The Cyber Emergency Response Team (cert.je) has warned Islanders about three scams which are currently doing the rounds.
As a member of the Jersey Fraud Prevention Forum, we always encourage consumers in Jersey to be wary of any possible scams, and to question anything that you don’t think seems legitimate.
In their latest warning, Cert.je say: “It’s an unfortunate fact of life that there are people out there who want to grab themselves money that they don’t have a right to.
“Fraud in all its forms is big business – our friends at the Jersey Fraud Prevention Forum report that something like 40% of all recorded crime is now fraud-related. And the bar for being able to successfully commit fraud is low.
“Again and again, we’ve seen that news stories drive scamming campaigns. Last summer, people set up fake accounts to collect for Ukrainian refugees; last December it was the same but for victims of the L’Ecume II sinking and the Haut du Mont flats explosion.
“This time the hot topics are the Island Games, Martin Lewis and EasyJet.”
Cert.je provided us with some more information about the three scams – and what Islanders should be looking out for.
The Island Games
In the case of the Games, the scammers have set up fake Facebook groups promising live streams of the action for a fee.
There are actually free streams being provided by the organisers.
The largest fake group reputedly has some 3000 members, many of them local.
The Martin Lewis case is what is known as a deepfake video – the creators have used artificial intelligence to create a video of something that looks very much like the MoneySavingExpert.com founder, but is not him.
It’s advertising a product called Quantum AI, allegedly backed by Elon Musk. Those who ‘like’ the advert are likely to get a phone call or email asking if they want to invest.
EasyJet has announced that they plan to cancel 1700 flights from Gatwick over the summer.
The scammers are sending emails that, more or less, say ‘act now to get compensation’.
What to do
Cert.je offer the following advice:
The best guidance we can offer is to ensure you ask two or three questions:
- Is the site/group/email asking you to do something that means handing over personal data?
- Is it pressing you to do it straight away?
If the answer to both of those questions is yes – proceed with extreme caution. Ask yourself another question:
- Is this official/genuine?
In the case of the Island Games, the official Facebook page, Facebook group and YouTube channel for the games are all called Guernsey2023, and the official website is guernsey2023.gg. If there is a difference between that and the group you are in, then you’re in the wrong group. Similarly, EasyJet have an official website which will tell you how to reclaim for cancelled flights. Talk to the organ grinders – not the monkeys.