Everything you need to know about how to prevent scams.
Scams are any way in which fraudsters or criminals try to get personal information or money from an innocent party, by using false information. They’re very clever in how they operate, and can pretend to be well-known organisations or companies. We’ve broken it down into a few categories of the most commons scams you may experience while using Virgin Media services. So you can keep a look out on how to keep yourself safe.
These are emails that appear to be from legitimate senders but in fact are criminals, trying to trick you into giving them your personal information. These emails sometimes look and read like they’re from a company of authority, for example the police, the government, or large companies you may have used before.
An SMS scam is a scam that is sent as a text message to your mobile device. Be careful! These texts can seem so realistic, they copy the way in which companies usually send their texts. They could have urgent messaging in, asking you to pay for a parcel delivery for example, or for a government service such as tax, but these are always a scam. If you did have to pay for these services, the company would never contact you through a text. Always check the number a text is sent from, too.
The nature of social media is people, comments, and likes. And sometimes adverts. When scrolling on social media you may occasionally come across some legitimate advertisements that are promoting a product or services. But there are some scammers hiding on social media, using specific offers to market their scam. They’re very easy to get enticed by, and false likes, webpages and product information can all seem legitimate.
These appear on websites as pop-up adverts, a link to complete surveys – possibly made more alluring by promising an incentive for completing them, or a warning regarding viruses/malware on your device.
Smishing is when fraudsters send cleverly disguised SMS messages that appear as if they are from a corporation, bank or government agency. These messages are sent to people, hooking them into disclosing private information such as bank details, passwords, private health information.
If you have been targeted by a scam, then call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk *. Action Fraud is the reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Reports of fraud and any other financial crime in Scotland should be reported to Police via 101. However, if debit cards, online banking or cheques are involved in the scam your first step should to contact your bank or credit card company. It’s important you report it so others don’t fall victim. You can forward the message to shortcode 7726, you will then receive a response asking for the shortcode or long number that the spam message came from and Virgin Media will then investigate for you.
*These links to external sites are provided as a courtesy and we are not responsible for the content of these sites or any problems encountered whilst applying these steps and we are not able to provide any technical support for such problems.
Typical examples of Smishing:
Phishing is a type of online fraud where malicious third parties send an email or message designed to look as if its sender is Virgin Media (or another reputable company) – this is to trick the recipient into giving out private information i.e. their username, password or even bank details.
You can protect yourself from becoming a victim of phishing by keeping an eye out for suspicious activity.
Virgin Media will never send an email that:
If there really is a problem with your Virgin Media account, we will be in touch via letter or phone. We will never take action such as closing your account after just sending an email.
These links to external sites are provided as a courtesy and we are not responsible for the content of these sites or any problems encountered whilst applying these steps and we are not able to provide any technical support for such problems.
Fake emails being sent from your account is very annoying – especially when you don’t know how it’s happened. This is known as email spoofing, where emails are sent using a forged ‘From’ to send spoof emails, and access is not required to the individual’s email account.
You may be receiving a large number of ‘Non-delivery Emails’ sporadically. These emails have been sent from another email address, but with a forged ‘From’ address to look like yours. And so any emails that fail to deliver will be sent to your inbox.
This is quite common because the majority of ‘spoof’ emails are known as spam by most email platforms. This prevents them from being delivered to the intended recipient and instead generates a ‘Non-delivery report’.
As spoof emails can be set up without accessing a Virgin Media email account, we’re unable to stop this happening altogether. However most will be recognised by spam filters and blocked accordingly.
As a precaution, change your email account password and ensure you follow guidance to create a strong password. You can also run a number of security checks which include anti-virus scans and forwarding rules you don’t recognise.
Check out our full list of steps in our security Hub
If you’ve gone through all the steps above, it’s possible your email address is being spoofed.
When your email account is hacked, an unauthorised third party has access to your email account. This indicates they’ve obtained the password, either through malware being installed on your device or when you’ve entered your details into a fraudulent phishing email.
Hacked or sometimes referred to as compromised accounts, can be re-secured by following the steps on our security advice page.
If you’ve gone through these steps, it’s likely your account is not hacked and instead your email address is being spoofed.
It’s possible that your email account was hacked in the past, and the hackers took a list of all your contacts you’ve emailed previously. This allows them to send spoofed emails that look like they’ve come from you.
Unfortunately, once the hackers have access to your contacts, it is not possible to stop them from sending spoofed emails.
Note: There are other ways that hackers can obtain details of the people you email, such as public mailing lists or through other email address they’ve compromised.
Unfortunately not. As email spoofing does not require access to your email account, the spoofed emails can continue to be sent even if your email address no longer exists.
Criminals are pretending to be famous people in order to scam people. Fraudsters use famous people to trap social media followers in cyber scams, such as “get rich quick” and bogus investment schemes that appear to have been endorsed by famous people such as Sir Richard.
LinkedIn members are also being targeted by fraudsters who have been hacking into legitimate users accounts, and sending victims what appear to be genuine emails and messages from victims known trusted contacts or celebrities. The messages or emails ask the victim to view a document on OneDrive, and displays details of a hacked US celebrity’s website. Once the link is opened it redirects the victim to a website and the victim’s username and password is given to the fraudster.
Another LinkedIn scam is where members are being approached by individuals claiming to be an employee of a particular company, when in actual fact, they are not.
How to protect yourself:
Concerned you have been scammed?
If you have been a victim of fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk *. Action Fraud is the reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Reports of fraud and any other financial crime in Scotland should be reported to Police via 101. However, if debit cards, online banking or cheques are involved in the scam your first step should to contact your bank or credit card company.
*These links to external sites are provided as a courtesy and we are not responsible for the content of these sites or any problems encountered whilst applying these steps and we are not able to provide any technical support for such problems
Find out more in our online safety blog.
We are aware of fraudulent pop-up surveys that claim to be from Virgin Media, most offer some kind of free gift or another type of reward in return for completing the survey. These surveys are not issued by Virgin Media, they are fraudulent attempts to obtain personal and financial information.
Fraudsters may attempt to trick you using malicious pop up advertisement, which will attempt to steal financial or personal information. These appear on websites as pop-up adverts, a link to complete surveys – possibly made more alluring by promising an incentive for completing them, or a warning regarding viruses/malware on your device.
Fraudulent pop-ups/surveys can take the form of:
1 – Learn to spot the signs
Learn to spot the signs of a scam, such as spelling and grammar mistakes on the pop-up ads. If something seems too good to be true, there’s a good chance it is. Virgin Media will never open popup windows in your web browser or elsewhere on a device you’re using.
2 – Disable popup windows from being opened in your web browser
Configure the settings on any web browsers you use to ensure that popup windows are not opened by default. The steps on how to do this differs between web browsers and devices, to find out how to configure your browsers in this way have a look on your browser’s official website.
3 – Remove any unwanted or suspicious applications and browser extensions
Check through the applications installed on the device you’re using, and remove any unwanted or suspicious applications from it. It is common for fraudulent applications to display unwanted popups and messages.
If you are using a web browser on a computer rather than a mobile device, you should also remove any unwanted extensions or plug-ins from your web browser.
4 – Check your device for malware
It is possible that a malware infection on your device could be inserting popups when you’re browsing the Internet. For information on how to deal with a Malware infection visit: virginmedia.com/malware
If you spot a fake pop-up advertisement/survey, you should complete the following steps:
For further advice about staying safe online, head to our online security blog