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Scammers’ hit list: Gamers, students and iPhone users all targeted  

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

Cifas, the UK’s fraud prevention service, has released its latest scams update, with home deliveries, online gamers, apps enthusiasts and students returning to university all under attack.

The fraud prevention organisation has noted four key targets for recent scams with phishing and smishing (SMS) attacks becoming increasingly prevalent.

Packlink delivery scam

Cifas noted that messages claiming to be from delivery companies continue to target the public. The latest messages are impersonating Packlink, claiming that a customer’s chosen courier (UPS) has several undelivered parcels and are owed £60 to have them delivered. People are told they only have seven days to respond using a link which prompts them to input personal details.

Cifas advises anyone who feels they have been targeted with a suspicious text to forward it to 7726 for the National Cyber Security Centre to investigate.

Online gaming

The organisation warned that most gaming-related malware is targeted at games frequently played by children, such as Minecraft and Roblex, according to researchers at Kaspersky.

Cifas said: “Parents are being urged to increase their security by adding parental controls to game purchases, and restricting purchases to verified, trusted platforms.”

If you feel you have fallen victim to this scam, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or Police Scotland by dialling 101.

Adware-infected apps

Researchers have pinpointed nine adware apps on the iPhone App Store which are allegedly engaged in ad fraud. These are:

  • Loot the Castle
  • Run Bridge
  • Shinning Gun
  • Racing Legend 3D
  • Rope Runner
  • Wood Sculptor
  • Fire-Wall
  • Ninja Critical Hit
  • Tony Runs

Cifas noted: “Although the apps have now been removed from the App store, if previously downloaded, users are advised to remove them from their phones immediately, to avoid rapid battery drainage and increased internet data usage.”

Students at risk

The Student Loans Company (SLC) is warning students to be vigilant of fraud and phishing scams. In the last three years, SLC’s Customer Compliance team has stopped £1.2m being lost to fraudsters from students’ bank accounts.

Cifas said that it had “seen reports of fake tax rebates targeting students in an attempt to trick them into sharing their personal and financial information.”

Amber Burridge, head of intelligence for Cifas, said: “Criminals are always trying out new tactics to snare consumers as the cost-of-living crisis shows no signs of abating. Quick to take advantage of parcel delivery as well as recent trends in gaming, fraudsters are also targeting students as the new academic year gets underway.

“Remember to only download or visit apps from trusted sources and developers, and be wary of ‘too good to be true’ offers, especially at a time when household budgets continue to be squeezed.”

Yesterday, Yourmoney.com also reported that car insurance ‘ghost broking’ scams were on the rise.