Argyll and West Dunbartonshire Police Division have received a report from a resident in Alexandria that they were contacted through their PlayStation asking for their username and password as there was a problem with their account.
This information was provided, and unfortunately the user had used the same account details for other systems, which have since been hacked and all passwords changed, preventing them from accessing their own accounts.
With the holiday season upon us, and many taking to their gaming consoles, please remember scammers will use many means to get access to your finances, including pretending to be in an official capacity whether that is for a gaming account or a bank.
We would like to remind you of some advice in relation to protecting user names and passwords:
- Use a strong password or passphrase
- Your password should be at least 12 characters long
- The password should contain a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols – using 3 random words is considered a good safe approach
- Never give personal or sensitive details out online or over email
- Make sure all devices have the latest anti-virus software and a firewall installed
- Keep software and apps regularly updated
- Only download from legal, trusted websites
- Only open emails and attachments from known and trusted sources
- Check the address starts with 'https://' whenever you’re asked to enter sensitive information online
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi hotspots that are not secure
- Avoid public Wi-Fi if it asks you for personal information to access
- Regularly back up your data
- Control your social media accounts
- Regularly check your privacy settings and how your data is being used and shared
- Be cautious of internet chats and online dating - there’s no guarantee you’re speaking to who you think
- Be extremely cautious if you’re asked for money.
- If you think you’ve been scammed report it to Police Scotland on 101. If you are in immediate danger, contact the police on 999.
- Contact your bank if you think you have been scammed or attempts have been made to get money from any of your accounts.
For more hints and tips on cyber security please visit https://www.scotland.police.uk/advice-and-information/internet-safety/keep-secure-online/
Original message sent by: Varrie McDevitt (NHWN, Admin Assistant, Neighbourhood Watch Scotland)