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Scams and fraud

Clever scam I fell for, but no harm done.

(34 Posts)
M0nica Sun 14-Aug-22 08:10:05

We are away on holiday with family at the moment and as a result, of them arriving chez UK, day travelling to France, arrival day shake down etc, I hadn't looked at my email for about three days.

When I downloaded my email, there were 40 or 50 so I was deleting/quick replying at speed.

There was an email from a colleague in an organisation I am involved with. The email content started 'M0nica' and ended 'Andrew'. So read as a personal email. The text was brief and not quite his style, about being in a meeting and needing some info, I just sent a quick reply saying 'Away until next Thursday' and thought no more of it.

A day later, when I checked my email again, there was a mail returned message saying that this email address could not be found. I then went back and looked at the email again and realised that the bracketed email address was not my friend's but some unknown address. but, thankfully, because of my gap in checking my emails, it was 2 days old when I replied. Whoever was doing the scam, kept each return email box active for only a short time to stop being traced and by the time I replied, it had been shut down. A very lucky escape. Presumably if I had checked earlier I would have ended importing a virus.

I would normally have looked at this email a bit more carefully because the content was a bit odd, but it had both mine and my friend's name in the text and I was in a rush and had lots of emails to deal with, including some which did need a thought through reply, and it just got a quick answer and a click on 'send'

So be careful if you get odd emails from friends and yours and their names are in the text. This is no guarantee that they are ganuine, so check.

icanhandthemback Wed 17-Aug-22 11:14:54

Thirdinline

@Icanhandthemback I came on here to say about one very similar to this. Thankfully I don’t have internet banking so couldn’t transfer the money the scammer wanted.

I bet you heaved a sigh of relief when you realised. I know I did. What I couldn't believe, as I am so vigilant, is that I could have been so taken in. It only takes a second to draw you in if the circumstances are right.

ourjude, I'm off to FB to join that page/group!

Thirdinline Wed 17-Aug-22 08:04:18

@Icanhandthemback I came on here to say about one very similar to this. Thankfully I don’t have internet banking so couldn’t transfer the money the scammer wanted.

ourjude Tue 16-Aug-22 19:48:45

I signed up to Which? Scam Alert - there's one that comes in my emails and I've joined their FB group too. Handy for alerting you to the newest scams doing the rounds - or, in the case of the FB group, alerting others to the scam if you're contacted by one. Great thing is, you don't have to be a Which? subscriber/member to get the emails or join the FB group

This is obviously as well as reporting them to whichever agency is pertinent

icanhandthemback Tue 16-Aug-22 15:32:58

jocork

icanhandthemback

A couple of weeks ago I got a message from my son on Messenger saying he had broken his phone and hadn't set up WhatsApp on his old phone so could I message him through Messenger. No problem as he talked about his son. A couple of days later I got a message on WhatsApp saying he was back up on WhatsApp so we could return to messaging there so that was no problem either.
About a week later I got a message on WhatsApp saying, "Mum, my phone was playing up so I got a new one, please can you use this number."
I just happened to be sitting in the local car dealership so I remarked to my husband that you'd think as we have 4 sons, X would have told me which one it was when he had a new number. Fortunately, before I answered the message, the car salesman said, "Don't answer, that's a scam." Sure enough when I checked it wasn't my son at all.
But for the Car Salesman, I would have been caught!

Sadly a common scam. I've had similar texts more than once but I know if it was my DD she would phone me and tell me the whole sorry story, not just send a text! Now I know about it I'd be wary even if I thought it was my DS. I'd ring his old number to check!

Me too normally but because he'd had the troubles earlier, it nearly caught me!

jocork Tue 16-Aug-22 15:28:22

Happygirl79

I always think its so sad that some people who are certainly intelligent use their knowledge for scamming people rather than in a legitimate organisation where they could be paid a wage

So true! Scams are becoming so much more common and I suspect as the cost of living crisis deepens more people may try their hand. We must all remain vigilant!

jocork Tue 16-Aug-22 15:24:10

I nearly got caught out by a call from someone claiming to be an inspector at the local police station saying they had arrested someone carrying cards in my name. After checking I had all my cards in my possession he told me to phone my bank to check if my accounts were secure. I phoned them using my mobile as calls are included in my contract. The scam call had been on my landline and immediately I got another call asking why I hadn't rung my bank yet. Clearly the scammer was still on the line. If that happens to you either phone your bank on a different line or if that isn't possible, call a friend or relative to make sure you have an outside line before calling your bank. If the scammers are keeping the call open you'll know it isn't your friend or relative! If it hadn't been for the fact that landline calls cost me I might have been caught by that one! They were very convincing. I reported to action fraud after checking with my banks that all my accounts were ok.

Milest0ne Tue 16-Aug-22 15:14:41

I get several emails a day and I try to block them but only the name is the same in each one but in combination with other numbers and letters. Every one goes to [email protected] .gov.uk and is added to my spam sender list. I assume it auto generated as it has been going on for several months. A real person would surely have got as bored as me by now.confused

jocork Tue 16-Aug-22 15:11:24

icanhandthemback

A couple of weeks ago I got a message from my son on Messenger saying he had broken his phone and hadn't set up WhatsApp on his old phone so could I message him through Messenger. No problem as he talked about his son. A couple of days later I got a message on WhatsApp saying he was back up on WhatsApp so we could return to messaging there so that was no problem either.
About a week later I got a message on WhatsApp saying, "Mum, my phone was playing up so I got a new one, please can you use this number."
I just happened to be sitting in the local car dealership so I remarked to my husband that you'd think as we have 4 sons, X would have told me which one it was when he had a new number. Fortunately, before I answered the message, the car salesman said, "Don't answer, that's a scam." Sure enough when I checked it wasn't my son at all.
But for the Car Salesman, I would have been caught!

Sadly a common scam. I've had similar texts more than once but I know if it was my DD she would phone me and tell me the whole sorry story, not just send a text! Now I know about it I'd be wary even if I thought it was my DS. I'd ring his old number to check!

kevincharley Tue 16-Aug-22 14:54:39

A former colleague cost the company we worked for around £40k due to not checking emails properly.
I'm so suspicious I don't believe the genuine ones!

Tuskanini Tue 16-Aug-22 14:34:57

Be vigilant, but try not to be paranoid! Simply replying to a fake email isn't going to give you a 'virus'. What it MIGHT do is tell someone spamming random addresses that they've found a 'live one' who could be worth pursuing.

The threat from email scams is mainly social rather than technical. It's the plausible story that persuades you to send money or reveal your passwords.

welbeck Tue 16-Aug-22 14:10:07

the next step would be to ask you to purchase some gift tokens for him, as he had told his boss he had already done it, and they were needed urgent tonight for presentation at the PR event/fundraising dinner.

rowyn Tue 16-Aug-22 13:45:33

I almost never get dodgy email messages and am feeling left out!!
Either they've sussed out that my income is limited, or are deterred by my habit of being very wary regarding giving my personal details , or my (mostly) free antivirusware is doing an excellent job!

123kitty Tue 16-Aug-22 13:35:17

Report Scam emails to: [email protected] and Forward scam texts to: 7726 (it's free)

Annaram1 Tue 16-Aug-22 12:17:47

A friend of a friend has fallen for a romance scam. He is 60 and tried on line dating. He has never been in a relationship. Someone contacted him and in no time he began sending this "French woman" money in dribs and drabs of £5- £10000. Always a sad story. To date he has sent £80000. He will not listen to reason and is convinced this woman is in love with him and one day they will get married. Even sold his house to fund his obsession. The bank blocked his account so he moved to another bank.
All his friends have tried reasoning with him but he just wont listen. So this story is not a no harm done one.

nipsmum Tue 16-Aug-22 12:13:25

Not only spam emails , please be aware of phone calls too. I have had several recently about money being withdrawn from my bank account. I just put the phone down on them.

icanhandthemback Tue 16-Aug-22 11:48:16

A couple of weeks ago I got a message from my son on Messenger saying he had broken his phone and hadn't set up WhatsApp on his old phone so could I message him through Messenger. No problem as he talked about his son. A couple of days later I got a message on WhatsApp saying he was back up on WhatsApp so we could return to messaging there so that was no problem either.
About a week later I got a message on WhatsApp saying, "Mum, my phone was playing up so I got a new one, please can you use this number."
I just happened to be sitting in the local car dealership so I remarked to my husband that you'd think as we have 4 sons, X would have told me which one it was when he had a new number. Fortunately, before I answered the message, the car salesman said, "Don't answer, that's a scam." Sure enough when I checked it wasn't my son at all.
But for the Car Salesman, I would have been caught!

Grantanow Tue 16-Aug-22 11:26:48

I always forward scam emails to [email protected] which is where GCHQ attempt to track them down and neutralise them.

M0nica Sun 14-Aug-22 15:12:08

I weas nearly caught because it is the first time I have had my name and the purported senders first names in the text, plus I was in a hurry, zipping through a backlog of emails and trying to deal with them in a hurry.

Under normal circumstances where I would be reading each email more slowly and would have looked at the text, thought it was slightly odd and done some checks, I probabaly wouldn't have been caught, but this is the problem , we all have times and circumstances whenwe are less alert than usual = and this is what happened in this case.

Whether the harm would have happene if I had opened the email, i do not know. I nearly always deal with email directly from the preview panel. I only open an email up if it is a long and complex one. I even open attachments from the preview panel.

Blossoming Sun 14-Aug-22 12:55:54

Easily done Lathyrus grin

I was a software developer for many years, retired a couple of years ago, Old habits die hard!

Lathyrus Sun 14-Aug-22 12:49:32

I’ve got “protection” Oh installed it. I’ll have to ask him about preview panels.

I ought to pay more attention, I know. But yesterday he was trying to explain how to install an app that would enable me to order books from the Library and I felt my attention slither off to whether I should wax my new hairstyle or not……….

Blossoming Sun 14-Aug-22 12:19:22

Lathyrus good question. It is possible to create a program that will auto run after a particular command (such as opening a message) is executed. However, most of our devices will have guards in place to prevent this. Like MOnica I don’t open suspect mails, I read them in the preview pane. Any emails with my name in the subject line or the text automatically go into a separate folder so that I can check them out. That also helps to weed out annoying marketing mails.

Lathyrus Sun 14-Aug-22 12:14:29

Oh I don’t have a preview panel. Just the name and a couple of first words and then dots.

I know not to click on links and am very wary, but I think that would get past me because a number of emails are just names and info from the projects Im on.

Auntieflo Sun 14-Aug-22 12:07:06

Just as I was about to go to sleep ladt night, my phone alerted me to a text message.
It said that my Apple Pay Wallet was temporarily being suspended?
I do not and never have had such a thing. So I deleted the message.
If I had clicked on the link I suppose it could have been another Spam going around?

M0nica Sun 14-Aug-22 11:24:42

Lathyrus The answer is I am not sure. I didn't click and open the email, just read it in the preview panel and then pressed reply

But I was caught because the email seemed to come from a very regular contact and had his and my names In the text. Normally, it is just the email address that is misleading.

Anyway, my computer is still working normally with no problems, so, as someone says, by happy incident I escaped.

It is possible, had I been less rushed I would have looked at it further because the text was not quite my friends style, but the content, by chance was not unlikely.

Happygirl79 Sun 14-Aug-22 11:18:30

I always think its so sad that some people who are certainly intelligent use their knowledge for scamming people rather than in a legitimate organisation where they could be paid a wage