KIS Bridging Loans
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March 2020

Coronavirus relief scam!

A new scam has been going around which involves scammers texting people and asking them to go onto the ‘government website’ and enter their personal and bank details in order to receive a Coronavirus relief payment from the government.

The text includes a link which takes you to a fake website, and then it asks you to input your postcode, personal details and then bank card details so you can receive this goodwill payment.

There are a couple of warning signs to look out for so you can avoid this scam. First, the fake website URL is ‘’, but the official government website ends in ‘’. If you are on any website that looks like the government website but doesn’t end in ‘’, it is a scam. They have also misspelt ‘relief’ and have put ‘relieve’ instead.

Also, the government has not officially announced a goodwill payment of this kind, so anyone claiming to do this is a scammer.

Never give personal or bank details to someone who has made unsolicited contact via text, phone call, email, or social media. 

March 2020

Watch out for these new Coronavirus scams!

£800,000 has been lost to Coronavirus related scams since February 2020, according to 21 reports made to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau. Ten of these reports involved victims attempting to purchase face masks online from fake sellers. One person lost more £15,000.

Scammers are also using Coronavirus as the subject of phishing attempts. One common tactic they’re using so far involves offering to release the names of people affected with the Coronavirus in their area in exchange for payments. The scammers claim to be a representative from the World Health Organisation (WHO) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to give themselves some authority.

How to protect yourself

  • When you’re shopping online, make sure to do your research first and check you’re using a reputable seller. Look up reviews of the seller or website and talk to friends and family to get their opinion or to see if anyone has used it before. If you do decide to go ahead, use a credit card if possible. Credit cards give you greater protection against fraudulent transactions.

  • Do not send money to anyone over the internet that you don’t know – especially if they’re asking for a bank transfer or for Bitcoin payment.

  • A little common sense goes a long way – how realistic is it that the WHO or CDC would release confidential information in exchange for payment?
February 2020

‘Netflix account on hold’ phishing email

All Netflix customers need to be aware of a phishing email that claims your Netflix account has been put ‘on hold’ in order to steal personal details and bank card information. They claim to be having some trouble with your billing information and request that you update your payment details.

You’ll then be urged to do this via a link embedded in the email. This link will take you to a website designed to look almost identical to the Netflix log-in page, but it’s actually a fake website being controlled by the fraudsters. When you enter your log-in details and then your payment information, this will be sent directly to the scammers. They will then use these details to try and access your other online accounts, buy items online or try to access your online banking.

Netflix state that they’ll never ask for your personal information over email. This includes your debit/credit card number, bank account details and your Netflix password.

If you receive an email of this nature, do not click on the link provided in the email, but instead go to the official Netflix website via your search engine if you have any concerns about your account.

February 2020

Beware of new smoking engine scam

If you’re planning to sell your vehicle privately, be careful of a new scam which involves scammers pouring coolant or oil over the engine to get a cheaper price.

This has been happening to people selling vehicles on websites such as Gumtree and Auto Trader. The scammers pose as genuine buyers, and will go to the seller’s address in pairs to look at the vehicle. One of them will distract the seller, often asking to go inside to look at the paperwork, while the other one stays outside and pours coolant or oil over the engine.

When they take the vehicle out for a test drive, the coolant or oil will make the engine smoke, making it look like there’s something wrong with it. They will claim that they still want to buy the vehicle, but only at a much lower price. If the seller agrees, they will buy it and then sell it on for a profit.

How to protect yourself

Never leave a potential buyer alone with your vehicle, bring the paperwork outside with you when the potential buyers arrive.

If you’re engine does start to smoke on the test drive, do not sell them the vehicle and insist that you’ll get it checked at a garage first. They will be able to confirm if there’s anything wrong. If you find that this scam has taken place, be sure to report it to the police.

January 2020

Using Windows 7 Could Now Leave you Vulnerable to Fraud

Windows 7 has now entered its ‘End of Life’ phase which means that Windows will no longer be fixing security issues or offering updates for the operating system. If your PC is still running on Windows 7, now would be a very good time to consider upgrading it to Windows 10 if you don’t want to leave yourself at a higher risk to fraud.

With no more security updates being offered, any bugs or vulnerabilities in the system will no longer be fixed. If you choose to stick to Windows 7, your PC will still run as normal and it won’t become an immediate security threat, but the system will eventually become far more susceptible to viruses and hacking; therefore data breaches.

Another problem is that you could also be affected even if you updated your system from Windows 7 years ago. Any companies that hold your data and are still using Windows 7 could be putting you at risk if they don’t choose to update.

November 2019

Amazon Prime Phone Scam

Since the start of September, Action Fraud UK have received over 200 reports from victims claiming to have received a call from a fraudster saying that someone has used their personal details to set up an Amazon Prime account.

The call is automated at first and the message instructs the victim to press 1 in order for them to stop the account from being set up and them being charged. When they do this, they are then directly connected to the real scammer who pretends to be a customer services agent from Amazon.

The fraudster tells the victim that a fraudulent account has been set up using their details and in order to fix the problem and prevent this from happening again, they need remote-access to their computer. They will ask them to download an app called Team Viewer, which allows the fraudster to see the screen of the victim’s computer from their own computer screen, wherever they are.

They ask the victim to log-in to their online banking account so they can see where the problem occurred, but in actual fact, this just allows the criminal to see all of the victim’s personal and bank details, as well as the log in details.

October 2019

EE Mobile Scam Text Messages

EE Text Scam

Fraudulent text messages that appear to have come from the mobile network, EE, have been spotted recently.

The messages have been coming from a UK-based mobile number and claim that EE were unable to process the customer’s latest bill. In order to update billing information and to avoid being charged fees, the customer is urged to follow a link.

The link is likely to take you to a fraudulent website which has been designed to capture any personal or banking data you enter.

I spoke with a customer service agent at EE and they said that if they weren’t able to process a customer’s bill, they do send a text message to make the customer aware, but this text will never contain any links and they won’t ask you to update any billing or bank information via this method.

EE say that if you receive one of these messages, you should forward it to 7726 to report it. Do not click on any links within the message and delete it straight afterwards.

October 2019

A Reminder on the Importance of Two Factor Authentication

Using a strong, unique password for every one of your online accounts is a well-established rule of how to keep you and your data safe online. However, having strong passwords doesn’t keep you safe from data breaches or when you have entered the password into a fake website which you thought was genuine.

Action Fraud has reiterated the importance of enabling two factor authentication (sometimes written as 2FA). 2FA is a way of strengthening the log-in process to get into your online accounts – so if it’s something that matters, you should be enabling this.

When you log into an account which has 2FA, you will get an alert sent to your phone which will include a one-time passcode (OTP) which you will need to enter to authorise the log-in.

So, if your password is stolen by a criminal, they won’t be able to log-in without having your phone too. And if your phone is stolen, they still don’t have your password.

You should enable 2FA on your email account especially, and any other accounts which hold any kind of personal or financial details.

August 2019

Action Fraud’s Call Centre under Investigation

The US-based company, Concentrix, that runs the call centre for Action Fraud (the UK’s national fraud reporting centre) is currently under investigation for the way they treat scam victims who call their helpline. More than half a million people call Action Fraud every year to report scams which have happened.

Despite the US firm’s reputation for aggressive practices, City of London Police hired them to run Action Fraud’s helpline in 2015. Concentrix was also recruited by HM Revenue and Customs in 2014 but they later cancelled the contract in 2016 due to the number of complaints they received about their customer service.

Concentrix staff have been accused of mocking scam victims, misleading them and making them believe they are talking to a police officer, and having a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ approach to claimants.

The job of the call handlers is to assess whether to file cases as ‘information reports’ or ‘crime reports’, the former being unlikely to be investigated at all. Cases are only classed as ‘crime reports’ if the victim has had money stolen and their bank refuses to compensate them. In 2018, Action Fraud filed 270,000 crime reports and only 10,000 of these led to the criminals being caught.

In the wake of these allegations, four of Concentrix’s employees have been suspended and a spokesperson for City of London Police has said that they are now reviewing their contract with the US firm.

May 2019

APP Scam Victims Now Protected Under New Voluntary Code

Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams cost victims £354.3m last year but only £83m was refunded to customers, according to UK Finance. APP scams occur when a fraudster tricks you into authorising a payment into their account by convincing you they are someone else – usually a company you’ve done business with, a friend or even a solicitor.

Unlike other types of financial fraud, victims of these scams have not been entitled to any form of reimbursement due to the loss not being a fault of the bank once you have authorised the payment– unless there has been a clear fault in the way the bank has handled the transaction. But now, as of 28th May 2019,  a new voluntary code has been put into place which eight major banks have committed to implementing immediately – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Metro Bank, Nationwide, RBS, Santander and Starling Bank. Under this code, innocent victims of APP scams should be reimbursed by their bank provided they have not been negligent in any way.

The reimbursement money will come from a  ‘central pot’ which has been created by these financial providers to then be withdrawn from to refund victims where neither the bank or the customer are to blame. A long-term funding solution should be agreed by the beginning of 2020.

A decision as to whether a victim should be refunded will take up to three weeks, or up to seven if it is a complicated case. If a case is disputed and ends up going to the Financial Ombudsman Service, the process could take a lot longer.




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