Security

The 12 scams of Christmas

One in four Brits has fallen victim to a scam, with Christmas being the prime time for fraudsters to trap consumers. Most victims fall foul to scams online, with fraudsters using social media and fake emails to offer fake bargains. But just how can you protect your spending this Christmas?

Consumer expert Alice Beer gave her must-know tips for avoiding the scams on ITV’s This Morning, yesterday.

Read more on the 12 Scams of Christmas on the programme page

  1. Online shopping
  2. Social media scams
  3. E-cards
  4. Fake emails
  5. Fake delivery notification
  6. Charities
  7. Auction fraud
  8. Fake goods
  9. Mobile phone safety
  10. Ticketing fraud
  11. Fake gift cards/coupons
  12. Secret Santa scams

ITV 30 November 2016
www.itv.com/thismorning/hot-topics/the-12-scams-of-christmas-alice-beer

Online scams

Take Five to stop fraudOnline fraud covers everything from online shopping to online banking, but one thing can help prevent both: take the time to install the built-in security measures most browsers and many banks offer. These can help protect you whether the criminals are trying to dupe you with fake pop-ups in your online banking window, sending you ‘scam alert’ messages hiding malware, or faking retailer websites to make you input your financial details.

https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/

#TakeFive

Text message scams

Take Five to stop fraudA text might not be from who you think – Smishing is when criminals pretend a message is from your bank or another organisation you trust. They will usually tell you there has been fraud on your account and will ask you to deal with it by calling a number or visiting a fake website to update your personal details. Please take a moment to stop and think and realise this is the fraud…

If you think there has been fraud on your card or bank account – or if you suspect anyone has attempted to compromise your financial details – report it immediately to your bank or financial services provider and then contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at www.actionfraud.police.uk.

https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/

#TakeFive

Enjoy bonfire night safely

bonfireIt’s the time of year that families across the country will be heading out to brave the cold to view spectacular firework displays for Bonfire Night – while A&E departments will be bracing themselves to deal with horrific burns injuries.

Unfortunately, too many family trips over this period end in tragedy, with around 1,000 people ending up in hospital with injuries from fireworks, in the four week period around November 5.

In all cases these injuries would have been avoidable, so the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is asking everyone to “remember, remember” its simple safety advice to ensure a happy and safe Bonfire Night.

Ashley Martin, RoSPA public health project manager, said: “Burns injuries are absolutely devastating, not just for those injured but also for their family, particularly when children are involved, as they leave terrible physical and mental scars that will last a lifetime.

“Equally devastating is the fact that they are completely avoidable when fireworks are involved. People only need follow our simple safety advice, to ensure they and their family avoid a tragedy.”

Kent Fire and Rescue Service Community Safety Service Delivery Manager, Charlie Smith said: “Bonfire night can be great fun for all the family but it is important that people celebrate safely. It is always best to attend an organised display but if you are planning your own, please make sure you follow the firework code.

“Many accidents are caused by improper use of fireworks and by carelessness. Figures show that more children than adults get hurt by fireworks.”

He added: “Bonfires are a lot of fun too, but they can be dangerous. If you are having a bonfire this year, we urge you to take care and to follow our simple tips on our website, to make sure you and others are safe and acting lawfully.” (more…)

Phone scams

Take Five to stop fraudFraud over the phone – or Vishing – is when a fraudster calls claiming they’re from your bank or some other trusted organisation. It is easy for them to convince you too, since they can both fake the telephone number on the screen and do their research to find out some of your basic bank and personal details. Remember though, a genuine bank will never ask you for personal or financial details like your PIN number or full banking password (even by tapping it into your phone keypad).

If you think there has been fraud on your card or bank account – or if you suspect anyone has attempted to compromise your financial details – report it immediately to your bank or financial services provider and then contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at www.actionfraud.police.uk.

https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/

#TakeFive

Halloween and bonfire night advice

halloweenKent Police have given the following advice on Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations

Halloween

Trick or treating

We hope you all have a good Halloween weekend but it’s important to remember that not everyone enjoys it – if someone is displaying a ‘no trick or treat’ sign, please respect their wishes and don’t knock at their door.

If you have elderly neighbours, friends or family make sure they know they don’t have to open the door to anyone they don’t know or aren’t expecting to help them feel safe.

It’s important everyone knows that most trick or treaters are simply getting involved in the celebrations and will be friendly, but please share our guidance on bogus callers with anyone who may have concerns, www.kent.police.uk/advice/bogus-callers-and-rogue-traders/.

Print and display a Kent Police poster to help trick or treaters know where to visit this Halloween:

Guidance for parents:

  • Never let young children go trick or treating on their own and make sure they only visit people known to your family.
  • Make sure teenagers understand not to frighten people or use flour or eggs.
  • Advise young trick or treaters to stay in a group and never go into the home of someone they don’t know.

Bonfire Night

Top tips to celebrate safely

  • Fireworks can hurt and frighten people and animals – always follow the firework code, www.saferfireworks.com/.
  • Always supervise children around fireworks and never give sparklers to a child under 5.
  • It’s safer to go to an organised display – if you’re aged 18 or over and still want to buy your own fireworks, only buy those marked BS 7114:1988 from a reputable retailer.

Know the law

It’s an offence to:

  • sell adult fireworks to anyone under 18
  • have adult fireworks in a public place if you are under 18
  • have fireworks meant for a professional display
  • let off fireworks after 11pm and before 7am, except on Bonfire Night (allowed up to midnight), New Year’s Eve, Diwali and the Chinese New Year (all allowed up to 1am).

You can also be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to 6 months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.

For more details on fireworks at the law visit www.gov.uk/fireworks-the-law, www.gov.uk/fireworks-the-law.

Kent Police

Additional safety information:

Halloween safety tips, https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2016/10/18/rospa-haloween-safety-tips/,

Children’s costumeshttps://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2016/10/22/is-your-costume-safe/