Staying safe online is becoming harder and harder, so in every issue of Computeractive we warn you about scams that readers have reported to us.
Our friendly community of readers will do their best to make sure you don’t fall victim to fraudsters who are increasingly targeting older and more vulnerable people online.
Beware Amazon Prime scams
I’ve been targeted by a robotically voiced Amazon scam, though not about a refund that I was due like other people. Instead, it was trying to convince me that my Prime account had been hacked, and that I needed to reveal my log-in details to avoid being defrauded. I hung up as soon as I realised it was a scam. We’re talking big money at risk. I read online that one poor victim had lost £25,000 in this scam. With millions of Amazon customers, I assume scammers will continue with this line of attack. I hope more readers will report other variations of this scam.
Don’t be fooled by iPhone ‘win’
I have an ageing iPhone and have been considering buying a new one, so my eyes widened when I received a text message saying I’ve won an iPhone 11. Seconds later I realised it must be a scam. The message claims to be from the Royal Mail saying you have an item waiting to be delivered. I didn’t click the link at the bottom. Instead I searched online, and found that several newspapers had written about it. Apparently you’re asked to pay £2 to receive the phone. Of course, it never arrives. I’ll stick with my old phone for now.
Fake Argos gift-card texts
I’d like to warn readers about hoax text messages supposedly giving you the chance to win a £1,000 gift card to spend at Argos. The scammers’ grasp of English is poor – the competition is only “temporarily offer”. As scams get more sophisticated and personalised, it’s reassuring to know some fraudsters have appalling English. But if you don’t spot this, the offer can look genuine and will no doubt tempt many people.
£50 Tesco offer isn’t real
Look out for a scam on Facebook that tries to trick you into sharing a post to get £50 to spend at Tesco. It tells you that the offer is only available “today only”, and that the money will be sent to celebrate the supermarket’s 100th anniversary (this bit is actually accurate – the company was formed in 1919, more than 80 years before Facebook!). My local paper, the Eastern Daily Press, reported the scam. It also warned about similar scams promising money to spend at Morrisons and Argos.
Computeractive helps you to stay safe online and every issue offers regular news updates, project ideas, plus help and advice on popular reader queries. Our articles cover a range of areas, providing clear and concise advice to help you get the very best out of your computer.
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