Operation Signature is the Surrey Police campaign to identify and support vulnerable victims of fraud.
Fraud is becoming more complex and deceptive, much of which is targeted at vulnerable and elderly people.
Statistics show that one in five people fall victim to fraud every year and nearly 50 per cent of all adults have been targeted by fraudsters. That shows how common theses scams and how many people fall for their tricks.
Key things to remember
Never send or give money to anyone you don’t know or trust.
Check people are who they say they are.
Don’t share your personal information.
Make decisions in your own time – do not be pressurised into a quick response
If in doubt phone a relative or a friend for advice.
Do not trust anyone who cold calls you about your bank account or a problem with your computer.
Under no circumstances would your bank or police request a card PIN or security details over the telephone, or arrange collection of your bank cards from your home.
Surrey Police have a process for recognising victims of all fraud as victims of crime and providing preventative measures to support and protect them from further targeting. This can include:
helping them to change their phone number to an ex-directory number
contacting family to suggest power of attorney
offering them advice on call blocking devices
referring them to other support services
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I receive Mail Delivery Failure notices regularly for messages I did not send.
When you get mail from “MAILER-DAEMON” or “Mail Delivery Subsystem” with a subject like “Failed Delivery” or “Unable to Deliver” or “7 Rejected Attempts to Deliver Message” or similar, it means that an email you sent was undeliverable and has been “bounced” back to you.
These may be genuine messages, automatically generated by an error in sending on your email message, but they are often fake and that would indicate a serious problem with hackers and your email address.
If the message is genuine, the most likely reason for a failed delivery is that the email address you entered is invalid. Double-check the spelling of the address you entered or maybe the intended recipient has cancelled that email address.
There are two other main reasons why you might suddenly get a lot of email message delivery failure warnings:-
Your computer has been infected by malware and is being used by criminals to send out mass spam messages without your knowledge. Check your Sent Mail folder to see if this has happened.
A spammer is sending out messages that appear to be from your email address. This is called spoofing and is very common. An expert would see that the emails did not originate with you but most people receiving the messages will blame you and you may get some nasty replies from them.
Spammers send out vast numbers of mail messages, to random email addresses, and that typically means a high rate of failure and hence a lot of failure to deliver messages
If you receive a Mail Deliver Failure notice but have not sent the message, take these steps:-
If you are informed that your personal information has been compromised by a data breach at an organisation you have an account with then you need to take steps to protect your online identity quickly.
The message from that business will normally explain what data has been compromised and will make recommendations on what you should do. These may include:-
‘Sophia Ellis’ wants me to believe that she is offering her expertise in email address verification, but the message doesn’t contain a company name and the email sender’s address is health.maketomopcom which does sound like a lazy scammer couldn’t even be bothered getting a decent sounding email address to send these scam messages from. No thanks.
As we get into summer, more air conditioning scam messages start to appear. This latest one claims “this personal air cooler can cool down any part of your home in no time”. It works from a USB lead so must be very small and have all of the air conditioning power of an asthmatic mouse attempting to blow the heat away. Air coolers normally work by blowing air over water which does cool the air but they only work in small enclosed places and cannot compete with any kind of real air conditioning.
Sam is trying to sell animation software called IllusionMage. Normal sales emails are sometimes honest but still effective and sometimes give false impressions and sometimes are just lies. This one is a con as it claims you can make the same quality animation as Pixar and Disney, but at home. Not true. It says the offer is only open for three days but these emails keep coming so that’s also a lie. If you want to buy anything online find a reputable seller and do your research and never trust unsolicited emails.
Some scams offer free products and this latest one using Donald Trump’s name claims to give away Donald Trump Keep America Great hats. Maybe they could give away promotional items to small groups for conventions etc. or maybe give away really cheap paper stuff at times, but the message claims the hats sell for $39.99 and they give them away to everyone who asks. Not true. Just a phishing scam to get your private information.
“Ancient invention generates energy on demand”. Sounds useful. Then it claims a crazy professor makes energy from the surface of the earth and everyone can, The video you have to click to see how its done will only be on the Internet for a day longer because big industry is trying to shut it down. All lies of course. There are many ways to generate electricity but they are well known and available already.
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