Added: Monday 17 December 2012
Please note that this is archived material and may not necessarily reflect the current position of Northamptonshire Police
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has highlighted the most common fraudulent activities this Christmas.
We are listing each of these activities in the lead-up to Christmas, along with a few simple steps you can take to ensure you don’t fall victim to the activities of fraudsters.
Today: Cash Point Fraud and Voucher Fraud.
Cash Point Fraud:
The use of card traps, skimming and PIN devices are common methods that fraudsters will use to steal your financial details and commit fraud.
Card traps ‐ These are devices that are placed on the ATM slot and will “trap” your card inside.
Skimming devices ‐ These capture your card details when you place your bank card into the ATM slot.
PIN devices ‐ These devices are placed on top on the original keypad and are designed to capture you PIN.
Pinhole cameras ‐ These are placed in a position on the ATM, which will enable the fraudsters to record your PIN number as you type it onto the keypad.
Shoulder surfing – Suspects may stand behind you and record you typing your PIN into the ATM.
How you can protect yourself:
If available consider using cash point machines inside banks, rather than on the street.
Always be mindful of who is around you.
Always inspect the cash point before you inserting your card.
If you suspect anything contact Police and the bank immediately.
Do not attempt to remove the device.
Report any suspicious activity to your issuer immediately.
An increasingly popular method of paying for goods and services is that of pre‐paid cash vouchers or electronic money designed to allow consumers to make purchases online without using a debit or credit card. Each voucher will have a unique serial number or code that can be used to purchase items at authorised online retailer.
Criminals will attempt to fraudulently obtain these voucher codes. An example of a common method would be:
Fraudsters will infect your computer with a type of virus known as “Ransomware” which will lock your computer and then pretend to represent a trustworthy organisation, such as the Police, claiming you have committed an offence. A message will ask for payment to release, with only one option of using a voucher, via an online link.
How you can protect yourself:
Only use voucher codes with authorised partners that are officially recognised by the issuer.
Never email, or give out a voucher code over the telephone, unless you are sure of the recipient.
Treat your vouchers as if they were cash.
Never purchase vouchers from third parties or unauthorised distributors.
If you are in any doubt about the use of the vouchers, check with the issuer.
There is a risk that your identity details could be compromised. Fraudsters could steal your identity and use it to access your personal finances or obtain goods or finance from alternative sources.
Coming next: 'Card Not Present' fraud and Mobile Payments fraud.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau is committed to preventing, detecting and disrupting fraudulent activities throughout the UK.
If you have been a victim of fraud, now, or in the past, it is important you report this matter.
You can do this by visiting the UK National Fraud and Internet Reporting centre: Action Fraud – www.actionfraud.police.uk or 0300 123 2040.