Friday, 19 May 2017

Latest Alert from Staffordshire Police Set-Top Box Fraud Alert

We have been aware of a new fraudulent trend that may impact the general public in relation to set-top boxes infected with malware intended to steal user's details to commit fraud. 

Safeguarding the public from illegal streaming services via set-top boxes is vital to the UK economy, the Creative Industry and the many people employed in the industry. There are 'set-top' boxes imported from various foreign jurisdictions that are enabled so people can view illegal content.

We are aware that set-top boxes, although perfectly legal in their own right, are repeatedly adapted by criminals to unlawfully receive TV channels protected by intellectual laws.

The set-top boxes can come with many common features the person purchasing may be unaware of, such as   sites offering access to copyright infringing material and access to illegal sites. The set-top boxes may also contain infected malware that is disguised as something as innocent as a play button and is unknowingly initiated by the user; potentially impacting other electronic devices. The users will normally have used some personal details when setting up the set-top box, which could be used to defraud them. Consequently, what may appear to be a bargain for the consumer may quickly turn into a genuine problem by loss of personal data and or money.

Our advice would be to only purchase set-top/streaming boxes from recognised outlets. Contact your bank if you notice any suspicious transactions on your accounts. When signing up to websites/internet services, use a password or PIN you have not used elsewhere.
If you suspect you have been a victim of fraud you can report this to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.