage accounts held within legitimate bonded warehouses adds an air of legitimacy to the process but in actual fact these storage accounts are controlled by the fraudsters. Once the wine is transferred into the new storage accounts the suspects break off all contact with the victims. The wine is then moved again, normally within days and often abroad, and, needless to say, the victim never receives the money from the agreed sale. Protect Yourself
- Never respond to unsolicited phone calls – if in doubt, hang up
- Always check that the details of the organisation or company contacting you (such as website, address and phone number) are correct – the fraudsters may be masquerading as a legitimate organisation
- Never sign over your wine (or any other investment) to another party without first checking they are authentic
- Don’t be fooled by a professional looking website, as the cost of creating a professional website is easily affordable
- Escrow services are regulated by the FCA under the Payment Services Directive 2009. Only deal with a registered Authorised Payment Institution. You can check the FCA register online at www.fca.org.uk/register
- Consider seeking independent legal and/or financial advice before making a decision
If you have been affected by this, or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk
Fraudsters are texting members of the public offering a tax rebate. The text message contains a link to a website and requests to provide personal information, such as bank account information, to claim the nonexistent rebate. Protect Yourself
- Don’t click on web links contained in unsolicited texts or emails.
- Never provide your personal information to a third party from an unsolicited communication.
- Obtain the genuine number of the organisation being represented and verify the legitimacy of the communication.
- HMRC will never use texts or emails or tell you about a potential rebate or ask for personal information.
- If you have provided personal information and you are concerned that your identity may be compromised consider Cifas Protection Registration.