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Six days in and Cambridgeshire awash with scams and fraud

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It’s been a busy New Year so far already for scammers and fraudsters across Cambridgeshire with some unusual cases being highlighted

Cambridgeshire Police says it received eight reports of fraud since the start of the year including where a victim paid hundreds of pounds for a dog from a seller on Facebook; needless to say, the dog never arrived.

CAPASP says they received word that some USB devices have been found around a village in South Cambridgeshire “and it is quite possible that they have been placed there with malicious intent”.

Police also were alerted on two occasions when staff from local banks got in touch.

“Staff contacted us with concerns for their customers who have tried to send large sums of money to people they’ve met online,” said a police spokesperson.

Another incident involving a lost driving licence used fraudulently.

“The genuine owner received penalty points for a parking offence he never committed using a vehicle he never owned,” said the spokesperson.

“And finally, reports of a rogue trading incident in Peterborough.

“Fraud is a vast and ever-evolving area of crime, and one which our officers are fighting every day.”

A more unusual and potential scam has been reported this week by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Against Scams Partnership (CAPASP).

The CAPASP is a county-wide partnership of public, private and voluntary sector organisations “committed to working together to stop scams and doorstep crime across the county”.

They issued a warning notice which they admitted “is just a bit different” from normal scams.

CAPASP says it involves memory sticks/USB devices are often “left lurking in drawers at home to store photos or documents we don’t want to lose.

“But what would you do if you found one lying on the street?”

CAPASP says they received word that some USB devices have been found around a village in South Cambridgeshire “and it is quite possible that they have been placed there with malicious intent.

“In a so-called USB drop attack, cybercriminals leave USB devices for people to find and plug into their computers.

“A Good Samaritan hoping to return the drive might insert it into his or her computer to try to get some info on who it belongs to. That’s when the trouble begins.”

The CAPASP warning added: “In the most basic of USB drop attacks, the user clicks on one of the files on the drive.

“This unleashes a malicious code that can then download malware from the internet. In another type of attack, the file takes the user to a phishing site, which tricks him or her into handing over login credentials.

“So, the take home message from this is, don’t insert any external devices into your computer unless you are certain where they have come from.”

Cambridgeshire police says for more advice on the different types of fraud and how to protect yourself and your loved ones, visit their  dedicated pages on the Cambridgeshire Police website: https://orlo.uk/y55yz

 

 

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