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Watch out for scams

Scam warning 2

Read our FAQs that answer some of the questions you may have about the cyber incident at St Helens Borough Council. 

Fake direct debit emails

We are urging residents to watch out for online scams and have some helpful tips for what to do if you have been contacted by a scammer. 

You might receive an email, claiming to be from your bank informing you that a new direct debit has been set up. The email will look real, and will include links to click on to confirm your details. 

This email is a fake email known as phishing. Criminals use fake messages to get you to click on links in order to get sensitive information such as your bank details. 

You should always question unsolicited calls, texts or emails requesting your personal or financial information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number). Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.

What to do if you receive a suspicious message

If you receive a message and it makes you suspicious, you should:

Stop - don't click on, or use any numbers or addresses in the message

Contact the organisation directly - go online and use the details on their official website

Report the suspicious email to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or use their online reporting tool.

What can I do to protect myself online?

Make sure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus software and a firewall installed. Ensure your browser is set to the highest level of security and monitoring to prevent malware issues and computer crimes.

Always install the latest software and app updates on all of your devices. Protect your email account with a strong, separate password and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) where possible.

Use a strong password. Combining 3 random words that each mean something to you is a great way to create a password that is easy to remember but hard to crack.

Do not use words that can be guessed (like your pet's name). You can include numbers and symbols if needed. For example, "Hippo!PizzaRocket1"

More information

You can find out more about keeping yourself safe online, or reporting scams on the following websites:

Action Fraud

Avoid and report internet scams and phishing - GOV.UK