Scam Email Advice

Monday, May 09, 2011

Note the following advice details circulated from Action Fraud (from the www.directgov.gov.uk) which may be of use given the numbers of recent email scams.


Help disrupt fraudsters by reporting scam emails

Action Fraud has set up a dedicated email address where you can forward any scam emails that you receive. [25 February 2011]

People receiving scam emails are urged to forward them on to email@actionfraud.org.uk.

Important: When you send an email you are doing so over the open internet, which we cannot guarantee the security of. Therefore please do not send personal information, such as your address or bank account details, when emailing Action Fraud.

Please note: Once you have forwarded your scam mail, you do not need to contact Action Fraud again and you will not hear from them.

Got an email bounce back? Action Fraud have still received the scam emails you forward to them even if you get a bounce back message. The bounce back message just means the email has gone into a holding area for spam, which is then released and received by Action Fraud as usual. You therefore do not need to contact Action Fraud again once you have forwarded your scam emails.

The emails received by Action Fraud will be forwarded to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau run by the City of London Police for collation and analysis. This will enable crucial intelligence to be gathered and preventative action to be taken. The activity will seek to disrupt the fraudsters and close down the links between them and the victim.

Dr Bernard Herdan, CEO of the National Fraud Authority who runs Action Fraud, said: ‘This is the first time we have been able to collect and analyse scam mail and emails in this way. Collecting intelligence is the key to us being able to disrupt the activities of fraudsters and target their networks for closure.’

What should you do if you’ve received a scam email?

Do not click on any links in the scam email.

Do not reply to the email or contact the senders in any way.

If you have clicked on a link in the email, do not supply any information on the website that may open.

Do not open any attachments that arrive with the email.

Visit the Action Fraud website where there is information on how to forward on your scam mail. When you send an email you are doing so over the open internet, which we cannot guarantee the security of. Therefore please do not send personal information, such as your address or bank account details, when emailing Action Fraud.

If you think you may have compromised the safety of your bank details and/or have lost money due to fraudulent misuse of your cards, you should immediately contact your bank.

If you've been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud.

Fake emails often (but not always) display some of the following characteristics:

the sender’s email address doesn’t tally with the trusted organisation’s website address

the email is sent from a completely different address or a free web mail address

the email does not use your proper name, but uses a non-specific greeting like “dear customer”

a sense of urgency; for example the threat that unless you act immediately your account may be closed

a prominent website link. These can be forged or seem very similar to the proper address, but even a single character’s difference means a different website

a request for personal information such as user name, password or bank details

the email contains spelling and grammatical errors

you weren't expecting to get an email from the company that appears to have sent it

the entire text of the email is contained within an image rather than the usual text format

the image contains an embedded hyperlink to a bogus site

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