We reported in the March and April newsletters that The Online Watch Link (OWL) service that has for years provided alerts and guidance to help keep communities is replaced by a new service called Herts Connected. You must register to receive the new service. If you have not already registered then we suggest you do so as there are some important notifications to help you stay safe.

For example a recent update highlighted that WhatsApp group chat members are being targeted by fraudsters. The fraud often begins when a member of the group receives a WhatsApp audio call from the fraudster, pretending or claiming to be another member of the group. This is done to gain the individual’s trust, and often the scammer will use a false profile picture and/or display name, so at first glance it would appear to be a genuine member of the group.
The fraudster will tell the victim they are sending them a one-time passcode which will allow them to join an upcoming video call for group members. The criminal then asks the victim to share this passcode with them so they can be “registered” for the video call.  In reality, the criminal is asking for a registration code to register the victim’s WhatsApp account to a new device so they can take over their account.

Once the fraudster has access to the victim’s WhatsApp account, they will enable two-step verification which makes it impossible for the victim to regain access their account. Other members of the group, or friends and family in the victim’s contacts, will then be messaged asking them to transfer money urgently as they are in desperate need of help.

To register to Herts Connected, visit: https://hertsconnected.co.uk/