Trading Standards have a few scams to warn you about this week –
- Covid scams haven’t gone away and they probably wont for some considerable time so please be cautious if you receive an email or text purporting to be from the NHS. This recent scam states that you have been in contact with somebody who has tested positive for the new Omicron variant and instructs you to send for a FREE PCR test. If you click on the link you will then be asked for your information and your bank details to pay for the 99p postage. Whilst this might seem a small amount you will have given the scammers all of your details and your card details which they can then use or sell on potentially taking all of your money. Remember – there is no longer any track and trace so nobody will know if you have been with anyone who has tested positive – NEVER click on links in text and emails
- One resident received a call from a company stating that he was in the wrong tax band and the company could save him money and could backdate the refund to 1991 and he would get a full refund of over £7000! All he had to do was pay £195.00 over the phone using his card. Fortunately the resident asked them to put it in writing which they obviously refused and he realised it was a scam. If you believe you are in the wrong tax band you can challenge it yourself – information can be found on the Government website Challenge your Council Tax band: Overview – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- The council is currently processing energy rebates and report that a customer has had a text advising her to click on the link to apply – this is a scam you do not need to apply the Council any rebates will be issued automatically – NEVER click on links in emails and texts
- The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau is warning the public about the continued increase in reports about scams where criminals pretend to be someone you know (usually your children) on Whatsapp. Criminals will usually begin the conversation with “Hello Mum” or “Hello Dad” and will say that they are texting from a new mobile number as their phone was lost or damaged. They will then ask for money to purchase a new one, or claim that they need money urgently to pay a bill. The criminal will provide bank details for the payment to be made to, with some coming back with further demands for money.
How to protect yourself:
- STOP. THINK. CALL. If a family member or friend makes an unusual request on WhatsApp, always call the person to confirm their identity.
- You can report spam messages or block a sender within WhatsApp. Press and hold on the message bubble, select ‘Report’ and then follow the instructions.
- Never share your account’s activation code (that’s the 6 digit code you receive via SMS)