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posted 6 Nov 2017, 06:19 by Rugby Borough Neighbourhood Watch   [ updated 21 May 2019, 22:58 ]

Online auction bank transfer warning

Warwickshire Trading Standards is reminding consumers to think twice before paying for online purchasers by direct bank transfer, instead of using escrow services such as PayPal which offer protection. A Warwickshire consumer reported bidding over £300 for a smart phone on a popular auction website. The buyer was contacted by the seller who told her that they had a problem with their PayPal account (it had been ‘hacked’) and asked for the money to transferred directly instead. The buyer did this but the phone never arrived and the money was not returned.  The buyer later saw the same phone being advertised again. They tried to contact the seller several times but without success.

Online shopping advice


The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued advice for users of WhatsApp following today's vulnerability announcement

What has happened?

WhatsApp have announced a vulnerability that could have allowed users’ phones to be compromised.

The company has reportedly said that a small number of accounts have been affected and has told its users to update their apps using standard updates from the app store as a precaution.

The National Cyber Security Centre always recommends that you protect your device by installing updates as soon as they become available. They contain vital security updates to help protect your laptop, smartphone or tablet.

It’s important to apply these updates quickly, to make it as hard as possible for attackers to get in. The NCSC also recommends that you switch on automatic updates.

What phones have been affected?

WhatsApp have said that it was a targeted campaign and that “dozens” of accounts could have been affected.

The affected versions of the app relate to;

  • WhatsApp for iOS prior to v2.19.51
  • WhatsApp for Tizen prior to v2.18.15
  • WhatsApp for Android prior to v2.19.134
  • WhatsApp Business for iOS prior to v2.19.51
  • WhatsApp Business for Android prior to v2.19.44
  • WhatsApp for Windows Phone prior to v2.18.348

How to update WhatsApp


  • Visit the play store, click on menu and choose ‘My apps and games’. Tap update next to the WhatsApp messenger.


  • Visit the app store, click updates and refresh. Tap update next to the WhatsApp messenger

Windows Phone 8.1

  • Visit the store and select menu. Click on ‘My apps’ and select WhatsApp to update.

Windows Phone 10

  • Visit the Microsoft store and click on ‘Menu’. Select ‘My Library’ and tap ‘Update’ next to WhatsApp.

The NCSC has also published top tips for staying secure online which includes further advice around updating software and apps.

Skimming devices attached to outside ATM machines.

Could everybody be aware when using an ATM, to check that no additional items are attached to the machine.  This can be in the form of electronic machinery, cameras, plastic fascia, packing tape formed into a loop.  If it has then do not use and inform the operator immediately.  Be aware who is around you, If your card is retained then pull gently on the intake to ensure this is part of the machine.  There has been a recent incident on the rural area where items were attached however due to observations by customers and staff this was removed before anybody could attempt to use it.HM Revenue and Customs Alert


What you need to know
Action Fraud has experienced an increase in the reporting of malicious calls, voicemails, text messages or emails to members of the public purporting to be from HMRC.

The fraudsters state that as a result of their non-payment of tax or other duty, the victim is liable to prosecution or other legal proceedings such as repossession of belongings to settle the balance but can avoid this by arranging for payment to be made immediately by method such as bank transfer or by iTunes gift cards.

If the victim is hesitant or refuses to comply, the suspect makes a threat such as immediate arrest, bailiffs or in cases where the victim appears to be of overseas origin; deportation.

Often, the period for which the tax is allegedly due is distant enough to guarantee the victim will have little, if any, paperwork or ability to verify the claims. Once the money is paid the suspects sever all contact.

It is vital that the public exercise caution when receiving messages or telephone calls of this nature.

What you need to do
Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information. Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and contact details), it doesn't mean they are genuine. Instead, contact the company directly using trusted methods such as a known email address or phone number.

Listen to your instincts. If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. No genuine organisation will ask you to pay taxes, bills or fees using iTunes Gift Cards, or any other type of voucher.

Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.

Report Phishing attempts. If you receive a call, text or email of this nature and have not lost money, report this as a phishing attempt to Action Fraud.


Rugby Borough Neighbourhood Watch,
9 Sep 2018, 04:08