"News" ..........

16th April 2022


Criminals are attempting to capitalise on the scheme by posing as government representatives over the phone, says the Local Government Association (LGA). Scammers are cold-calling people and asking for bank details in order for them to receive the government's £150 energy rebate, councils have warned.

REMEMBER - Banks will NEVER ask for personal details over the phone.

Nigel Minnis (Techno Buddy 19.01.22)


19th January 2022

Banks issue urgent warning to customers about 'new device registered' scam

Banks have issued an urgent warning to customers about a new scam doing the rounds.

Fake texts claiming to be from NatWest stating 'a new device has been registered with your account' are currently circulating.

The texts state 'a new device has been registered' and provide a link to follow.

Clicking the link on the message will send recipients through to a website that has nothing to do with the bank.

Some internet browsers may issue a warning the website is not legitimate.

The text is quite convincing - NatWest is named as the sender, and the message doesn't contain any glaring mistakes.

The scammer's goal is to get a victim to part with sensitive information, such as card numbers and online banking access codes.

But with the messages appearing admissible, what do you need to look out for?

Protecting yourself from fake texts

NatWest shared their top five tips for when you receive a text message asking you to follow a link:

  1. Never give your Online Banking PIN, password, card reader codes or mobile app codes to anyone via text.

  2. Do not phone the number included in the message, criminals on the other end might persuade you to give away personal information. You will always find the correct number on the official bank website.

  3. Real NatWest text messages may contain links to our websites, but, like our emails, never link to pages that ask for any online banking or full card details.

  4. If you have already clicked on a suspicious link, we advise you to run a scan with your antivirus software to check your device for any malicious software.

  5. Make sure you have the latest anti-virus software on your device as it helps keep your device secure.

What to do if you are a victim of a fake text

If you believe you may have been the victim of a scam like this, let the bank know via its legitimate channels immediately  

Nigel Minnis (Techno Buddy 19.01.22)  

23rd November '21

"BEWARE" - £15M lost to online shopping scams last Christmas 

This is a message we received via Cheshire Police Alert. This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (NFIB)

New data from Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, reveals that 28,049 shoppers were conned out of their money when shopping online over the Christmas period last year - an increase of almost two thirds (61 per cent) when compared to the same period in the previous year.Ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Action Fraud is warning the public to take extra care when shopping online as reports of online shopping fraud have continued to surge. Here are some simple tips to help you and your family enjoy a secure online shopping experience this festive season.

Where to shopBuying from an online store you haven't used before? Carry out some research first, or ask a friend or family member if they've used the site and about their experiences before completing the purchase.Your informationOnly create an account if necessary or to save you effort if you're going to use that site a lot in the future. Be cautious if the website asks you for details that are not required for your purchase, such as your mother's maiden name or the name of your primary school.Payment methodWhen it's time to pay for your items, check there's a 'closed padlock' icon in the browser's address bar. Use a credit card when shopping online, if you have one. Most major credit card providers protect online purchases.PhishingSome of the messages you receive about amazing offers may contain links to fake websites. If you're unsure about a link, don't use it - go separately to the website.  Report suspicious emails you receive by forwarding them to report@phishing.gov.uk  Report suspicious text messages by forwarding them to: 7726.

Email accounts:Make sure that your really important accounts (such as your email account or online shopping accounts) are protected by strong passwords that you don't use anywhere else

If things go wrong

If you've lost money to an online shopping scam, tell your bank and report it as a crime to Action Fraud - 0300 123 2040 - https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/   (for England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or Police Scotland https://www.scotland.police.uk/ (for Scotland). By doing this, you'll be helping to prevent others becoming victims of cyber crime.

For more of the government's latest advice on how to stay secure online, visit the Cyber Aware website: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware

(Allen Roochove, NCC 'Techno' Buddy 23.11.21)

12th November '21

This is a message sent via Cheshire Police Alert. This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (NFIB)

23M people used 123456 as a password

Whether it's your Facebook, Amazon, or Netflix account, the explosion in popularity of online apps and services means more and more of us have to remember an increasingly long list of passwords.Unfortunately, some of us cope with this challenge by resorting to practices that leave our data, devices and money at risk - by using the same password across multiple accounts, or by creating simple passwords that could easily be guessed by hackers. Bad password practice is more prevalent than you might think - the UK's National Cyber Security Centre carried out analysis of passwords leaked in data breaches and found that more than 23 million users worldwide used 123456 as a password

https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/news/most-hacked-passwords-revealed-as-uk-cyber-survey-exposes-gaps-in-online-security  Here are some top tips that will make your life easier and your online accounts more secure:

1: Creating memorable passwordsA good way to create strong, memorable passwords is by using 3 random words. But remember, don't use words that can be guessed (like your pet's name). You can include numbers and symbols if you need to. For example, "RedPantsTree4!"

2: Saving passwords in your browserSaving your password in your browser means letting your web browser (such as Chrome, Safari or Edge) remember your password for you.This can help:

  • make sure you do not lose or forget your passwords
  • protect you against some cyber crime, such as fake websites

It is safer than using weak passwords, or using the same password in more than one place.3: Email account passwordsIf a hacker gets into your email account, they could:

  • reset your other online account passwords
  • access personal information you have saved about yourself or your business

Your email password should be strong and different to all your other passwords. This will make it harder to crack or guess.

6th November '21

                 BEWARE of Crafty, Devious Scammers               from Allen Roochove NCC Techno Buddy 06.11.21 

Here's an actual scam that I've just had today

For some unknown reason, around lunchtime, my daughter's mobile phone was not connecting - she lives in another part of the country.   We regularly 'WhatsApp' each other.   I tried calling her but didn't connect

Shortly after this I received a text message from a number I didn't recognise, and the message said,

Apparently from my Daughter?       - Dad, my other phone crashed.  But this is my temporary number (07810675909) 👍📲    You can save this one.  Message me if you've seen this

Me               -  Got it, what happened to the other one, hope it hasn't caught a virus, in particular Covid 😁 xxx

Daughter     - 🤣🤣🤣 Do you have a moment?!  Or are you busy right now?  My microphone is broken on this temporary device 😪💝

Me                - What number shall I ring?

Daughter     - I can't call, tomorrow I have my old number back

Me                 - I'll try your landline

Daughter     - I'm not home

Me                 Is there any number I can call you on?

Daughter     Noo

Me                  - Drat, what a pain 😌 - but at least you can text me 😎👍

Daughter     - I'm ashamed to ask you this.  Because of my new temporary phone, I can't access my banking app.... I've called the bank, and they temporarily disabled my account because I switched to my new number.    But I have an invoice I really need to pay today, is it maybe possible you can do the payment for me?

ALARM BELLS START  RINGING LOUD & CLEAR - "I've called the bank ........"    But I thought the phone was out of use/ broken etc etc etc !!!!!

Me                - Of course, just give me the details

Daughter     - Raymond Kisolokele                                                                                                        Sort code: 23-75-24                                                                                                                       Account Number: 11770303                                                                                                   Reference: KB01024                                                                                                                    Amount: £858.84

Me                  - I need to check that this message really did come from you so give me a call when you find a phone. Once I hear from you, I'll go ahead and pay the bill, okay?

Daughter     - Dad are you serious?

Me                   - Oh yes, I'm deadly serious, so before I part with £858.85 I must make sure this is really from you. Call me either on my landline or on my mobile

And from that moment on I no longer received 'WhatsApp' messages from my Daughter's 'new number'

Whilst all of this was going on, I kept trying to contact my daughter but without success
Eventually we made contact and I told her about what had happened
She was shocked and told me it clearly was a scam and how relieved she was that I hadn't paid it.  

She then went on to tell me about a huge pile of logs that had been delivered outside her house - but that's another story ......... 😎

Calls to send money to a friend or a relative can be genuine and a real 'call for help' in a time of crisis  

However, they can also be bogus

Therefore, if you ever get such a message, before you actually go ahead and send/ transfer any money, make sure you actually speak to the friend or relative so that you know it's genuine.

In this particular scenario I would have also asked "My Daughter" a question which only she would know the answer, for example, 'What was the name of Aunty Matilda's favourite chicken?' just to double-check it really is my Daughter that I'm speaking to!

11th October '21

Sensible advice received from the Coventry Building Society

Common scams - how to recognise and avoid them

Scammers are always finding new ways to trick us out of our money - they even used coronavirus to scare us into buying fake tests and protective equipment. The best way to stay safe is to be aware of the scams and the tactics fraudsters use, below are some of their latest scams.

Investment scams

While interest rates remain low, investment scams are becoming even more common. Unfortunately, any investment that promises a high return with very little risk is probably a scam. You could even invest in something that doesn't exist and lose all your money. Be especially cautious if the contact in uninvited, and it's through a cold call, email or letter you didn't expect.

Cryptocurrency investment scams

This is where criminals persuade people to invest in a cryptocurrency, using websites that show fake investments and big profits. Often they'll disappear once you've invested your money. Cryptocurrency is unregulated, so if something goes wrong, no one can help you get your money back.

Ask yourself if it sounds too good to be true, don't make a decision quickly, and take professional financial advice if you're unsure or worried.

Account takeovers

Just a few personal details could be enough for a scammer to take over your online bank, building society or credit card account and start making fraudulent payments - with your money. Criminals could use phishing, malicious Wi-Fi or malware to steal your details, so don't click links in unexpected emails or open their attachments, and don't give out confidential information over the phone.

Change your online passwords regularly and use a unique one for each of your online accounts. Be careful with your social media - lock down your security settings so that no one can find your email address, phone number or date of birth.

27th September '21


Cold Callers Offering To Clean Driveways In Little Neston

Police have received reports of males cold calling at homes in Little Neston offering to clean driveways for amounts of up to £450.

The males have been described as having Irish accents and having a blue van and a white van, both with Irish number plates.
Police advise not to accept offers of work from unknown trades persons, as not all are genuine.
They will often quote a price and then come back with a "special offer" for a quick sale.
Never agree to work if you are put under pressure, and contact Trading Standards if in any doubt (0808 223 1133).

Message Sent By Linda Conway (Cheshire Police, Ellesmere Port LPU, Little Neston and Burton PCSO)

7th August '21  

Received from 'Action Fraud'  www.actionfraud.police.uk  

            "Alert" - Vaccine Passport Scams

'Action Fraud' has received over 700 reports from members of the public about fake emails purporting to be from the NHS. 

The emails claim to be able to provide people with a "digital passport" that "proves you have been vaccinated against COVID-19". These emails are fake, and the links within them lead to genuine-looking websites that steal your personal and financial information.

How to protect yourself:
In the UK, coronavirus vaccines will only be available via the National Health Services of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a GP surgery or pharmacy local to you, to receive your vaccine. Remember, the vaccine is free of charge. At no point will you be asked to pay.

  1. The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details.
  2. The  NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking passwords.
  3. The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine.
  4. The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips. 
  5.  Your vaccination status can be obtained for free through the official NHS app, NHS website, or by calling the NHS on 119.

How to report scams:

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, you can report it by forwarding the email to: report@phishing.gov.uk  Suspicious text messages can also be reported by forwarding them to the number: 7726 (it's free of charge).

If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk 

30th July '21

"AboutMyArea" have now published the article on the Cyber Centre. Just left-click the link to visit their site, and take a look 


25th July 2021

"AboutMyArea" are going to publish information about the Cyber Centre in their 'on-line' magazine.  Just left click the link to visit their site, and look for us there   https://www.aboutmyarea.co.uk/Cheshire/Neston/CH64 
(Under 'Calendar of Upcoming Events', click 'Community' and then select 'Clubs and Organisations' by clicking the drop-down arrow - clubs and organisations are in alphabetical order) 

23rd July 2021

  • With gradual relaxing of the lockdown, we are now opening more spaces for Members to come back in and use the computers, the printers or our free, password protected, Wi-Fi.  Just remember to sign in as you come through the front door.
  • Face masks are still highly recommended.  
  • Of course, you can also come in with your iPhone, iPad, Tablet, Smartphone or Laptop to either get some help and advice or simply to have a quiet place where you can connect to the internet via our Wi-Fi.