Action Fraud has received the first reports of Tech-Support scammers claiming to be from Microsoft who are taking advantage of the global WannaCry ransomware attack.
One victim fell for the scam after calling a ‘help’ number advertised on a pop up window. The window which wouldn’t close said the victim had been affected by WannaCry Ransomware.
The victim granted the fraudsters remote access to their PC after being convinced there wasn’t sufficient anti-virus protection. The fraudsters then installed Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, which is actually free and took £320 as payment.
It is important to remember that Microsoft’s error and warning messages on your PC will never include a phone number.
Additionally Microsoft will never proactively reach out to you to provide unsolicited PC or technical support. Any communication they have with you must be initiated by you.
How to protect yourself
- Don't call numbers from pop-up messages.
- Never allow remote access to your computer.
- Always be wary of unsolicited calls. If you’re unsure of a caller’s identity, hang up.
- Never divulge passwords or pin numbers.
- Microsoft or someone on their behalf will never call you.
If you believe you have already been a victim
- Get your computer checked for any additional programmes or software that may have been installed.
- Contact your bank to stop any further payments being taken.
Report fraud and cyber crime to Actionfraud.police.uk
There has been a series of recent incidents reported to Action Fraud where a lone fraudster has approached victims whom they believe to be unfamiliar with the local area. They make an excuse to talk to the victims such as enquiring about directions or offering a recommendation for a good hotel.
After this interaction, several other fraudsters will intervene purporting to be police officers in plain clothes and will sometimes present false identification as proof. The fake officers will then give a reason to examine the victims’ wallet, purse or personal items. They may also examine the first fraudster’s items or try to tell victims that the first fraudster is suspicious in order to gain victim trust and appear more realistic in their guise.
After all the fake police ‘checks’ are finished, victims have then reported being handed back their personal items only to later realise that a quantity of money or valuables were missing.
How to protect yourself:
- If an individual claims to be a police officer ask for their name and rank, force, and examine any identification presented; this is always good practice but especially important if they are not wearing a uniform.
- The Police will never ask for your passwords or PIN details. Do not give this information to anyone.
- The Police will never request that you withdraw/transfer any money to them or to a ‘safe’ account.
- If you have been affected by this, or any other fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk
Phones at the wheel enforcement week
As many will know, the penalties for using a mobile phone while driving went up on Wednesday 1 March in a heightened effort to deter drivers from this dangerous practice.
Sussex Police joins a nationwide enforcement campaign to crack down on phone use at the wheel, which started Wednesday 1 March and runs till Wednesday 7 March inclusive.
During the period officers will be out and about across the county to spot and impose the new penalties, £200 fine and 6 licence points, on anyone caught. For newer drivers whose licence may be less than two years old, this would mean the complete loss of their licence.
Sussex Safer Roads Partnership launched its campaign awareness messages with the social media hashtag - # It Can Wait. The wording is a reminder that driving requires full concentration and nothing is more important than arriving safely and without incident.
High profile media cases such as that of the lorry driver Tomasz Kroker in October ’16 demonstrate the horrors of distracted attention because of a phone. A woman and her three youngsters were all killed as his lorry ploughed into their stationary car while he scrolled through music on his phone.
The law may seem confusing on matters such as ‘hands-free’ and making emergency calls. The Gov UK site which outlines the law in full, can be accessed by clicking here.
If you spot other road users driving and using their phone, report them to Operation Crackdown here.
Please help to discourage the practice by sharing this message with your friends and family. And possibly, decline getting into a car with someone who uses their phone while driving – difficult thing to do maybe, but safety is at stake and a tough response from you might be enough to stop them from doing it.
If you are driving, put your phone away out of sight so you can't be distracted, and remember - it can wait!