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Crime: 14 March 2014 


Hi Jeff
I thought it be worth reminding your readers of Crime Alert that Windows XP will reach end of support on 8th April 2014 and alert them that malicious individuals, may inappropriately use this ‘end of service’, as the basis for hoax calls.
The ‘end of support’ basically means there will be no security, or technical updates, which could leave people’s PCs open to malware and other viruses. It is recommended that users upgrade their software as soon as possible.
There is more info here, on the type of scams.
Please can you urge people to speak to friends and family and advise them Microsoft does not send unsolicited email messages, or make unsolicited phone calls to request personal, or financial information nor fix your computer.  If you receive an unsolicited email message, or phone call that purports to be from Microsoft and requests that you send personal information, or click links, delete the message or hang up the phone.
Please note that:
Microsoft does not send unsolicited communications about security updates.
When we release information about a security software update, or a security incident, we send email messages only to subscribers of our security communications program.
Unfortunately, cybercriminals have exploited this program by sending fake security communications that appear to be from Microsoft.  Some messages lure recipients to websites to download spyware or other malicious software.  Others include a file attachment that contains a virus. Delete the message. Do not open the attachment.
Legitimate security communications from Microsoft
  • Legitimate communications do not include software updates as attachments. We never attach software updates to our security communications. Rather, we refer customers to our website for complete information about the software update or security incident.
  • Legitimate communications are also on our websites. If we provide any information about a security update, you can also find that information on our websites.

Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer
In this scam cybercriminals call you and claim to be from Microsoft Tech Support. They offer to help solve your computer problems. Once the crooks have gained your trust, they attempt to steal from you and damage your computer with malicious software including viruses and spyware.
Although law enforcement can trace phone numbers, perpetrators often use pay phones, disposable cellular phones, or stolen cellular phone numbers.  It's better to avoid being conned, rather than try to repair the damage afterwards.
Treat all unsolicited phone calls with skepticism. Do not provide any personal information.
If you receive an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft Tech Support, hang up. We do not make these kinds of calls.
If you think you might be a victim of fraud, you can report it. For more information, see: What to do if you think you have been a victim of a scam.
Sarah Guy  Windows Enterprise Product Marketing Manager
Many thanks Sarah.  If ever you have advice for us – please feel free to circulate it via the Alert system.
Dear Jeff
Many thanks for keeping this Website alive and flourishing, it's both depressing and reassuring at the same time.
Largely the latter, as 'Together We Can Crack It' !!
I'd just like to share something that's worked brilliantly for me over the past year or so and costs absolutely nothing.
We don't answer our home phone anymore !!!  So we don't get any unwanted calls from anyone about anything any more.  When the Phone rings we look at the 'call identifier' and if it's not someone from our contact list on display we don't answer it and let the call go to Answerphone.
Our outgoing message invites the caller to leave a message if they'd like to and we will return their call.  If it is someone who is genuine, who needs or would like to speak to us they would leave a message.
If it's not, then it's 99.9% likely they'll just hang up.  As they always do and then they move on to someone else.
So we haven't heard from scammers, hackers, bogus policemen, bogus computer engineers, banks, double glazing salesmen, charity agencies, survey companies, or any other kinds of pond life for many months and life's much the less stressful for it !!
Maybe other members might find this idea useful too.
Keep up the good work.
Kind regards.
I absolutely agree.  The chances are, that if a bogus PC / DI got an answer phone when they rang, they are hardly likely to, leave a message with a phone number ???
More information is emerging from the Courier Fraud this week and there have been 9 others across the Thames Valley - 3 on the same day as the case in Ascot.  In this case, the aggrieved went to the bank to withdraw her savings in person.  She was told the bank teller would not hand it over easily and would ask why she was withdrawing such a substantial sum.  The fake police officer explained that as there was possibly fraud at the bank, she was to say she wanted the money to buy a car !!!  Also, as the taxi companies used as couriers become more suspicious, the fraudsters are asking aggrieveds not to just put the cards / cash in an envelope / brown package, but to wrap it up, as if it was a present ! 
Re the ‘NICE’ scam message, I sent yesterday:
Hi Jeff,
This is apparently a new and unpleasant scam.
My wife works in a GP surgery and this morning they had a call from a patient, who had received an email purporting to be from NICE, to inform this patient that a recent blood test result indicated that they may have cancer and to click on the attachment for further info/instructions.
Fortunately the patient was “savvy”, as they had not had a recent blood test and so did not open the attachment, but phoned the surgery.
The surgery checked with NICE, who informed them that today they have received 3000 calls from patients and/or surgeries, about the same thing.
Obviously an unpleasant email to receive.
Who could believe that GP’s, would advise bad news in such a way…
Hi Jeff
I deal with these viruses all the time removing them in my day to day work. Can you let everyone know, they do not know about blood tests you may have had taken.
They work by numbers.  For every 10,000 emails they send with ' You have xyz', a certain percentage will have had xyz and these, are the target.
The most recent has been 'your Amazon order' and who doesn't use Amazon.
Don't open attachments, all bona fide emails put the relevant details like order number, pricing etc. in the body text.
MarkCavalry Computers
Hi Jeff

I have been having phones calls at odd hours, early morning and late evening from an odd number 0000 0000 00
seems strange so I phoned BT they said it was overseas and they advised me to buy a phone which blocks overseas numbers and nuisance calls, it was around £40 with built in answer phone so very handy.

Also getting loads of calls from so called Microsoft / Windows scammers.  First time I said, no, I don't have a computer.  Second time I said I myself work for Microsoft  Third time I told them this call was being monitored and tracked  By the fourth time, I had enough, this was all in one day.
I assumed a message to say, that all numbers to this number can now be traced to whence it came from and all perpetrators will be sued for harrassment, regardless of what country, by international law.
I am not sure if this has worked, but am having a quiet day so far lol

Hi Jeff.

I have just received a call from a foreign gentleman claiming to represent Microsoft.
He told me that the computer in my home, had sent a message Microsoft that we had issues.  He suggested that if I followed his instructions by logging into a suggested site and entering a pass word that he would give me over the phone, he could get the problem resolved promptly.

I told him that I had no internet connection presently and requested that if he sent me an e mail, I would respond accordingly, he insisted that I needed to do this at once or my machine may well be affected by the fault and I would lose all stored information.

I said OK, but before I proceed can I have your telephone number, e mail address & name, so I can call you back to ratify your claims, at which point the line went dead

I was uneasy with the initial contact out of the blue and my concerns appear to have been confirmed by him hanging up.

I had a call today from the Windows people offering to clean my computer of viruses.
I strung them along for 30 mins and recorded the whole call including them saying they were a legitimate authorised Microsoft company, but stopped when they wanted me to download software.
I can see how some people would be taken in my it. Is it worth sending the recording to anyone ? Will it help to get this stopped?

Thanks Liam – the people to send it to and report every case to are ACTION FRAUD:-
Your Neighbourhood Page on TVP's Website - Click Here
12/3 – 13/3  Wednesday 11 p.m. / Thursday 7 a.m.  Aldebury Road.  Car entered – POSSIBLY LEFT INSECURE – SAT NAV stolen from the glove box
Your Neighbourhood Page on TVP's Website - Click Here
14/3  Friday  1.30 a.m.  Coffee Shop, Lower Road, Cookham Rise.  Rear doors forced.  Interior searched – nothing stolen.
23/2 – 13/3  Ashley Hill Place, Cockpole Green.  Shed break – door hinges unscrewed and door removed.  Nothing taken.
13/3 – 14/3  Thursday 7.30 p.m. / Friday 11.30 a.m.  Star Lane, Knowl Hill.  Offenders have possibly forced a tractor over a substantial ditch almost rupturing a sewer pipe.  They have then filled the ditch with logs to allow other vehicles access to the land.
11/3 – 13/3  Tuesday 5.30 p.m. / Thursday 7.30 a.m.  Honey Lane.  Offenders have entered a field and have removed and stolen the door from an excavator.
Your Neighbourhood Page on TVP's Website - Click Here
13/3 Thursday 2 p.m.  High Town Road.  Lorry parked while making a delivery – mobile, wallet and contents stolen from the cab.
13/02  Thursday Audley Drive.  Mower stolen from communal garage.
12/3  Wednesday 7.20 p.m. / 9.30 p.m.  River Gardens, Bray.  Someone has set fire to boxes and a car tyre, causing blackening to a wall.  The fire was put out by the fire brigade
Hi Jeff

I had an interesting one the other day with someone knocking on the door offering free cavity wall insulation under a government grant.
He wanted to do a full survey of the house right then and there.  He flashed an ID card and some 'examples' of other surveys he had done that day.  
I used the key phrase - I do not buy goods and services at the door - and asked him to leave his brochure and I would contact them if I was interested.


Dear Jeff
Just to reinforce the warnings in your latest Neighbourhood Watch email, a couple of days ago I received the following from the Computer people at work. 
Computer virus warning.
Please be aware that there is a particularly nasty class of computer virus (more correctly: trojan) in active circulation in the UK at the moment.
These trojans, with names such as Cryptolocker and Cryptorbit, have been designed by criminals, to extort money from unwary computer users.
The trojans work by encrypting the user’s data and then offering the decryption key in exchange for money.  The affected operating system is Microsoft Windows, but the Apple OS X platform is also increasing being targeted by malware writers and sensible precautions, should be observed whatever system you use.
Keep Safe:
1. The most common transmission method is email, so please be extra vigilant before opening attachments.
2. Take care when downloading files from unknown websites.
3. Ensure your anti-virus software is up to date. 
4. Ensure you data is backed-up.
There is a good chance you will be able to recover your data from backups, or snapshots.
Do not pay the criminals.  They will often not decrypt your data, but instead ask for more money.
With best wishes
I am really grateful Jane – this is a serious issue for everyone and very easy money for thieves !
Hi Jeff
I found this message today in my junk mailbox.  Needless to say I don't have a NatWest Bank account and realised that it is a scam.  The first time I received a similar e-mail, I was very nearly taken in, so there may be someone out there who is a "first-timer" who will follow the instructions and lose a lot of money!
‘This e-mail has been sent by NatWest Bank security server to inform you that your credit card will be deactivated within the next 24 hours due to incomplete account information.
To prevent this from happening, click the link below to proceed with NatWest credit card verification process............’
Many thanks Sue – the email was worrying and many people would have clicked on the link !!!
Hi Jeff,
My dad rang through a scam last night.  He got a call from someone who called him by his name and said that they hoped he was happy with the service they had been providing in stopping nuisance calls on his land line.
They then asked him to confirm his credit card number, so that they could continue the service.  He said that he has never paid for the service and wasn’t going to give his credit card number.
They told him that he had signed up for this service in January.  He was passed onto a woman who “assured” him that it was necessary and that they had the first 4 digits of his Visa number and he needed to confirm the rest.
This went on for a while with him being passed to yet another person, but he refused to give his details which then resulted in them putting the phone down.
He said the number was with held – no surprises there!
Wonder if you need to let others know too.
Many thanks,
The TPS – Telephone Preference Service is FREE from BT.  Somewhere in the conversation they elicit the name of your bank.  Then later to try and convince you they are genuine, they quote the first 4 digits of the long number on your credit card.  How could they have known that if they are not genuine ???  because the first 4 digits, are a code number, allocated to each bank !  You have already given that information to them, which they use back to you !
Hi Jeff,
I have just arrived home from work and checked 1471 as I do every time I have been out.  There was a number that had rung my phone at 12-25pm. When I tried to phone it back it's a dead line !
Hi Jeff,
I receive your alert messages & would like to let you know how useful they are – what a great idea. I’ve used the information, to make adjustments at home & also shared items with our carers & clients and I think it’s terrific.
I thought you might like to know about a free workshop we’re holding on March 22nd in Sunninghill.
It’s intended for family carers, who are looking after someone with dementia & it would be great if you could include it in a bulletin.
I’ve attached the poster. (As have I).
Is Your Loved One Facing Alzheimer’s or another Type of Dementia ?
Please join us at Cordes Hall for a FREE workshop to help those caring for a loved one with dementia.
We will discuss how to:

  • Recognise the symptoms of dementia
  • Understand more about behaviours that can be caused by dementia
  • Encourage your loved one to share their stories and memories
  • Manage difficult behaviours
  • Encourage your loved one to take part in activities
Date  Saturday March 22nd 2014
Time  2.30pm – 4.30pm (2 hours)
Location  Cordes Hall, Kings Road, Sunninghill, SL5 9NE (corner of Kings Road and Sunninghill High Street)
Contact  Maggie on 01344 233147 for details
I hope you can use it -many thanks,
Hi Jeff,
just in case anyone else gets this ....
On Friday last I had phone call from the  "Ministry of Justice" in Central London.
They said I was being contacted about a loan I had taken out in 2004 and paid back in 2008.
I was addressed by first and last name.
I immediately smelt a rat, as wasn't living in UK at that time and didn’t take out a loan.
I had never heard of the Ministry of Justice, so put phone down.
It was an Indian sounding woman, definitely calling from a call centre, as could hear the other people on phones in the background behind her.
regards Mark
Many thanks Mark – we have been warned – even more reason to screen calls as Antony suggests above.

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