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THE I.T CROWD: Scams are becoming more and more sophisticated

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In the last few months, a large number of our customers have been falling prey to one
on-line scam or
another. There are currently so many scams out there that we could fill this newspaper with details of them all.

We have been receiving call after call from distressed individuals, who between them have had tens of thousands of pounds taken from their bank accounts by unscrupulous scammers.

National Cyber Security Council.
National Cyber Security Council.

As if people are not finding it hard enough living through a deadly pandemic and numerous lockdowns, they are also now having to deal with the aftermath of having been conned out of their savings.

For some people, this money is all they have due to the closure of small businesses and restaurants as well as redundancy.

Over the last six years, we have written numerous articles in this paper highlighting the dangers of online scamming – what to look out for, what not to do, how important it is to remain vigilant – yet people are still falling for these scams every single day.

We would like to point out that this is in no way their fault – it is because the scams are becoming more and more sophisticated and convincing, and in addition, scammers are taking advantage of the current situation by preying on the vulnerable.

Five years ago, the UK government set up the National Cyber Security Centre, which acts as a bridge between industry and government, and which provides a unified source of advice, guidance and support on cyber security.

It is one part of a larger vision for increased cyber security and aims to make the UK a safe place to live and work online. It is part of GCHQ, one of the UK’s security services.

In a nutshell, the NCSC provides a single point of contact for organisations of all sizes, government agencies and the public in a bid to highlight the importance of being cyber security-aware.

It also works with law enforcement, the UK’s intelligence and security agencies and international partners.

The NCSC website has a fully comprehensive collection of guidance for businesses of all sizes, the self-employed and sole traders, as well as individuals and families.

There are tips on safely setting up video conferencing services (ie Zoom, Skype), securing your devices and shopping online securely.

It also offers advice on spotting and dealing with suspicious emails, calls and texts and how to ensure organisations are able to deal with the cyber security challenges they are facing since more and more employees are working from home. We do urge you to visit the NCSC website to try to be more aware of how to protect yourselves against cyber-attacks: www.ncsc.gov.uk

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