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Scams may follow terrorist atrocities

June 5th 2017

Today and in the coming weeks, we are warning you to be vigilant for scams relating to recent terrorist atrocities.

Unfortunately, it is commonplace for fraudsters to exploit people’s anxiety, concern and generosity following incidents - such as the Manchester and London attacks - as well as natural disasters, conflicts and political unrest.

Scams are perpetrated via unsolicited approaches by email, text, social media post, or by phone. They may be making bogus charity appeals for financial help for victims and their families, or otherwise direct you to fake news or image websites which, if visited, could infect your connected devices with malware.  

The scams can take three main forms:

- emails, text messages or social media posts claiming to be from victims or their families, requesting financial help

- Seemingly official emails, text messages, social media posts and phone calls claiming to represent charitable organisations working to provide relief for victims. Such unsolicited approaches should be regarded with extreme caution, however authentic they seem and however traumatic the situations they describe. Always research charities online (the Charity Commission website is a good place to begin.

- Invitations by email, social media or text to view traumatic or sensational footage or images connected with the terrorist attacks. By clicking on such links, you are, again, in danger of ending up on a fraudulent website designed to capture your confidential details with the intention of committing fraud or identity theft. Clicking on fraudulent email attachments can lead to the automatic download of spyware, ransomware or other malware.

Safeguard yourself by following this advice:

- Do not click on links in unexpected / unsolicited emails, social media posts, instant messages, or texts.

- Do not click on attachments in unexpected / unsolicited emails.

- If you get a phone call appealing for charitable donations following terrorist atrocities, natural disasters or other crises, regard it as fraudulent and put the phone down.

- If you become the victim of a scam, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at www.actionfraud.police.uk 

 

By Get Safe Online