New Phone and Email Scams – Beware

26.04.12: In our bid to make residents aware of possible hackers, Roseland Online would like to make readers aware of two new telephone and email scams that are rife at present.

The Phone Scam: An automated call rings you and an official voice asks you to contact their bank. The number given is noticeable in that it isn’t an 0845 or 0800 number but a mobile number (07…). Banks, of course, do not use mobile communication for their day to day business so this should set alarm bells ringing if you’re unsure.

How it works: These calls can be sent to your phone at the cost of a simple text message – cost free for the perpetrators, I imagine – and the voice if a BT automated one.

The Solution: First, if it isn’t your bank, ignore it completely. If it may be your bank, they should start with your name or your card number to identify you as opposed to anyone generically. If they don’t it’s almost certainly a scam. Lastly, consider the number they use. If they ask you to ring a number starting with 07, it’s almost certainly spam, so ignore it. If you’re at all in doubt, contact your bank on the number on their website rather than call back the number they suggest on the call to you.

The Email Scam: A reader received an email (supposedly) from a friend using their email account saying they are in trouble (have lost their purse or wallet and are stranded somewhere). These hackers are very thorough and look through past emails to see if someone has been abroad to make the scam very believable. They then ask you to send money quickly by Western Union for them to ‘pay their bills’.

How it works: Like a lot of scam mail these days, the perpetrator hacks into your friends account and uses their address book to contact everyone. In this particular scam (as opposed to those that just send a link to you with no other details) the perpetrator stays logged in and answers emails from you, if you reply. So be aware that they could be monitoring your friends email address and answering for her.

The Solution: If you decide you’d like to answer, ask the person who’s asking for money to prove who they are. Get them to answer a personal question that you know only they would know. Which county you live in, for example, or a pet’s name. If you don’t receive a suitable answer, it’s certainly not your friend. And don’t be tempted to ring any number they ask you to, unless you’re sure it’s your friend’s number. This may end up costing you heavily and if they have internet access to send you these emails, your friend would certainly be able to answer you that way at no risk to yourself.

If in doubt, do not answer emails or calls of this nature and find other ways to contact the business or person you’ve been contacted by to ascertain if it is them calling. To protect yourself, make sure you change your email passwords regularly and use both numbers and letters in the password to make it more difficult for spammers to hack you.

Volunteer Drivers Needed For Community Car Scheme

24.04.12: The people behind the Roseland Community Bus are starting a Roseland Community Voluntary Car Scheme and need drivers to help with transporting others in the local community. The trips would be something like taking transporting those who are having difficulties getting to medical appointments.

Have you got some time on your hands and enjoy driving? The team are looking for drivers to join a car scheme to help create good pool of volunteers who might wish to give their time and be a help to the community.

All travel costs will be reimbursed, so for more information click here to visit the Roseland Community Transport blog, or call Roseland Community Transport Coordinator, Fran Bennett, on 07580112859 or email her at: Roselandcommtrans@yahoo.co.uk

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