Tag Archives: M&S

Hackers impersonate Marks and Spencer CEO Steve Rowe in £35 ‘free’ gift voucher scam

Cyber criminals have launched an audacious online scam designed to trick Marks and Spencer (M&S) customers into handing over confidential data by attempting to impersonate the famous High Street retailer’s CEO Steve Rowe.

The fraudulent adverts, uncovered by the Parliament Street Think Tank’s cyber research team, were launched via social networking site Facebook from an unverified page entitled ‘Marks and Spencer Store’.

Users have been bombarded with adverts showing a man (who’s not Steve Rowe) holding M&S-branded bags accompanied by the message: “Hello everyone. My name is Steve Rowe and I’m the CEO of Marks and Spencer. I’ve an announcement to make. To celebrate our 135th Anniversary, we’re giving EVERYONE who shares and then comments by 11.59 pm tonight one of these mystery bags containing a £35 M&S voucher plus goodies! Make sure you enter here [URL].”

The fake URL takes unsuspecting users to an M&S-branded portal where they’re asked for their name, address, mobile phone number and bank details including sort code and account number in order to ‘enter’ the prize draw.

Around 150 members of the public had identified and reported the scam, which was flagged to consumer groups and raised as an issue on social media.

In a statement, Marks and Spencer commented: “We have been made aware of this advert and it isn’t genuine. Our colleagues are investigating further.”

Expert observations

Cyber security expert Andy Heather, vice-president of Centrify, observed: “With more people than ever committed to online retail shopping due to COVID-19, it’s likely that we’ll see a surge of ‘exclusive’ or ‘one-time only’ deals pop up on social media, via e-mail and through SMS messages over the course of the next few months up until Christmas. Unfortunately, many of these sales and deals, much like this M&S one, will be a scam designed to steal confidential data, such as payment details or log-in credentials.”

Heather continued: “If people may have already fallen victim to a scam of this nature, it’s essential that they take proactive measures to stop these scammers in their tracks. This requires individuals to report these scams to the impersonated brand, freeze bank accounts and change log-in details. It’s very common for attackers to hold on to stolen log-in credentials for months after an attack, waiting for the victim to drop their guard before re-breaking in to other accounts protected by the same password.”

Tim Sadler, CEO at Tessian, explained: “Phishing scams don’t just reside in your Inbox. Hackers are increasingly using social media as another hunting ground for their victims. With the lure of a prize giveaway, cyber criminals are hoping that people will click the URL link to ‘enter’ the competition. Those that do click are led to a malicious website that prompts them to enter valuable personal information and credit card details.”

Sadler concluded: “As we head into the busy pre-Christmas shopping season, we can only expect to see more of these types of ‘sale’ scams emerge online. Treat these posts just like you would any phishing e-mail. Ask yourself if this deal seems legitimate and verify the identity of the person requesting you to take action before clicking on any links. In this instance, the scammers have used a picture of someone who isn’t the CEO of M&S. If you’re still unsure, visit the retailer’s website and official social media channels to cross-check that the deal has been mentioned elsewhere.”

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Securitas Community Awards 2014: The Winners

The fifth annual Securitas Community Awards were presented at the Tortworth Court Hotel in Gloucestershire on Thursday 19 June.

The awards are designed to recognise the outstanding work by Securitas employees during the last 12 months. A number of reward schemes, based on performance and contribution to the community, culminate in the annual awards ceremony.

Winners were announced in nine categories and finalists and invited guests enjoyed listening to stories of impressive acts of innovation, bravery and community initiatives.

The 2014 winners are as follows:

Securitas Community Award: Michael Seggie

Securitas Community Award for Core Values: Karl McLean

Securitas Community Award for Integrity: Christopher Durham

Securitas Community Award for Vigilance: Saif Ul Haq

Securitas Community Award for Helpfulness: Andrew Longbottom

Securitas Community Team Award: Emergency Fire Crew Capability

Securitas Community Award for Innovation: Pete Lidbetter

Securitas Community Award for Leadership: Peter Langley

Securitas Community Award for the Most Outstanding Act: Trevor Thompson

Proud winners of the Securitas Community Awards 2014

Proud winners of the Securitas Community Awards 2014

Commenting on the evening, Securitas’ Chief Operating Officer Shaun Kennedy said: “Tonight is an excellent chance for us to reward and recognise the acts of our people working across the whole of the UK. The company has 16,000 officers. Those here tonight are the ‘Best of the Best’, and every one of them should be extremely proud of their achievements.”

Securitas Good Customer Award 2014

In addition, Marks & Spencer was announced as the winner of the 2014 Securitas Good Customer Award.

Part of the company’s annual Community Awards event, this category is designed to reward those customers who have contributed greatly to an improvement in the standards and perception of the security industry as a whole.

The Judging Panel was chaired by Brian Sims Hon FSyI, Editor of Risk UK, and included Aaron Grant (Head of Security at Aviva UK) who presented the award.

The Judges examined finalists’ procurement strategies, how they work with their security suppliers and how quality of security provision has improved as a result.

Marks & Spencer was judged to have done the most to improve the procurement and effective development of its security services.

Brian Riis Nielsen – Securitas’s Country President and UK Managing Director – said: “It’s very clear Marks & Spencer understands the importance of security to the business. The company understands that, without the significant investment of time, expertise and money in its security provision, the business would be at considerable risk.”

Clint Reid (Head of Corporate Security at Marks & Spencer who received the award) commented: “It really is an honour to win this award. It reinforces our long-standing partnership with Securitas, which is built on a strong foundation of trust.”

Reid went on to state: “We work with Securitas to ensure our training package and development programme pushes the boundaries of delivery. We have worked together to realign its structure to the needs of the customer and to add substantial value to our loss prevention/corporate security delivery.”

Reid continued: “I’m proud to say that, in Securitas, we have a security partner who understands not only what our customers want, but one that’s also able to collaborate on projects and ways of working which deliver significant benefits to M&S.”

Brian Riis Nielsen also stated: “Marks & Spencer’s security strap line is ‘Protecting our People, Property, Profit and Brand’. Without doubt, the company is committed to delivering security excellence. I’m pleased to say that, in partnership with Securitas, Marks & Spencer has undertaken an exciting journey on the way to delivering a revolutionary and industry-leading approach to a total security solution.”

Raising money for excellent charities

The 2014 Community Awards event raised £2,000 for this year’s dedicated charities, namely Help for Heroes and St Teresa’s Hospice.

“Securitas holds a lot of award ceremonies across the 52 countries in which it operates,” explained Brian Riis Nielsen. “However, the UK Community Awards is the only one that brings together our customers, partners and suppliers in the same room to celebrate the achievements of our people. To me, that is unique and something about which we can all be very proud indeed.”

In conclusion, Securitas’ UK leader said: “Our officers often comment that they are just ‘doing what they do’, but they should all go home tonight with their heads held high. I hope they will encourage their fellow officers to believe that it could be their turn next year!”

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