Tuesday, 1 March 2011

01/03: NATIONAL FRAUD AUTHORITY - Report Scam Emails (or not)!!

I guess, like me, you receive lots of scam emails every day - sadly its an unfortunate part of modern IT driven life.   Most scam emails are instantly recognisable by their poor spelling and grammar (particularly the Nigerian ones).  However there are some quite sophisticated ones in circulation and I was nearly caught by one purporting to be from a person I know well - had I clicked the link to view the photos he was allegedly forwarding, my contact list would have been phished and used to bombard everyone in my address book .....

I use an excellent Spam filter but it always seems a bit of a waste simply deleting these messages that somebody has gone to such lengths to put together.  So I was very pleased to read on the BBC website (Saturday) that the National Fraud Authority is planning to track down these fraudsters.    They provided an email address to which viewers were urged to forward scam emails (one time only).   GREAT!!!   email@actionfraud.org.uk

So I forwarded two of the 'better ones'   ...... 5 minutes later they bounced back to me.   Trawling through the return delivery mail to ascertain the reason I was amused to see that one was because 'your email was detected as spam' and the other 'your email contained a virus'.        I tried sending two more ... with identical results - they were bounced back to me.      I sent an email to Action Fraud (minus any spam email attachments) advising them of my problems ... no response to date (3 days later).

David (hubby) tried sending some of his messages and got the same result.   However, he has had a response from Action Fraud saying that a small number of people are experiencing problems.     Now on their official website, 'Action Fraud' has added the following paragraph:

Got an email bounce back? A small percentage of emails you forward to Action Fraud may not get through because of the content of the email. If this is the case, you can send your scam mail to our freepost address:

Action Fraud - Scam mail
Freepost Action Fraud
4th Floor
Westminster House
11 Portland St
M1 3HU

The emails received by Action Fraud will be forwarded to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau run by the City of London Police for collation and analysis. This will enable crucial intelligence to be gathered and preventative action to be taken. The activity will seek to disrupt the fraudsters and close down the links between them and the victim.

Dr Bernard Herdan, CEO of the National Fraud Authority who runs Action Fraud, said: ‘This is the first time we have been able to collect and analyse scam mail and emails in this way. Collecting intelligence is the key to us being able to disrupt the activities of fraudsters and target their networks for closure.’ 


Now I don't know about you ..... but I found it very disappointing that Action Fraud/National Fraud Authority  can't find a way to receive these very emails they are supposed to be analysing ... yes I could print out the messages and post them but surely that defeats the object as a print-out won't give details of the message source, or the path the email has taken to arrive in my Mailbox.

Methinks this is another half-baked idea which will occupy a government department or three without really getting to the root of the problem.   Or am I just being cynical and niggly because I'm feeling under the weather and tetchy   


Keith said...

You couldn't make it up, could you. This gave me a laugh, thanks.

sam said...

So you forward them mail and they say yours was spam LOL! And your right a print out of the email wouldnt do anything, they would need the headers to identify the IP addresses. And depending on what sort of email address they have it can be tricky. I only know that because like you I was thinking one day I wonder what can be done about these spammers!
Oh and if you ever get someone called Derek saying they are in love with you and want you to pay for them to come and visit you pass on my regards...

sue said...

I sometimes wonder what sort of world our little grand-daughter is going to grow up in (!!!!!!!)

Sam ... I'm heartbroken, I think Derek has been playing us off against each other

Chrissy said...

Made me laugh...I shouldn't laugh but you know. Reporting things can be such a pain but the one that I did was messages to my phone which I found out were costing £1.25 a time. That too was a pain, although I did get a letter when they were prosecuted (which was only initiated from a mass of complaints)! I also got my charges back from my provider...!!

Bev said...

Love it!!!!
I noticed this on the news too Sue and was quite pleased, because a couple of weeks ago I got the best spam ever!!! David Cameron...yes, the Prime Minister, wanted to give me Five Million pounds!!! Not sure what I did to deserve this, but it had a very official heading and was written in perfect English too, if I hadn't been spam savvy I would have fallen for it. But I thought that Mr Cameron should know what was being said in his name...do you think I could find an e mail address to send it to? No way. I still have the email tho, just for when I want a laugh.

sue said...

That's novel Bev ... I mainly have the CIA or crooked Bankers wanting to give me money .... and I've lost count of the lottery wins I've had (not that I ever do the lottery)!!

I found an email address for David Cameron's office ... he says he believes in transparency so lets put it to the test ... I've broken the link after www ...

www .number10.gov.uk/footer/contact-us

Let us know how you get on :o)

K. T. Sparks said...

I got a laugh out of it also, geez the government paying people to do something and then they won't accept the things they are suppose to be recieving! Sounds like our government!

Terry H said...

Why does this not surprise me.

After discovering that my Mum was one of the many people that had been gullible enough to send £'00s in response to Scam Mail I was pleased to see that Trading Standards had set up an initiative called 'Scamnesty' which ran throughout February. The idea was that participating County Councils would display the 'awareness info' and provide 'collection bins' (at libraries) so that the TS could get to the bottom of where they're coming from.

After collecting 5 carrier bags full I rang the KCC and several libraries. After speaking to several people that knew nothing about it the best response I could get was that they would post it on if I brought it in. When I said how much I'd got they suggested it would be better if I rang Trading Standards direct.

In fairness, when I did, TS said that they would come and collect it.

All-in-all this is summed by saying it was great initiative ruined by those that agreed that they would support it.

sue said...

We'd all love to see action against these scammers ... particularly those that target elderly or vulnerable people ... but I don't hold out much hope of success when we keep finding stories like these!!

The ideas are great ... but not thought through properly obviously.

Jan said...

It's sort of like that Whamo/Whack'em game - you know one down the hole and 2 or 3 more pop up elsewhere!

"JeanneG" said...

Did the scammers take you away? I miss you.