March 26, 2024

EMAIL and phone hackers, bogus charities and fake ‘phishing’ emails about the Omicron variant of Covid-19 are among the Christmas scam campaigns targeting Warwickshire residents, according to the latest reports received by Warwickshire Trading Standards (WTS).


Email hacking

WTS has been made aware of instances whereby people’s email accounts appear to have been hacked and bogus messages sent out.

The messages usually ask for the recipient’s help to buy a gift card, promising to refund the money as soon as they can.

Victims of this crime have lost money after buying a gift card and sending the card number to the criminals by email. The fraudsters don’t require the physical card, only the card number.

The fraudsters either send out an email directly from the hacked email account to everyone in the person’s address book, or copy the address book and create a new account with a similar email address – sometimes with an extra letter in it or using a different provider. This way, even if the victim regains control over their account, the fraudsters can continue to send out bogus emails that could be mistaken for genuine ones.

If you believe your email account has been hacked, try to change your password as soon as possible and visit your email account provider’s website for further advice.

If you have received an email that you believe is bogus, you can forward it to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) at


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