The UK’s Biggest Anti-fraud Operation: 70,000 Victims To Receive Text Messages

The UK’s Biggest Anti-fraud Operation: 70,000 Victims To Receive Text Messages The UK’s biggest ever anti-fraud operation has begun to contact the 70,000 victims of telephone scams in their country today. Fraudsters had created fake adverts and websites to trap victims into handing over personal information and money in order to fund Ponzi schemes and other types of scams. However, the authorities later located them and filed criminal charges against them.

What is the UK’s biggest anti-fraud operation?

Police are planning to sms up to 70,000 sufferers of telephone fraud with a text outlining what occurred and where they can obtain assistance as part of the largest anti-fraud campaign in UK history. The initiative is part of a two-year project investigating hundreds of thousands of cases. In which people have been duped into transferring money by somebody masquerading as their bank or another organization.

Why are police sending text messages to 70,000 people?

Police are sending text messages to approximately 70,000 people in the UK as part of an anti-fraud operation. By fraudsters and advise them to take steps to protect themselves against fraud. People who do not want to receive these messages can opt-out through the National Fraud Reporting Centre website or by calling 0300 123 2040.

What should you do if you receive a text message from the police?

If you receive a text message from the police it is important to not reply or click any links. The text message may be a scam and if you click on the link, or reply to the text then your device may become infected with malware.

It is believed that most people would know they are being targeted by scammers if they had received a text message, however people who only use their phones for calls or as an alarm clock will often ignore messages.

Conclusion

This is an exciting time to be alive as we see technology change the way we live and work. The police have found a way to combat fraud in an innovative and technologically savvy way and it is comforting to know those law enforcement agencies finally catching up with criminals. We hope this will deter criminals from committing these crimes in the first place or at the very least give victims some peace of mind knowing they can contact authorities for help if necessary. It seems like every day there is a new story about how cybercriminals are taking advantage of unsuspecting people through various means. Let us never forget that the criminal justice system is only as good as our collective vigilance in reporting and prosecuting these perpetrators; let us remember always to report any crime we might witness!

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Matt Aldridge
Matt Aldridge , Principal Solutions Architect
InfoSec Expert
November 24, 2022 4:17 pm

Organised cybercrime is constantly adapting to shifts in the news agenda and it’s no surprise that criminals are looking to impersonate banks amid the cost-of-living crisis. What individuals need to be aware of in situations similar to these is understanding what might be a scam call and to react in the appropriate way. By staying alert and not providing personal details, whether financial or password related, it is the best way to stay protected. It’s important to stay vigilant for anything that is out of the ordinary compared to usual calls with your bank or any other provider that you communicate with via the phone.
 
As part of the scam, users were asked to authenticate via a “one-time code” or password for their account – a standard multi-factor authentication (MFA) process – which was then intercepted by the cybercriminals. These types of tactics are being used more and more frequently by attackers, and with MFA no longer appearing to be the foundation of security it once was, individuals need to scrutinise requests more than ever before. Whenever you are presented with the pressure of time or indicating that they may lose access to something of value, you should always pause and check via an independent means whether the insinuation could be correct or if it is simply trying to trick you.
 
It is also essential that organisations ensure they have security awareness training in place for all employees, and that fraud simulations emulate emerging scams. Businesses must use up-to-the-minute scam templates that are more realistic and effective as a training tool than outdated versions being used across many organisations. Only by doing so will they be able to ensure employees don’t fall foul to attacks both at work, but also whilst using the internet in a domestic environment as the information provided could well be used at a later date to breach the company network.

Last edited 10 days ago by Matt Aldridge
Dan DeMichele
Dan DeMichele , VP, Product Management for LastPass
InfoSec Expert
November 24, 2022 4:15 pm

The latest wave of cyberattacks is a powerful reminder of their increasing sophistication. But there has been a significant target shift – Cybercriminals aren’t just coming for governments, large scale enterprises and critical infrastructure, individuals and SMBs are on their radar too. The message is clear – everyone at every level needs to be prepared.
 
The good news is that when it comes to cybersecurity, there are proactive things you can do to protect yourself. 
 
When you receive an alert that there may have been a breach, there are three steps to take. Firstly, you should always change your account password. Leaked passwords are usually sold on the dark web or added to databases that hackers use to crack passwords. Changing a breached password ensures hackers can’t log in to your account. If you were using the same password for other web accounts, those need to be changed immediately too.
 
Secondly, consider using a password manager which can help create and store strong passwords, then enter your credentials when you return to a website to log in. Some can also help you keep an eye out for suspicious activity involving your personal information on the Dark Web so you can take action accordingly.
 
Thirdly, use two-factor authentication to make your accounts more secure. This is when you use an app to generate a code or get a notification on your device and helps to prove the person logging into the account is who they say they are. Any unauthorised access therefore gets shut down in real-time.

Last edited 10 days ago by Dan DeMichele
Jamie Akhtar
Jamie Akhtar , CEO and Co-founder
InfoSec Expert
November 24, 2022 4:13 pm

This story demonstrates, once again, the increasing and worrying trend of fraud on an industrial scale. Now more than ever, consumers must treat every text, email, phone call, or any other form of digital communication with suspicion – including the police text that many are due to receive. While informing victims is always a good idea, it’s important to remember that the bad guys have a tendency to manipulate even the best of intentions for their own nefarious ends. Again, treat everything with suspicion – if you do receive a phone call claiming to be from your bank, don’t supply them with any information until you’re certain they are who they say they are. Hang up the phone and call your bank directly to confirm that what you have been told is correct. Additionally, never click a link from a text message or email – go direct to the website if you need to. 

Last edited 10 days ago by Jamie Akhtar
Jake Moore
Jake Moore , Cybersecurity Specialist
InfoSec Expert
November 24, 2022 4:12 pm

It’s extremely difficult to catch cybercriminals, especially those in huge operational groups conducting fraud en masse across the country. These arrests will be a massive blow to fraudsters and although it won’t eradicate the problem, it will disrupt criminal networks and it will save people millions of pounds in fraudulent activity. It shows the successes of law enforcement agencies working together in collaboration and how this remains the best way in catching the scammers. Using tactics such as placing malware on criminal servers is the perfect way to monitor their activity and gain the all important evidence required.
 
Locating enough evidence is the most difficult aspect in any cybercrime investigation but this might just be the turning point in showcasing how the police can fight fire with fire.
 
Knowing the text message is legitimate will be tricky but the call to action is to head over to the Action Fraud website. To err on the side of caution, anyone receiving this text should visit the website via a trusted source such as directly from the police website. Opportunistic fraudsters will now inevitably attempt to scam people with similar messages enticing people to click on a link in their messages so it is vital that people remain vigilant.

Last edited 10 days ago by Jake Moore
John Davis
John Davis , Director UK & Ireland
InfoSec Expert
November 24, 2022 4:06 pm

Providers of subscription services for amateur hackers operate in the grey zone between legal and illegal. They have strategies and business models, and they use polished, formal operating methods to put them into practice.

Marketing themselves on the dark web, they line up clients interested in a single attack or perhaps several. The client can pay a monthly fee, usually in cryptocurrency, for advice and assistance, sometimes including around-the-clock support that covers technical aspects of an attack and matters such as negotiations with a victim. The client also may share a portion of any payment extracted from a victim with the service provider.

However, the subscription model enables minimally skilled attackers to launch more sophisticated attacks – much the same way modern audio processing tools like Autotune can make tone-deaf singers sound like stars. Where once hackers relied upon ad hoc tactics, such as using simple phishing attacks to gain entry, these attacks have now become complex and targeted, using the latest ‘toolkit.

Last edited 10 days ago by John Davis
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