Springfords LLP blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

Scams Texts and Fake Steaks - avoiding them

23 August 2018

Phish, Phish, Trouble for you, Surfing Download and Spam. If you get a message that looks like it was written by the Trumpton Fire Brigade, you might want to hose down your enthusiasm before opening it, and avoid a conflagration in your personal data.

The joke after the World Cup group stages was on the Nigerian national football association. So embarrassed were they, by the poor performance of the Nigerian team, that they offered to refund the expenses of every fan who travelled to Russia. All they had to do to claim the return in full, was to email their sort card and bank account number, along with the current password…

That didn’t happen of course. No one would fall for such an obvious feint. It’s not exactly up there with a Ronaldo step over in the league of slick moves on the field of financial unfair play. You wouldn’t really need your shooting boots to avoid that. Even two left feet would be enough to dribble round that dummy.

We’re always banging on about cyber security at Springfords. If it’s not lock up your password this, or secure your data that, it’s watch out for the latest wicked wheeze, or be aware of the phone phishing phenomenon, before you get dialled out of your inheritance.

So, who wouldn’t be vigilant at all times? Most of us actually. The kids might be hollering, when you absentmindedly pick up a message that says: “Hey, just found this picture of you from the party!” Now, you’re just one curious click away from downloading a trojan horse from a phishing attack. Mixed metaphors again, but you get the drift, as the scammers trawl for unfortunate victims.

What though, if that message comes from a really trusted source, and one you’d feel you couldn’t ignore? Recent research by Which?, the consumer watchdog, found that one in three text message users have received at least one scam attempt in the past six months. Almost a half of them said they had been sent scam texts claiming to be from HMRC. “All you have to do,” says a typical text, “to get your ‘tax refund’, is to give the usual personal banking details - even if you didn’t attend the World Cup, and you don’t even have to be Nigerian.”

Texts from HMRC offering you tax refunds are 100% fake, give or take nothing.

If you’re still not convinced you're being conned, just call Springfords, and our tax team will put you right, without requiring any insight into your personal banking details!

As there is never a bad time for this, consider this a timely reminder from Springfords to remain vigilant for those who like to relieve you of your hard earned and well accounted cash. While the chances of any of us actually being held up by some dandy highwayman are vanishingly slim, the chances of us being mugged by digital non-contact crime is outrageously high.

Time to sit down, relax, and enjoy a scam free steak dinner? Not so fast. Would you believe (yes, you should believe this) that it’s now necessary in some countries to invisibly barcode joints of meat, to stop scammers from substituting genuine steak for lesser cuts. It puts a whole new meaning on mutton dressed as lamb, and it seems food fraud is the new fad fraud.

So, if you get a text offering Aberdeen Angus at Corned Beef prices, from an address in the Middle East just hang up. That fake sheik is just selling fake steak, and buying it would be as calamitous as a Nigerian own-goal and, as the football authorities there will tell you - we’ve had quite enough of them, thank you very much.

About the Springfords blog

springfords blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

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