Scams...

Have you been caught by a scam of some sort?

    Do you know someone who has been caught?                  
    
       Someone knocking on your front door offering to repair your roof - your drive - trim your trees... ?

           Had a strange 'phone call, e-mail, or a letter ?



ACTION FRAUD is the national centre for reporting fraud or internet crime - call 0300 123 2040;  on the internet go to www.actionfraud.police.uk where reports can easily be made online.
It also worth knowing that the 'Action Fraud' title has also been used in a scam! Be careful!!!

Fraudsters are obtaining genuine banking customer security information and getting access to accounts by performing “man-in-the-middle” vishing scams. 

The scam starts with fraudsters contacting people by a text, letter or email purporting to be from their bank, which requests that the victims contact them on a telephone number provided.

See more about this, and other such fraudulent scams, here


It's back - again.....

Norfolk Trading Standards are again receiving reports about telephone cold calls claiming to be from BT.

During the call the cold caller will state that there is a ‘problem’ with your computer and that they need to access the computer to ‘fix the issue’. Often various claims may be made including that they will ‘cut off your broadband’ to attempt to persuade the call recipient to follow their instructions.


For more consumer advice and updates, visit Norfolk County Council 
consumer alerts web page


March 2016

1)    Norfolk Trading Standards are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving a report of cold calling incidents in the Great Yarmouth area earlier this week. Information was received about a cold callers visiting properties attempting to sell funeral plans. The seller was described as a young male carrying a black folder.

2)    Norfolk Trading Standards are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of cold calling incidents in the Ditchingham area yesterday. Information was received about cold callers visiting properties selling household cleaning products and items like dusters and cloths.

In both cases these sellers may move on to other locations in the Norfolk area.

Trading Standards advises NEVER to deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to sell something or attempting to sign you up to a service.

If you are approached by these sellers or see them in your area please report it to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or to Norfolk Police on 101

_________________________

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers in the Great Yarmouth area – 17 March 2016

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving a report of cold calling incidents in the Great Yarmouth area earlier this week.

Information was received about a cold callers visiting properties attempting to sell funeral plans. The seller was described as a young male carrying a black folder.

Trading Standards advises NEVER to deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to sell something or trying to sign you up to a service.

It is possible this sellers may move on to other locations in the Norfolk area.

Norfolk County Council Trading Standards are warning residents to be vigilant following reports of people selling

Trading Standards have received a report of traders calling unannounced, selling fish, using an unmarked non-refrigerated white van; they may move on to other locations in the Norfolk area.

In the past these type of sellers have been known to use high pressure sales tactics and there have been issues with the quality of the fish being offered, whether the type of fish is as claimed, and whether it has been appropriately stored for transportation.

_______________________


Trading Standards advices consumers DO NOT deal with cold callers and NEVER be pressurised into buying on the doorstep.

Anyone sighting this seller in Norfolk or concerned about rogue trader activity can contact Trading Standards through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or by telephone on 03454 04 05 06.

More advice and updates from Norfolk TS

For more consumer advice and updates, visit our consumer alerts web page or follow us on Facebook or twitter.

 



January 2016

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be a Penalty Charge Notice – 14 January 2016

Norfolk Trading Standards are highlighting a warning from Norfolk Police about emails circulating claiming to be a Penalty Charge Notice.

These emails are not genuine and are designed to panic people into opening the attachment which comes with the email.

The emails have a Subject along the lines of ‘Invoice for IA.......(series of random numbers)’ and examples have been seen claiming to come from a number of different senders, although these are likely to be spoofed and not connected to the genuine company / organisation or Government department on the email. See example of email message below.

Note the statement below that 'the fine has been paid on your behalf'.
This ought to alert you to ask 'what body would pay a fine for you'?

Attached to the email is a Word or Excel document which if opened contains a number of virus and Malware which will attempt to infect your machine.

If you receive one of these emails you should delete it without clicking on any links or attachments to the email



Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming you need to ‘change your boiler’ – 13 January 2016

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning about telephone cold calls claiming that the ‘Government requires you to change your boiler to a high efficiency model by the end of 2016’.

THIS IS NOT TRUE OF EXISTING INSTALLATIONS - IT REFERS ONLY TO 'NEW BUILD' PROJECTS.

If you have received one of these cold calls or have agreed to a visit during a cold call and you need further advice contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or telephone 03454 04 05 06.

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from Amazon – 17 December 2015

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning of emails claiming to come from 'Amazon Account Security' stating that they have 'disabled your online access' until you 'verify' your account after 'a sign in attempt that may not have been you'.

The email is not from Amazon and it is a phishing email attempting to gather account, personal & financial details that could be used to hijack your Amazon account or commit further fraud. The email contains your email address as part of the text in an attempt to legitimize the approach.

Amazon state that they will NEVER ask for any of this information following email contact:

  • Your National Insurance Number
  • Your bank account information, credit card number, PIN number, or credit card security code (including "updates" to any of the above)
  • Your mother's maiden name or other information to identify you (such as your place of birth or your favourite pet's name
  • Your Amazon.co.uk password

If you receive a suspicious email that claims to be from Amazon you can report it to them via the Amazon Website.





August 2015

A current scam involves people receiving a telephone call pretending to be from 'West Norfolk Borough Council', saying that the council is 'investigating an accident' and asking for some personal details. This is most likely to be a SCAM. I can confirm that this scam is active, having personally received such a call recently referring to 'an accident that you have reported'. The caller ID on the telephone indicated that the call was made from a King's Lynn number.
Knowing full well that no such report of an accident had been made the call was terminated promptly.
Be aware that calls from the Borough Council will normally show on 'phone 'Caller ID' systems as 'Withheld' - so if it is shown as a number then it is likely to be false.
The Borough Council will never ask for personal details on the telephone; any caller that does ask for such information is almost certainly trying to scam you.

Should you be uncertain, then the best way to manage the situation is to ask for the callers name, and the department in which he/she works. It is most likely that your caller will end the call at this point of course, being unable to provide a genuine reply.  However, should you be given the information, then, using a different telephone if possible**, call the council yourself - 01553 616200 - and ask to speak to named person. If the call is genuine then you will be connected, so confirming the identity of the caller;  if the call is bogus then you will quickly determine that it is so.
** Note that if you have to make the call to the Council using the same 'phone, then it is advisable to wait a while - 10 minutes perhaps - before making the call.


July 2015 

A recent SCAM concerns users of iPhones and iPads. Pop-up messages are appearing on screens saying that the Safari IOS browser, most commonly used on Apple products, has crashed and that the user should contact Apple to get it fixed.
See the sample Pop-up message to the right     ----->
Users are given one of a series of numbers to dial - including 0800 279 6211, 0800 652 4895 and 0800 310 1061 in the UK.

To fix the problem the advice is to follow the steps below:-
  1. Turn your device on to "airplane mode", either by swiping up from the bottom of the screen and tapping the plane logo, or going to Settings and toggling Airplane Mode on.
  2. Delete your Safari data by going to Settings -> Safari -> Clear History and Website Data
  3. Open Safari and exit Airplane Mode
To prevent the issue happening again, go to Settings -> Safari -> Block Pop-ups.



The County Council  provides information about new scams, variations on old scams, advice on what to do, who to tell, and so on.

The most recent alerts appear on this page.

The Trading Standards Institute web site has useful advice - including for example recent recalls on faulty products.


Recent scams include an email which claims it has been sent to you because BT has ‘been unable to process your payment for your recent Bill’. The email then offers a web link to enable you to ‘verify’ your account to ‘avoid disconnection of service’.

The email is a scam and is not from BT. Anyone following the link will be taken to a fake version of the BT website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details which could be used to commit fraud or identity theft.

Another email, seeming to have come to you from Amazon,  states that ‘your account has been frozen temporarily’ to ‘protect it’. It goes on to state that you need to ‘confirm’ your account via a link provided in the email. This email is not from Amazon and anyone following the link will be taken to a fake version of the Amazon website which will attempt to gain account log in and financial details which could be used to commit fraud.

A third which seems to pop up every year around Christmas, either email or on social media, concerns a parcel delivery ‘scam’ relating to a company called ‘PDS’ and an ‘0906’ telephone number please be aware this information relates to a postal scam from 2005 which was shut down quickly by the appropriate regulator.

If you receive an email relating to this, or see this ‘scam’ being shared by friends online, please do not repeat this information as it only helps to continue this hopelessly outdated and unnecessary warning.However, you can let them know that the telephone number in the message is not in service and is no cause for concern.


There is also an email scam purporting to come from the DVLA asking that you verify your driving licence details - using an online link. It is a scam and the DVLA is not seeking to check you information in this way. Have nothing to do with it!!

It seems that this is attempting to obtain some of your personal details - a variation on an identity scam. It may be that because there has been some confusion about the forthcoming changes to driving licence and fraudsters are trying to take advantage.


There seems always to be someone out there trying to Con you in some way - on the doorstep - or on the telephone, or letters in the post.

The County Council  provides information about new scams, variations on old scams, advice on what to do, who to tell, and so on.


Council Tax scam:
Have you received a telephone call from the Borough Council advising that your property was in the wrong tax band?

Be aware that such calls are SCAM and do not come from the Borough Council. Property tax bands are dealt with by the Valuation Office - NOT the Borough Council. If you are asked to pay upfront, by a council employee, (or indeed anyone else!) for an investigation into your tax banding, do the sensible thing, take the callers name and telephone number ( if they will give it to you ), then put the 'phone down.
You can then  telephone the Borough Council - 01553 616200 -  and check whether you have been called by the council concerning the matter.



Watch out for SCAM "Microsoft" telephone calls

You will no doubt have come across this before in all of the various media outlets there are these days, but this is a new variation on an old theme that is rather alarming.
If you receive a call from anyone saying they are affiliated with Microsoft, it is a scam.
But if you do get taken in and realize during the call that things are a bit "iffy", then if you have the presence of mind to do so, disconnect yourself from the internet before you let on you are going to end the call.
This is because, once they get wind you are suspicious, they setup your PC, so that when you restart it there is a password you have to enter to get back in. Removing yourself from the internet may prevent this. This is no ordinary password system as it denies access to everyone and the only way round it is to completely rebuild the computer. Not something you want to have to happen to you - I assure you!
So please be careful who you give access to your computer.

 

PayPal scam...

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from PayPal –

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning residents to be aware of scam emails circulating which claim you have received funds to your PayPal account, follow this link to see full details



A lighthearted response to cold callers !

AN ANSWERPHONE GREETING


I don’t want solar panels
And I can’t claim PPI
I never made those payments
Can’t claim back, not worth a try

My kitchen and my bathroom
Are both still pretty new,
So why would I replace them
With others bought from you?

My energy provider,
Though not cheap, I must admit,
Is the best I can locate.
To keep my house both warm and fit

My telephone and broadband
Selected with some care,
Fit what I’m needing.
And the cost is pretty fair

And just to make quite clear,
My PC is not sick
You’re not getting my password.
Do you think I’m that thick?

But to make things easy,
Just before I let you go
Whatever you’ve to offer,
MY REPLY IS AWAYS “NO”

Click Here for Consumer Advice on the County Council website, including advice on how to protect yourself and avoid becoming a victim.


A current scam involving telephoning a potential victim begins as follows....
'The scam starts with a telephone cold call in which the caller claims to be a police officer – in these recent cases the person claimed to be from the West Midlands or Metropolitan Police. They stated that they had a person in custody who had attempted to clone the bank cards of the person they are calling. They then state that they require account details including card number, security number and PIN. If the person receiving the call becomes suspicious the caller suggests they call 999 or 101 to ask for confirmation that the caller is a police officer.' ..... A variation of this is a call from your bank - suggesting that they have evidence that your credit card, or debit card had been used by fraudsters and the account has been frozen to protect it. You are then advised to 'phone the bank directly to confirm what you have been told - similarly to the case above concerning calls from the Police.
In each case, what happens is that the caller keeps your telephone line open so that when you call either the police or the bank, you are in fact still talking to the original caller. In the belief that you are talking to either the police or the bank, you are open to doing what you are asked to do - reveal card details - transfer cash to a new account and so on.
The advice in these circumstances is always to use a DIFFERENT TELEPHONE to make the call that you have been asked to make; this may be either another landline - a neighbours perhaps - or a mobile telephone. In this way, you should at least be talking to whom you think you are.
Even then - do not reveals card detai8ls - passwords - pin numbers etc.

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning Norfolk residents about telephone cold calls asking for codes to key safes.

We have been contacted by the relative of an elderly Norwich resident who was telephone cold called by someone who was claiming to be working for British Telecom (BT). The caller stated that there was ‘problems with the telephones in the area’ and that they needed the code to the residents’ key safe so they could access the property.

The resident in this case unwittingly revealed the key safe code for their property to the caller. Following the call the resident realised their mistake and contacted a relative who contacted Trading Standards.

BT has stated that ‘genuine BT staff will never ask for this kind of information from householders. If you are ever unsure about a caller claiming to be from BT, end the call straight away and call us back on 0800 800 150.’

Trading Standards advises residents with a key safe to NEVER reveal the code to anyone who cold calls asking for details.

If you have received one of these calls and need further advice contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06 or via their online reporting form.




 
15 January 2014

Warning over council tax e-mail scam

The Borough Council is warning residents about a potential e-mail scam from a company purporting to be a government-run agency.  The e-mail offers a refund on council tax.

A west Norfolk resident contacted the council after receiving an e-mail advi
sing that she was due a refund on her council tax of £451 due to an overpayment of tax/PAYE.  The e-mail claims that the overpaid amount can be reclaimed by completing and submitting the tax return form attached to the message for processing.

The contact name is Rodney Williams, Direct Gov Credit Office, Preston and the message was delivered from         REFUND@direct.gov.uk

(DO NOT OPEN ANY E-MAIL FROM THIS ADDRESS - DELETE IT UNOPENED)

Jo Stanton, Revenues and Benefits Manager, said: "We are asking residents to be vigilant. These e-mails are a scam.  We would never contact a taxpayer in this way and would urge people receiving e-mails of this nature to delete them immediately without opening the attachments."

"Residents should be wary about giving out personal details, especially bank details, by e-mail.  If anyone is concerned about any correspondence regarding council tax, either by e-mail or post, they should call us direct on 01553 616200."

Further crime prevention advice for dealing with scams is available on Norfolk Constabulary's website. 

COMPUTER SCAM

A current scam ( January 2014) is one concerning computer useage. Whilst in use a POP UP screen appears and stops you using the computer further. It alleges that you have been using illegal web sites and threatens Police action.

It asks for a a ransom to be paid to unlock your machine. Strangely enough, paying the ransom appears to do the trick and the machine is unlocked, though the malware remains on the computer.

Read more about it, and how to get rid of it, here




November 2013.
A variation on the Credit Card Scam - see below - is where an item is ordered online or by post, in your name at your address. Soon after the item is delivered you are contacted and told that due to an error an item has been delivered to you and that it will shortly be collected by a courier. The idea is that when the courier (scammer) turns up to collect it, you hand it over believing that all is legitimate. The scammer is then able to sell on the item as brand new and pocket the cash;This all works very well - especially if the scammer has already stolen your credit card and paid for the item with your cash. The lesson is that if you receive an unexpected item, inform the sender yourself - and make arrangements for it to be returned.

Other common scams are e-mails from apparently legitimate companies - BT, 'phone companies and so on, which claim that they have been unable to process a payment from you and asking that you to update your payment details. Companies will not normally do this and you should be very cautious - if it looks dodgy, it probably is!. If you ever receive such a message, and especially if you don't have any business with the 'company' making contact - ideally do not open it - and most certainly do not click on any link in the message - you can be sure that it will take you to the scammers own web page - even if it does look very much like the real thing.

Gmail has also been subject to fraud - with an e-mail seeming to come from Gmail advising that you have missed messages and providing a link to enable you to recover those missing messages.The email is not from Google Gmail and all of the links contained in the message go to an online unlicensed pharmaceuticals site.
Again, never to open or click any links within spam emails.

_________________________________

Older items - but still relevant.......

Of particular interest to computer users is the following - taken from the County Council site.
This scam has been ongoing for some time and clearly people are still falling for it - it wouldn't still be happening if it wasn't working!

BE AWARE - DON'T SIGN UP TO ANYTHING THAT STARTS WITH SOMEONE 'PHONING YOU AND TELLING YOU THAT YOU HAVE A COMPUTER PROBLEM AND THAT THEY CAN SORT IT OUT.

Computer Fault Scam – 24 April 2012

Norfolk County Council Trading Standards are again reminding residents to be aware and to warn others that the Computer Fault Scam is continuing to target people in our area.

The scam starts with a phone call or email from individuals who claim to work for computer software companies. The contact advises that there is a problem with the user’s computer and that they can offer a security check.  The individual then gains access to the computer.  This gives them access to personal information held on the computer, including account log-in information and bank details, which can be used to commit fraud.  Victims can also end up being asked to pay for the ‘fixes’ the fraudster has made to their computer.

If you receive a scam call or email like this you can report it to Action Fraud via their online fraud reporting tool or to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online form


CREDIT CARD SCAM - MAY 2012        


There is a recent newspaper report of a twist on a credit card scam. This involves a bank customer receiving a telephone call advising that their credit card(s) have been targeted by fraudsters. 'As part of a new strategy' the customer is told that 'the bank will send a courier to collect the cards so that checks could be made about where they were last used'. Customers are also asked, 'as part of the new system', to reveal their PIN numbers.

By now you can probably see where this story is going....you should have recognised what is happening - your nerve endings should be jumping up and down - you must know that this doesn't sound safe.   BUT IT GETS BETTER.....


the customer is then advised to 'phone their bank to confirm the arrangement for the collection of the cards. However, the call to the bank is re-directed to the fraudsters number - who of course is only to willing to confirm the arrangement to collect the cards.

If you then hand your card(s) to the courier he has free access to your account - you will already have given them the PIN number. Done and dusted as they say !

REMEMBER
NO BANK WILL EVER ASK YOU TO REVEAL YOUR PIN NUMBER

NO ON-LINE SHOPPING SITE WILL EVER ASK FOR YOUR PIN NUMBER

ONLY ONE PERSON HAS ANY NEED TO KNOW YOUR PIN NUMBER - YOU

DO NOT WRITE YOU PIN NUMBER DOWN - DO NOT USE THE SAME NUMBER FOR MORE THAN ONE CARD

DO NOT HAND YOUR CARD TO ANYONE KNOCKING AT YOUR DOOR

Have you ever handed your card to a barman, or restaurant waiter and let him retain it, or walk away with it?
When paying a bill at a bar or restuarant go to the counter, or have the waiter bring the card reader to you at your table.
YOU SHOULD KNOW AT ALL TIMES EXACTLY WHERE YOUR CARD IS AND, IDEALLY,
NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF IT.

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