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In light of recent global events, there is a heightened risk of cyber-attacks. We urge local organisations to exercise additional vigilance when monitoring IT infrastructure. Please report suspicious activity to us via our Cyber Concerns Reporting Tool.

As we head online to buy presents for our loved ones this festive time of year we increase the likelihood of being targeted by fraudsters

Fraudsters take advantage of the change in our spending habits and increased online activities during the winter months so it is even more important to remain extra vigilant of scams during this period.

Even if you are buying securely from reputable companies, we still run the risk of falling victim to opportunistic scams which might, at first glance, appear to relate to a transaction you have made but in actual fact are just coincidental. Remember, fraudsters are ‘social engineers’ which doesn't just make them good at manipulating people into handing over money and personal details; they also know that targeting hundreds of people with one believable scam is more likely to be successful (and much easier to do) than targeting particular individuals.

At this time of year, you may see an increase in communications purporting to be from:

  • Amazon, Apple, Microsoft (and other online stores/services)
  • Banks and payment services such as PayPal
  • Parcel delivery services (such as DPD, FedEx, IoM Post Office)

Even local organisations are being targeted, compromised and impersonated to make the fraudulent activity appear more believable - never assume a message or call is legitimate just because it appears to come from a business on the Island.

It’s not just Christmas scams on the rise; we are also seeing an increase in NHS and COVID-19 related scams. These fraudulent communications might relate to COVID passes, booster shots or winter flu injection invitations. Unexpected and unsolicited communications relating to NHS or COVID should be treated as highly suspect.

Below are some examples of the scams we have recently seen. Some are quite difficult to identify as scams and others not so much. If you receive anything like the following, it is most likely scam and should not be responded to:

Note: An enlarged version of the image below can be downloaded from the bottom of this page.

Phishing and Smishing Screenshots

What to look out for

  • Always check the sender's email address - This can be a very strong indicator that an email is fraudulent. But don't take it at face value, fraudsters can fake ('spoof') email addresses to look legitimate, or they might even compromise an account to send spam messages. Look for other indications that an email might be fake...

  • Don't click on any links, open attachments or reply to suspicious emails or messages - If a communication appears to be legitimate, check the link carefully before clicking it to ensure it leads to where you would expect it to go.

  • If in doubt about an email, phone call or message, don't respond and contact the legitimate organisation or person using known alternative contact details or, if you have an online account with them, log in and make contact that way.
  • Organisations will not call out of the blue and ask to access your computer, device or bank account.

  • Banks and organisations will never ask you to move money into a 'safe' account.

  • Never give out your whole PIN, secret phrase or any other security code to a caller or in a message.

  • When calling an organisation after receiving a suspicious call, use a different phone if possible as some scammers have been known to keep the line open after hanging up and pretend to be the legitimate organisation. If you can’t use a different phone, wait at least 10 minutes before making a call.

For more information on what to look out for and how to deal with these kinds of scams, please see our phishing guidance and our guidance on vishing and smishing in the Advice & Guidance section of this website.

Please share this message with friends, family and colleagues to help make our Island a safer place to live and work.

Scam emails can be forwarded to our local Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) – sers@ocsia.im – More information about SERS can be found here: www.ocsia.im/sers

If you have any concerns, or have been affected by a cyber-related issue, report it to us by submitting a Cyber Concerns Online Reporting Form.

Downloadable Documents

Phishing Examples (Nov-Dec 2021) (PNG Image)

Topics

  • Scam Emails
  • Phishing
  • Scam Calls
  • Vishing
  • Scam Texts
  • Smishing
  • Scam Alert