TIM DREW: How to steer clear of the latest fraud scams

A COUPLE of scams are currently circulating, the first of which involves a familiar form of telephone fraud.

The fraudster informs the target that he is calling from Hammersmith police station and that someone has been arrested in possession of a copy of the target’s debit card.

The fraudster then asks for the security details on the back of the card, and also information such as the target’s mother’s maiden name and how much money is held at the bank.

In addition, the target will be told that his bank is issuing forged notes and is asked for the money to be withdrawn in order to see whether it is forged or not.

The fraudster describes this as a ‘highly secret operation’ and not to be divulged.

What you certainly must not divulge are your bank details. Neither your bank nor the police would ever ask for them.

Additionally, you may receive a scam email purporting to be from Royal Mail. The subject header is ‘Mail – Lost/Missing Package’ and reads: “Royal Mail have detained your package for some reason (for example, lack of a proper invoice, bill of sale, or other documentation, a possible trademark violation or if the package requires formal entry).

“The RM International Mail Branch holding it will notify you of the reason for detention (in writing) and how you can get it released.”

The email then asks the recipient to open up an attachment to complete a document. It is believed that the attachment contains a zip file with malware.

Royal Mail advises customers NOT to open the attachment if they receive this email and to report the scam to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or via the web reporting template at www.actionfraud.police.uk

This is my last column for this year, but I’ll be back on January 9.

Meanwhile, a very safe and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.