Christmas Wishes and Seasonal Warnings

Don’t let the festive season put you off your guard – the scammers are out in force

As 2016 draws to a close, we’d like to wish all of our clients, colleagues and contacts a healthy and prosperous new year as 2017 approaches – but not without a little warning first!

The festive season is a wonderful time of year for celebrating with workmates, friends and family, but unfortunately it’s also a time of the year when criminals of all shapes and sizes have a bonanza.

We are all accustomed to receiving reminders that we shouldn’t leave presents on display, lights on and curtains open when we go out over the Christmas period, but cyber criminals are also taking advantage of our less than ‘switched on’ frames of mind too.

It’s very easy to scan through your email inbox as you prepare to head off to lunch with colleagues and absent-mindedly click on what you believe to be a genuine message.

Unfortunately, a second of not thinking could lead to an IT disaster if you unleash a virus, or malware – or even worse – provide personal or financial details to the wrong person.

 
The latest scam doing the rounds is a fake speeding fine – which does look very authentic until you realise that it puts you in the wrong place, doing a ridiculous speed in a 25mph zone.

The ‘tax refund’ email is doing the rounds again, obviously it’s an appropriate time of year as we head to the 31 January, and the emails do look very authentic.

ActionFraud have put out a warning this week that replica Lloyds Bank letters are being circulated, asking people to phone a number to check ‘unusual account activity’, asking you to enter all of your account details when you ring. Seems to be an obvious con when you read it like this – but it’s very easy to be taken in when you receive this kind of letter.

These are just three that we know of, there will be many more. You can report fraud and cyber crime to ActionFraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud

As they say at the end of Crime Watch don’t let it put you off your Christmas, and we’ll look forward to sharing another year with you in 2017.

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