Jun 18, 2013

Bottesford NHW Alert: Don't Fall for this Computer Scam / Don't Leave it to Technology to Look After Your Kids


Nottinghamshire Police have issued the following alerts.

Don't Fall for this Computer Scam

Police are asking computer users to be on their guard after a number of suspected internet frauds have been reported.

Nottinghamshire Police have received a number of calls in relation to malicious software scams circulating the internet purporting to be from law enforcement agencies such as the Metropolitan Police, Cheshire Police and Strathclyde Police.

This malicious software locks computer screens and displays a message stating that the individual’s computer has been locked by Police, and that they need to call a given number or pay a fine for viewing inappropriate or illegal content online to unlock their computer. Please be aware that there are several variations of this scam and other similar scams currently in circulation.

Various police forces across the UK have informed the public that this is an internet scam and has nothing to do with them.

The Police would never ask the public for money under such circumstances and urge anyone who receives the pop-up to not to follow the payment instructions or call the number given. The public should not pay any money or divulge personal details.

Removal of the virus needs to be done with care. If you do not have specialised knowledge in this area, you are advised to seek professional advice in unlocking the computer and removing any associated virus.

Officers from the MET Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) are working with international law enforcement agencies to investigate this offence. As well as this malware scam there are other similar scams purporting to be from Microsoft and other computer organisations.

We would advise anyone who has been deceived by such a message and parted with any money to report the incident to Police by calling 101.

Virus/Malware infections where no money has been lost can be logged at www.actionfraud.org.uk/report_fraud.

In order to reduce the chances of being infected by this or similar malware, we would advise computer users to ensure that anti-virus software is used and regularly updated to eliminate new threats as they are discovered. Also, ensure that operating software updates are also installed regularly.

Further advice can be found at http://www.getsafeonline.org/ or http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

Don't Leave it to Technology to Look After Your Kids

Parents are being urged to take an interest in what their children are doing on the internet to protect them from online predators.

A combination of factors can lead to children being at risk from online grooming and parents are key in helping to protect them by becoming involved in their online lives. 

Offenders target children online – often hiding behind a fake identity - and once initial contact is made, it can escalate into threats and intimidation. 

And once that person has taken hold, children may feel ashamed that they lost control and can become desperate or even suicidal.
According to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), there were 1,145 public reports in 2012 relating to incidents of online grooming.

Factors which make children vulnerable to online abuse when combined with frequent internet access:
• Personal issues such as low self-esteem, confusion about their sexuality and loneliness
• Social isolation perhaps through problems/dissatisfaction at school with limited support from their peer group or family
• Lack of parental monitoring or involvement in online activities; coupled with factors such as family problems  

Adolescents who take risks online by having sexualised chats or exchanging sexual images are particularly prone to the increasingly sophisticated, coercive and sinister tactics of online predators. And given that six out of 10 12 to 15-year-olds have a smart phone, it is easier for them to communicate with strangers and share images on the move.

However, CEOP says that children whose internet activities are monitored and who talk with their parents about staying safe online are better protected and more resilient to the tactics used by online offenders.

Detective Inspector Martin Hillier said: “Just because your kids are in the house doesn’t necessarily mean they are safe from people who want to manipulate them – particularly if the child is vulnerable. 

“What we don’t want is to scare parents into thinking that their children will fall prey to these people. The aim is to raise awareness so that parents feel comfortable to talk with their children about the dangers and help them to spot anything amiss and report it.

“There’s no doubt that the internet is a great asset and young people are often the ones most tuned in to advances in technology – the trick is to also ensure they are in possession of all the information they need to stay safe.”

For more information for parents, carers, teachers and young people, visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk
To report anything suspicious online call police on 101. Dial 999 in an emergency.

Circulated by:

John Shilton

Principal Coordinator

Bottesford Parish Neighbourhood Watch

Email: JohnS@BottesfordParishNHW.org.uk

Mob: 0772 5636626

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