- Stay within auction guidelines.
- Be cautious if the seller initially requests payment via one method, but later claims that due to ‘issues with their account’ they will need to take the payment via an alternative method such as a bank transfer.
- Consider conducting research on other information provided by the seller, for example a mobile phone number or email address used by the seller could alert you to any negative information associated with the number/email address online.
- Request details of the courier company being used and consider researching it.
- Agree a suitable time to meet face to face to agree the purchase and to collect the pet. If the seller is reluctant to meet then it could be an indication that the pet does not exist.
- A genuine seller should be keen to ensure that the pet is going to a caring and loving new home. If the seller does not express any interest in you and the pet’s new home, be wary.
- If you think the purchase price is too good to be true then it probably is, especially if the pet is advertised as a pure-breed.
- Do not be afraid to request copies of the pet’s inoculation history, breed paperwork and certification prior to agreeing a sale. If the seller is reluctant or unable to provide this information it could be an indication that either the pet does not exist or the pet has been illegally bred e.g. it originates from a ‘puppy farm’. A ‘puppy farm’ is a commercial dog breeding enterprise where the sole aim is to maximise profit for the least investment. Commercial dog breeders must be registered with their local authority and undergo regular inspections to ensure that the puppies are bred responsibly and are in turn fit and healthy. Illegally farmed puppies will often be kept in inadequate conditions and are more likely to suffer from ailments and illnesses associated with irresponsible breeding.
- When thinking of buying a pet, consider buying them in person from rescue centres or from reputable breeders
If you have been affected by this, or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk
Method of Attack:
The group have sent emails demanding payment of 5 Bitcoins, to be paid by a certain time and date. The email states that this demand will increase by 5 Bitcoins for each day that it goes unpaid.
If their demand is not met, they have threatened to launch a Denial of Service attack against the businesses’ websites and networks, taking them offline until payment is made.
The demand states that once their actions have started, they cannot be undone.
What to do if you’ve received one of these demands:
- Report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or by using the online reporting tool
- Do not pay the demand
- Retain the original emails (with headers)
- Maintain a timeline of the attack, recording all times, type and content of the contact
If you are experiencing a DDoS right now you should:
- Report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 immediately.
- Call your Internet Service Provider (ISP) (or hosting provider if you do not host your own Web server), tell them you are under attack and ask for help.
- Keep a timeline of events and save server logs, web logs, email logs, any packet capture, network graphs, reports etc.
Get Safe Online top tips for protecting your business from a DDoS:
- Consider the likelihood and risks to your organisation of a DDoS attack, and put appropriate threat reduction/mitigation measures in place.
- If you consider that protection is necessary, speak to a DDoS prevention specialist.
- Whether you are at risk of a DDoS attack or not, you should have the hosting facilities in place to handle large, unexpected volumes of website hits.
Fraudsters are texting members of the public offering a tax rebate. The text message contains a link to a website and requests to provide personal information, such as bank account information, to claim the nonexistent rebate.
- Don’t click on web links contained in unsolicited texts or emails.
- Never provide your personal information to a third party from an unsolicited communication.
- Obtain the genuine number of the organisation being represented and verify the legitimacy of the communication.
- HMRC will never use texts or emails or tell you about a potential rebate or ask for personal information.
- If you have provided personal information and you are concerned that your identity may be compromised consider Cifas Protection Registration.
A new investment fraud trend is targeting members of the public who are seeking to sell their wine investment. Fraudsters agree to purchase the victim’s wine, but instead transfer the stock into their own account without paying the victim. The fraudulently obtained wine is then believed to be sold on to other, unsuspecting victims.
How does it work?
Fraudsters set up fake companies and websites as well as exploit the names of legitimate, established companies to facilitate this fraud. They cold-call the victims and offer to purchase their wine for significantly more than the actual market value.
Fraudulent documents, such as purchase agreements, are used to facilitate the fraud and are sent to the victims via post and email. Some fraudsters have gone as far as setting up fake escrow services in order to fool the potential sellers that the payments have been transferred.
The fraudsters send the victims instructions to transfer their wine into storage accounts held within legitimate bonded warehouses. The victims are informed that upon doing this they will be paid the agreed amount. The use of storage accounts held within legitimate bonded warehouses adds an air of legitimacy to the process but in actual fact these storage accounts are controlled by the fraudsters.
Once the wine is transferred into the new storage accounts the suspects break off all contact with the victims. The wine is then moved again, normally within days and often abroad, and, needless to say, the victim never receives the money from the agreed sale.
- Never respond to unsolicited phone calls – if in doubt, hang up
- Always check that the details of the organisation or company contacting you (such as website, address and phone number) are correct – the fraudsters may be masquerading as a legitimate organisation
- Never sign over your wine (or any other investment) to another party without first checking they are authentic
- Don’t be fooled by a professional looking website, as the cost of creating a professional website is easily affordable
- Escrow services are regulated by the FCA under the Payment Services Directive 2009. Only deal with a registered Authorised Payment Institution. You can check the FCA register online at www.fca.org.uk/register
- Consider seeking independent legal and/or financial advice before making a decision
- If you have been affected by this, or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk