Feeds

Action day targets callous conmen

Gunning for the grifters

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

International organisations have teamed up to run a day of action against fraud on Tuesday 1 June.

Brits lose an estimated £3.5bn a year to mass mailing frauds, according to the organisers. Organisations from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands are involved.

Mass market scams take many forms including fake offers of romance, advance fee fraud (bogus inheritances and fake lottery wins) and pump-and-dump share price fraud.

Law enforcement agencies in the UK tasked with fighting fraud - the Serious Organised Crime Agency, the National Fraud Authority, the Office of Fair Trading, the Metropolitan Police, the City of London Police, the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Services Authority - have joined together to encourage victims to report crime.

"Fraud is a terrible crime yet often people feel embarrassed when they become a victim and so stay silent," explained Bernard Herdan, chief exec of the National Fraud Authority. "We want every victim of fraud to report it to www.actionfraud.org.uk, to stand up to fraudsters and help us all work together to make the UK a more hostile environment for fraudsters."

Cybercrime awareness events such as Safer Internet Day litter the calendar. The focus of Tuesday's action is more on postal scams that cynically target the old and vulnerable.

Actions include blocking postal email before it reaches recipients and enforcement action against known crooks, along with the crucial element of raising awareness.

A UK government release on the action day give a list of tell-tale signs of possible scams, most of which are a matter of common sense. Tips include warnings not to provide money upfront for supposed prizes, to avoid giving information to strangers and to be wary of share schemes that promise guaranteed high yields.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Downing from the Met's economic and specialist crime command explained that the initiative is to raise awareness among those who are preyed on by persistent criminals. "Relatives of the elderly and vulnerable need to be aware of the dangers of mass marketing fraud - the effect this type of scam mail has on victims is hugely underestimated," he explained.

"We have seen some people sending significant sums of money, sometimes their life savings to criminals in the post or via money transfer."

Scams and frauds are often used to fund other crimes such as drug dealing and people trafficking, added SOCA fraud expert Colin Woodcock.

UK victims who have lost money to scams are encouraged to report them by contacting Action Fraud, either online at www.actionfraud.org.uk or freephone 0300 123 2040. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.