City Of London Police Scam
Follow-on-Fraudsters are perpetrating a City of London Police scam. They are writing to investors pretending to be from the City of London Police claiming to be investigating their investment. So far we are aware of telephone calls and emails to investors in the Westway Holdings investment scam.
These fraudsters are likely to be based offshore because if they were based in the UK they would be in even more trouble. The email could be construed as impersonating a Police Officer which is a criminal offence.
The email itself is very credible so it would be very easy to be taken in by it, but there are some clues that it is not genuine. For example, the website address given at the bottom of the email is genuine – it is the address of City of London Police. The email address of the alleged Police Officer appears at first glance to be genuine, but a closer inspection shows that:
1. There is a gap in the name ‘Jenna’. It is written as ‘Jenn a’. The reason for this is because the email address is not email@example.com . It is actually firstname.lastname@example.org. The ‘Jenn’ does not form part of the email address. Clever trick.
2. A reader may not pick up that the domain address of the genuine City of London Police website is ‘cityoflondon.police.uk’, whereas the domain address for the scam email has hyphens between the words. It is ‘city-of-london.police.uk’. The email address is a totally separate domain from that of the genuine Police website. Scammers use these small deceptions all the time to deceive investors.
The questions the fake Police Officer asks the intended victims are designed to gather as much information as possible. The reason is because this is just phase one of the follow-on-fraud. They know they can’t ask for money at this stage because a Police Officer asking for money would give them away. If anyone is duped into providing the information they become part of phase two and can expect to receive follow-on-fraud approaches from scammers which an investor may believe is genuine due to the fact that they know so much about their personal investment circumstances. These might be “We are working with the liquidator. You invested XXX on YYY date from your bank account ZZZ and we are pleased to be able to tell you that it has all been recovered and we are holding it for you. In order to release the money we need you to pay our admin fee which is £5,000”. They could use a number of different angles in their story e.g “you need to pay tax on the money before it can be released, or someone has agreed to buy your investment for the full amount but there is a commission you need to pay us” and so on.
There were 19 questions in the email. We have removed them because we don’t want there to be any copycat attempts by other scammers, but here is the email which has been sent out:
Good Morning Mrs XXXXXXX,
Thank you for taking my call on XXXXXXXXX in relation to Westways Holdings Ltd. As explained in the call, City of London Police are investigation Westway Holding Ltd and believe you are a victim.
Please could you answer the following questions in relation to the investment you made with Westway Holdings Ltd:
[ QUESTIONS 1 – 19 THEN FOLLOW ]
Fraud Team B I City of London Police Economic Crime Directorate, 1st Floor, Guildhall Buildings, Guildhall Yard East, London EC2V 5AEp 0207 696 4813 I m 07821810453e g Jenn a.Daltrey@city-of-london.police.ukw www.cityoflondon.police.uk t www.twitter.com/citypolice
If anyone receives an email like this purporting to come from the City of London Police they should report it to the Police. Here is a link to the City Of London reporting page on their website. They advise that they normally respond to reports within 48 hours.