Take Five to Stop Fraud

Take Five to Stop Fraud

Today’s topic is genuine vs FAKE news.

There has been a lot of ‘noise’ in the press and on social media about scams and advice being offered from all sources, some of which appear to be dubious.

Reliable sources of information are: National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Action Fraud and your regional or force Protect teams.

Genuine or fake news? Speculation or legitimate advice?

Popular video chat and gaming app Houseparty has reportedly had an astronomical uptake in the weeks since coronavirus became a worldwide threat. In just six days it jumped from number 1,143 on Apple’s App Store in New Zealand to first place. (NewsHub).

Some users began to point out that when they delete the app they have to input their password to complete deactivation (unconfirmed). Since this became a hot topic of conversation, a number of (unsubstantiated) reports began surfacing from users that their accounts on other social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Spotify and Netflix) were experiencing suspicious logins from unrecognised IP addresses or devices.

In response, the creators of Houseparty have offered $1m reward to unmask those behind the smear campaign. (ZdNet.com).

Want to share the above? STOP and THINK. Is this a real security issue, or is it just fake news?

An increasing number of mobile threats – in the form of apps – have appeared and are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic.

These include the dangerous Cerberus and Anubis Android banking Trojans. These apps infect devices and steal financial information.

Latest reports from Action Fraud highlight some of the current fraud reports and we can expect to see more of these types of scams over the coming weeks:

– Fraudsters impersonating banks to discuss the government COVID-19 Business Interruption Loans

– Veterinary surgery bought a fake respirator

– Fraudsters are targeting users working from home to invest in bitcoin.

– Sites promoting fake coronavirus information apps.

– Online shopping scams featuring protective face masks, hand sanitiser etc. which never arrived.

– Selling fake COVID-19 testing or treatment kits.

– Parents in receipt of free school meals targeted by fraudsters with the message: ‘If your child is entitled to free school meals send your bank details to the school and they will help with funding while the school is closed.’

For more advice on how to stop fraud visit the #Take5 site recommended by Action Fraud: www.takefive-stopfraud.org.uk


Reporting is CRUCIAL. If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud report this to Action Fraud either online at or by calling 0300 123 2040.

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