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Consumer scam alerts

You can report scams to our partners, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline, using the Citizens Advice online reporting form or by calling 0808 223 1133 (freephone), or you can report a scam to Action Fraud, the UK national fraud office using their online fraud reporting tool or by calling 0300 123 2040.

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Scam Alert - Fake listings for holiday accommodation – 06 August 2020

Due to travel restrictions and the loss of holidays overseas during the pandemic, there has been a shift in planning for a staycation. This has led to people booking places to stay in Norfolk via Facebook adverts, which has been exploited by criminals who are creating fake adverts for accommodation.

One Norfolk resident has lost £350 after booking a holiday cottage via a fake advert. The resident was informed on the morning of their holiday that the previous occupants of the cottage had tested positive for Covid-19 and that their booking could therefore not go ahead. The Facebook advert was then removed and the resident was unable to make further contact and request a refund.

The advert requests that payment is made via bank transfer rather than through a booking site or other secure payment method. If a bank transfer is your only option for payment, this should set alarm bells ringing. You should be especially cautious if you’re asked to pay directly into a private individual’s bank account.

Further advice on spotting holiday scams 

You can report all scams to us via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from HMRC – 05 August 2020

We are receiving reports from Norfolk residents about telephone cold calls claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Recent reports have included an automated recorded message call informing the call recipient that ‘HMRC have issued a warrant for your arrest due to tax evasion’. These calls are appearing to come from a range of different ‘spoofed’ numbers.

More information about HMRC related phishing emails and bogus contact can be found on the GOV.UK website. 

We always advise to be very wary of any approach made by a telephone cold call. If you receive this type of call our advice is DO NOT interact with the call and HANG UP immediately.

You can report suspected scam telephone calls to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from ‘Amazon’ – 03 August 2020

We are again warning residents to be on their guard for telephone cold calls claiming to be from ‘Amazon’.

In recent weeks we received a number reports from residents who are receiving cold calls claiming to be from Amazon. Examples of these calls include:

  • Recorded message calls claiming ‘your Amazon Prime subscription is about to expire and a payment will be automatically taken’ the call then states you can ‘press 1 to cancel the payment’
  • Recorded message calls claiming your Amazon account ‘is about to be cancelled unless you update your bank details’ the call then states you can ‘press 1 to speak to customer service’
  • Recorded message calls making similar claims but referencing ‘Amazon Prime Video subscriptions’
  • Calls claiming to be from ‘Cyber Security at Amazon’

Some residents have reported receiving multiple calls within a day delivering the same message but originating from different numbers.

In previous reports, where residents have interacted with the calls, they have then been connected to a person who attempts to gather personal, account or financial details.

These calls are a scam and are not connected with Amazon in any way. If you receive this or a similar call our advice is DO NOT interact with the call and hang up.

If you have received a telephone cold call which you believe to be a scam you can report it to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on their freephone number 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls offering ‘Brexit investment opportunity’ – 02 August 2020

A Norfolk resident has received a voicemail message from a male offering a ‘Brexit investment opportunity’.

Top 5 Tips To Take A Stand Against Telephone Scams

  1. Never give out personal or bank details over the telephone
  2.  Don’t feel pressured to making a decision over the telephone
  3. If the caller is vague about giving out their company information, hang up
  4. Don’t open texts or answer calls from unrecognisable numbers
  5. Consider a call blocking device to filter out unwanted calls

Our advice is always be very wary of claims made during a cold call and never give or confirm personal or financial details unless you are 100% sure you know who you are talking too.

If you have received a telephone cold call which you believe to be a scam you can report it to us via our partners, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline, on 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Text messages about your bank account – 01 August 2020

We have received reports about text messages claiming to be from banks stating there is an issue on your account.

These messages are spammed out randomly to huge numbers of mobile numbers hoping to trick people into clicking on a link which will take them to bogus versions of the genuine bank website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details.

The messages will often claim that accounts have been frozen, that money is about to leave the account or that there is fraudulent activity with the aim of panicking the recipient into reacting.

If you receive this or a similar message our advice is:

  • Do not click on any links or open attachments
  • Do not reply to the message
  • Do not call any numbers given in these messages

If you are concerned about the security of a bank account or credit card contact your bank or service provider directly using the Customer Service number printed on the card, on a recent statement or via information available on their genuine website or app. never use details provided in a text message.

If you think you might have responded to a text message scam and provided your bank account details, contact your bank immediately.

You can report suspected text message scams to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Information Alert – Covid-19 scams to be aware of - 31 July 2020

Action Fraud have put together a list of scams the public should be aware of regarding Covid-19 and lockdown. These include:

  • Fake Government emails offering grants and tax reductions
  • Emails offering to assist with universal credit applications
  • Fake track and trace emails claiming you have been in contact with someone who has Covid-19
  • Fake adverts for hand sanitizers and face masks
  • Fake emails offering 6 months of free TV License
  • Fake online dating profiles
  • Fake investment opportunities

More information on these scams and advice should you receive one

The Friends Against Scams partnership have also created a fact sheet to help raise awareness on coronavirus scams. Friends Against Scams help to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams. View the fact sheet as well as information about becoming a Friend Against Scams and the free online awareness training available.

Information alert – Action Fraud ‘Take Five’ campaign – 30 July 2020

Following reports of numerous Norfolk residents receiving scam telephone calls attempting to steal personal information and money, we are raising awareness of the Take Five Action Fraud campaign.

Criminals want your money and they are experts at getting it. They will go to great lengths to impersonate people, organisations and the police, using calls, emails, texts and social media to manipulate you. Even the savviest person can be tricked into revealing security details or sending them money.

Take a moment to stop and think: it could protect you and your money.

Take Five is a national campaign that offers straight-forward and impartial advice to help everyone protect themselves from preventable financial fraud. More information can be found via the Take Five website.

Scam Alert – Green grant telephone calls – 28 July 2020

A Norfolk resident has reported receiving multiple scam calls from fake companies advising them that they are eligible for an ‘eco grant’.

If you receive such a call, hang up and do not give the caller any personal details.

The scheme is not due to start until September and so any calls related to the Government announcement will be a scam. The rollout of the scheme will be run locally and details of how to apply will be provided.

If you have received a telephone cold call which you believe to be a scam you can report it to us via our partners, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline, on 0808 223 1133.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold caller offering ‘garden work’ – 27 July 2020

We are warning residents to be on their guard after we have received reports of a doorstep cold caller in the Sheringham area offering gardening services.

Our advice is never deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to do work on or around your property.

When looking to have work done, only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself. Our Norfolk Trusted Trader directory contains Traders you can trust, with feedback from their customers: www.norfolk.gov.uk/trustedtrader

Anyone spotting cold callers in Norfolk, please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from ‘Netflix’ – 25 July 2020



Since the beginning of lockdown, scammers have been exploiting the popularity of streaming services.

A Norfolk resident has reported receiving an email similar to that pictured above, where they are asked to follow a link to update their payment details.

Always be wary of claims made in unexpected emails and never click on any links or open attachments.

Netflix offer the following advice regarding scam emails:

  • We will never ask for your personal information over email such as passwords or bank account details

If you received a suspicious email:

  • Don’t click any of the links or open any of the attachments
  • Forward the email to phishing@netflix.com
  • Delete the email

You can report suspicious emails received to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming ‘problem with your internet service’ – 24 July 2020

A Norfolk resident has reported receiving a telephone call from a male claiming to be from ‘Sky Broadband’ stating that they have detected issues with the residents internet service.

The caller requested access to the residents laptop so that the problem could be fixed, however when the resident explained that they do not have a laptop the caller hung up.

These calls are not genuine and are likely to be used to seek remote access to computers, gather personal, account or financial details or attempt to take ‘missed’ payments.

Action Fraud advice on how to avoid falling victim to this type of scam:

  • Avoid letting someone you do not know or trust have access to your computer, especially remotely
  • Never log onto your internet bank while someone else has access to your computer
  • Never share one-time passcodes or card reader codes with anyone
  • Never disclose your 4-digit card PIN or your online banking password, even by tapping them into the telephone keypad.

You can report telephone cold calls received to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming ‘your internet service will be terminated’ – 23 July 2020

We are again receiving reports about telephone cold calls delivering a recorded message claiming to be ‘a message forwarded from BT’ stating that ‘your internet service will be terminated within 24 hours’.

It then gives you options to ‘press 1 to speak to our technical team’ or to ‘press 2 to authorise the termination’.

These calls are not genuine and are likely to be used to seek remote access to computers, gather personal, account or financial details or attempt to take ‘missed’ payments.

If you receive one of these calls do not press any keys if prompted and hang up.

You can report telephone cold calls received to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Fake Facebook pages – 22 July 2020

We are continuing to receive reports of fake pages on Facebook claiming to be well-known brands or retail chains. Recently we have also had reports of local Norfolk business and visitor attractions being targeted with Facebook pages using their names and often using imagery copied from the genuine page.

The fake sites then attempt to get people to engage with the page by claiming to be offering discounts, prizes and giveaways. Sometimes this will be by asking you to like, share and comment on the posting, which increases the reach of the fake page, others provide links to other sites that you must follow as part of the competition entry and in some cases both.

If you see a competition post on Facebook, before you click on it, take a moment to check:

  • Is the page verified? Public figures, media companies and larger brands can apply to Facebook for the blue verification tick. Although this is not open to smaller companies
  • Look at the name closely, some fake pages will alter the name of the genuine page slightly by adding additional punctuation or change spaces between parts of the name
  • Take a closer look at the page including the page history, when was registered?
  • What other posts have they made? If the only posts are recent or it is limited to just the offer or giveaway take this is a warning sign
  • Look around the page, is there the information there you would expect to see? Many fake pages leave these areas blank
  • How many followers does the page have? Well-known brands will have high figures where as a recently registered page will still be on low numbers
  • What information is being asked for? Many of these fake pages will say you need to ‘complete a quick survey’ as part of claiming process. Never give any personal information unless you know exactly who you are giving it to and what they are going to do with it
  • If they are asking for financial or banking information to enter a competition stop and leave the page immediately

If you can’t be sure about the authenticity of a Facebook page, do not interact with it.

If you have responded to what you now think could be a Fake Facebook page:

  • If you have liked, shared and commented be aware you could be targeted with further scams postings or contacts
  • If you have given personal information like email addresses or contact numbers be aware for scam contacts via these routes
  • If you have given banking or financial information, contact your bank or card provider immediately to protect your accounts

You can report Fake Facebook pages, or other scam contacts to Trading Standards by contacting our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep Cold Caller offering ‘tree and garden work’ – 22 July 2020

We are warning residents to be on their guard after we have received reports of a doorstep cold caller in the Thorpe Marriott area offering tree and garden services.

Our advice is never deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to undertake work on or around your property.

When looking to have work done only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself. Our Norfolk Trusted Trader directory contains Traders you can trust with feedback from their customers www.norfolk.gov.uk/trustedtrader.

Anyone sighting cold callers in Norfolk please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

Rogue Trader Alert – Door to door fish sellers – 21 July 2020

We are warning residents to be vigilant for cold callers selling fish door to door.

This follows an incident in the Great Hockam area this week where a resident was cold called at their property by a male who offered to sell them frozen fish.

In the past these types 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 advises consumers do not deal with cold callers and never be pressurised into buying on the doorstep.

If you are approached by this seller or are concerned about possible rogue trader activity in your community, please report it to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133 or to Norfolk Police on 101. If you feel threatened by a door step cold caller or are concerned for vulnerable neighbours call 999.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep Cold Callers claiming they can ‘see issues’ with a properties’ chimneys – 20 July 2020

We are warning residents about three males who are cold calling at properties claiming they can see issues with roofs and chimneys.

Incidents recently reported have come from the Hellesdon, Sprowston and Catton areas of Norwich.

During the cold calls the males are making a range of claims about problems they have 'seen' including:

  • Cracks in chimneys
  • Unsafe chimneys
  • Birds going into roofs
  • Birds landing on chimneys causing 'movement'

The males attempt to pressure the resident into agreeing to work by claiming that urgent repairs are needed to prevent the chimney falling or collapsing. They are often quoting prices of several thousand pounds for the work.

If the resident agrees to the work, having accessed the roof and completing a small amount of work they then return claiming that more issues have been found and the price for the job increases dramatically.

At this point they will claim that they need payment in full to enable them to purchase materials or to hire equipment. Once the money is handed over, they leave the site and do not return leaving the work incomplete.

Two of the three males are described as mid-twenties in age and are believed to be using a white Ford Transit and a Peugeot Partner/Citroen Berlingo both with ladders on the roof.

Sadly, across these three incidents the residents targeted have lost in excess of seventeen thousand pounds, with further costs to put right the work that was undertaken.

Our advice is:

  • Never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property
  • Never agree to have work done by somebody who is ‘just passing’, is 'working at a neighbours' or take their word that it needs to be done at all
  • Never allow a cold caller access to your home, roof or gardens even if they are offering to do tasks for a small fee or free
  • Never pay for work before it is completed
  • When looking to have work done on or around your property only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from before commencing the work

It is possible these doorstep cold callers could move on to other areas of Norwich or Norfolk this week.

You can report doorstep cold callers operating in Norfolk to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Constabulary via 101

Please share this alert through local networks and with family, friends and neighbours, especially those who are not online.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep Cold Callers offering to undertake house maintenance – 16 July 2020

We are warning residents to be on their guard after two cold calling incidents in the Norwich area this week offering to undertake house maintenance.

In the first incident a Sprowston resident was doorstep cold called by a man who claimed to have ’30 years roofing experience’, and that he could see issues with the roof and chimney.

The resident declined the offer and asked the cold caller to leave.  The man was seen to be wearing some form of photo ID, and returned to a beige car with ladders on the roof.

In the second incident, there have been reports of three men cold calling at properties in the Hellesdon area offering to undertake work on properties.  The three men were seen to be using a white Ford Transit van with ladders on the roof.

We always advise:

  • Never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property
  • Never agree to have work done by somebody who is ‘just passing’ or take their word that it needs to be done at all
  • Never allow a cold caller access to your home, roof or gardens even if they are offering to do tasks for a small fee or free
  • When looking to have work done on or around your property, only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself.  Obtain a written quotation from before starting the work

These doorstep cold callers could move on to other areas around Norwich and Norfolk.

if you see these cold callers in Norfolk, contact us through the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

If you feel intimidated, or see these cold callers and are concerned for vulnerable neighbours, call 999.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep Cold Callers offering to ‘clear and clean gutters’ – 16 July 2020

We are warning residents to be aware following reports of doorstep cold callers in the Old Palace Road / Dereham Road area of Norwich.

Two men cold called at a property saying that the property's gutters 'needed clearing and cleaning' and that they could 'start work straight away'.  The resident declined the offer and reported the incident.

We always advise:

  • Never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property
  • Never agree to have work done by somebody who is ‘just passing’ or take their word that it needs to be done at all
  • Never allow a cold caller access to your home, roof or gardens even if they are offering to do tasks for a small fee or free
  • When looking to have work done on or around your property, only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself.  Obtain a written quotation from before starting the work

These doorstep cold callers could move on to other areas of Norfolk.

If you see these cold callers in Norfolk, contact us through the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

If you feel intimidated, or see these cold callers and are concerned for vulnerable neighbours, call 999.

Looking for a Trader you can Trust?  Try a Norfolk Trusted Trader.  To search our directory and read feedback from their customers visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/trustedtrader.

Could your community help stop doorstep cold callers from targeting vulnerable people by becoming a No Cold Calling Zone?  To find out more about the scheme or to apply visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/nccz.

Information Alert - Prevent the spread of false information about coronavirus – 15 July 2020

The Government have released a new checklist to help protect yourself and your friends from false information about coronavirus.

When shared, false information can take on a life of its own and have some serious consequences.  It can lead to health scares, false accusations and potentially damaging hoax stories.

Recently there has been a lot of this kind of false information about coronavirus.  It’s not always easy to spot, so use the SHARE checklist to make sure that the information can be relied upon:

  • Source - Rely on official sources for medical and safety information. Check the facts about coronavirus on the NHS website and GOV.UK.
  • Headline - Headlines don’t always tell the full story. Always read to the end before you share articles about coronavirus.
  • Analyse - Analyse the facts. If something sounds unbelievable, it very well might be. Independent fact-checking services are correcting false information about coronavirus every day.
  • Retouched - Watch out for misleading pictures and videos in stories about coronavirus. They might be edited, or show an unrelated place or event. Check to see who else is using the photo.
  • Error - Look out for mistakes. Typos and other errors might mean the information is false. Official guidance about coronavirus will always have been carefully checked.

More information is available at sharechecklist.gov.uk.

Scam Alert – Green Grant Telephone calls – 14 July 2020

Within hours of the Chancellor of the Exchequer announcing a ‘Green Grant’ being made available for homeowners, Norfolk residents reported receiving scam calls from fake companies advising them that they were eligible.

If you receive such a call just hang up and do not give the caller any personal details.

The scheme is not due to start until September, so any calls related to the Government announcement will be a scam.  The rollout of the scheme will be run locally and details of how to apply will be provided.

If you have received a telephone cold call which you believe to be a scam you can report it to us via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline, on 0808 223 1133

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls offering mortgage rebates – 13 July 2020

We are again warning residents to be on their guard for telephone cold calls claiming to be offering mortgage rebates.

This follows a report from a Norfolk resident who received a call during which the cold caller claimed to be ‘calling from a Government scheme’ which was ‘processing rebates for mortgages’.  The cold caller then attempted to gather information on the call recipients current or former mortgages.  When the resident said they would not give them any information the cold caller became verbally abusive.

If you receive this or a similar call, do not give or confirm any information and hang up.

If you have received a telephone cold call which you believe to be a scam you can report it to us via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133

Scam Alert – Fake Argos returns ‘TV giveaway’ – 9 July 2020

We are warning Facebook users to be wary of fake ‘Argos returns’ pages which hold scam competitions and giveaways as a way of gaining personal details. 

One particular post claims to be giving away free 65” curved TVs and asks the Facebook user to follow a link in order to register for the gift.

These posts are a scam and have no connection to Argos. 

If you see one of these giveaway posts, don’t be tempted to participate. You have no chance of winning the promised prize, and you may risk your privacy and security by sharing your personal information with online scammers.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers selling household cleaning products – 8 July 2020

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of doorstep cold callers trying to sell household cleaning products.

This follows an incident today where a young man cold called at a property in Diss claiming he was was from a ‘youth offending team’ and was selling items ‘donated by charities to gain marketing skills’. The resident declined the offer and reported the incident to us.

Our advice is never deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to sell something.

It is possible these sellers will continue to move onto other locations in Norfolk.

Anyone spotting these sellers in Norfolk please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133 or to Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

If you feel intimidated or sight these cold callers and are concerned for vulnerable neighbours call 999.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold caller claiming to be from ‘Tesco Bank’ – 7 July 2020

A Norfolk resident has received a cold call from a man claiming to be from ‘Tesco Bank’. 

The caller advised the resident that their card had been victim to a number of fraudulent charges and stated he was required to send a single use code via text to the resident. However, the caller ended the call when these text messages failed. The resident then contacted their bank directly and was told that there were no fraudulent transactions present. 

Our advice is always be very wary of claims made during a cold call and never give or confirm personal or financial details unless you are 100% sure you know who you are talking too.

There are likely to be a range of this type of scam calls being made using the names of well-known financial service providers in the coming days and weeks.

If you receive this or a similar call our advice is hang up, wait five minutes and then contact your bank using the customer service number on your card, a recent statement, on the genuine website or app.

If you have received a telephone cold call which you believe to be a scam you can report it to us via our partners, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline, on 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls offering ‘investment opportunity’ – 6 July 2020

A Norfolk resident has been persistently contacted via telephone by an individual claiming to represent an ‘art society’ requesting they invest £2,000 into their company. When the resident explained that they did not have this amount to invest the caller asked for their card details and stated that they ‘would only take £50’. The resident did not provide any details and ended the call.

Our advice is always be very wary of claims made during a cold call and never give or confirm personal or financial details unless you are 100% sure you know who you are talking too.

If you have received a telephone cold call which you believe to be a scam you can report it to us via our partners, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline, on 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Scam heir hunter letter – 3 July 2020

We have received a report from a Norfolk resident who has received a letter stating they are the sole beneficiary of a late relative’s estate. The letter mentions Covid-19 restrictions as a way of appearing more authentic.

The letter requests the recipient provide their personal details so that the funds can be released to them.

The following are easy ways to spot an inheritance scam letter:

  • The amount of money on offer and the percentage claimed that is available to you will be extremely large
  • Letters/documents provided by the fraudsters are generally badly written with spelling mistakes and poor grammar
  • Look out for webmail addresses such as @Yahoo or @Hotmail. They are freely available making them easy to set up and equally easy to shut down
  • Fraudsters often claim that the person who has died was the victim of a well-publicised incident, such as plane crashes and natural disasters. To add credibility, they may even use the identity of someone who really did die in the incident

If you receive this, or a similar letter it is a scam and should be disposed of. Do not reply with personal details.

If you have received a letter which you believe to be a scam you can report it to us via our partners, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Fake HMRC text – 2 July 2020

We are warning about text messages circulating claiming to be from ‘HMRC’ stating ‘You’re still due an outstanding tax refund’. The text asks you to verify your information by clicking a link.

These text messages are fake. HMRC do not send text messages or emails about tax refunds. It is also likely that there will be a several versions of this message circulating quoting different amounts.

If you receive this or a similar text message, delete it without clicking on any links.

If you have received a text message which you believe to be a scam you can report it to us via our partners, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Consumer Alert – Email scam ‘HMRC National Insurance tax refund’ – 30 June 2020

Beware of these fake national insurance refund emails.

The message informs the recipient that according to their National Insurance contributions, they are eligible for a tax refund as part of measures to alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The link goes to a page which requests the banking details of the user which sends the data to fraudsters.

If you receive the email do not click on the link.

To report scam emails, forward the original message to report@phishing.gov.uk. An automated system run by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) will scan the email, and if malicious links are found, the associated website will be taken down.

If you think you have responded to a scam email and provided any financial details, contact you bank immediately.

Report all scams to us via our partners at the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep Cold Caller offering ‘garden work’ – 30 June 2020

We are warning residents to be on their guard after we have received reports of a doorstep cold caller in the Sprowston area offering gardening services.

The cold caller offered to carry out gardening work for a Sprowston resident for £800. The resident haggled the price down to £400, however the cold caller carried out minimal work and left within an hour.

Our advice is never deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to do work on or around your property.

When looking to have work done, only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself. Our Norfolk Trusted Trader directory contains Traders you can trust with feedback from their customers www.norfolk.gov.uk/trustedtrader

Anyone spotting cold callers in Norfolk please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

Scam Alert – Cold caller offering loft insulation – 30 June 2020

We are warning Kings Lynn residents to be on their guard after we have received reports of a doorstep cold caller in the Brancaster area offering loft insulation.

A male cold called a local resident and stated they had installed insulation at the property 20 years ago which would now need replacing. The male advised that the material would have broken down and left areas of the loft exposed and uninsulated. The resident declined this service and the male left. The male was driving a blue BMW.

Our advice to residents is:

  • Never deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to undertake work on or around your property
  • If someone cold calls at your property remember it is your doorstep so your decision whether you even answer the door
  • Think about your home security, make sure other doors to your property are locked before answering the front door
  • If the person is offering services or trying to sell something politely but confidently say you are not interested and close the door
  • If the person is claiming to represent an authority, organisation or charity ask to see ID. If ID is offered, ask if you can take it to check its validity. If you are given the ID close the door and contact the company or organisation on the ID by a number you find online or in the phone book, DO NOT use information on the ID, it could be fake
  • If no ID is offered, the caller refuses to let you check it, or you can not verify it is genuine politely but confidently say you are not interested and close the door

As the cold caller leaves, if you can safely from inside your property watch and see:

  • Do they go to call at neighbouring properties
  • Do they return to a vehicle, is it sign written, can you see the make, model, colour and registration plate
  • Are they alone or working with others
  • Note down a description of the cold caller, why they were calling and who they say they were representing – all of this information is very useful to Trading Standards and the Police when looking at Cold Calling incidents

Anyone sighting cold callers in Norfolk please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

Could your community help stop doorstep cold callers from targeting vulnerable people by becoming a No Cold Calling Zone? To find out more about the scheme or to apply visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/nccz

Scam Alert - Fake listings for caravans and motorhomes on auction sites – 29 June 2020

Due to travel restrictions and the loss of holidays overseas during the pandemic, there has been a shift in planning for a 'staycation'. This has led to people purchasing caravans and motorhomes for use when government guidelines permit. The increase in demand has been exploited by criminals advertising fake listings for caravans and motorhomes on auction sites citing lockdown restrictions as the reason vehicles can’t be viewed in person.

Vehicles are advertised at attractive prices to tempt people into believing they’re getting a good deal, when in reality they simply don’t exist or don’t arrive once paid for. Payments are usually requested via bank transfer as opposed to using a recommended secure payment method. However, recently criminals are requesting the buyer pays using PayPal. The criminal then fails to send a PayPal invoice, at which point the buyer is contacted by someone pretending to be a representative from PayPal and receives a reference and bank account number for payment to be made into. Ultimately, the buyer doesn’t receive their goods as payment has been made into an account controlled by a criminal so customers should be on the lookout for scams.

If it seems too good to be true, it usually is!

Do your research, and don't part with your cash until you are sure the deal is genuine!

Report all scams to us via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

Rogue Trader Alert – Cold calling incidents – 23 June 2020

We are warning residents to be on their guard after a number of cold calling incident have been reported in the Norfolk area.

A resident in Poringland received a phone call offering servicing and cleaning of their solar panels. The caller arranged to visit the property the next day and requested access to the resident’s roof space in order to inspect their inverter. The resident was informed that they required a new inverter and warranty for £1500. The resident refused and the trader left.

The second incident occurred in Hellesdon and involved an individual offering gardening work. The cold caller has reportedly visited several areas of Hellesdon in the last few days, has cold called at a number of properties and approached residents outside their properties. The male is described in some reports as 'persistent' and 'verbally aggressive' when his offer of work is turned down. He has been seen to be using a red van and charging high prices for work.

The area of Diss has seen several incidents of two males cold calling residents’ homes offering roof insulation. The males show ID badges which do not have photo identification and state they are working in relation to a Government funded scheme. The males request access to the loft space and have been seen to take photos of properties. The males are driving a black BMW with blacked out windows.

In Felthorpe a male has cold called a local resident offering central heating installation in relation to a government grant. The male requested access to the resident’s property in order to inspect their radiators which was declined.

In Briston a resident has reported a smartly dressed male aged between 25-30 who called at their property offering advice to business owners on available grants.

We always advise:

  • NEVER deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property
  • NEVER agree to have work done by somebody who is ‘just passing’ or take their word that it needs to be done at all
  • NEVER allow a cold caller access to your home, roof or gardens even if they are offering to do tasks for a small fee or free
  • NEVER pay for work before it is completed
  • When looking to have work done on or around your property ONLY deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from before commencing the work

It is possible these doorstep cold callers could move on to other areas around Norfolk.

Anyone sighting these cold callers in Norfolk please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

If you feel intimidated or sight these cold callers and are concerned for vulnerable neighbours call 999.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep Cold Callers selling gravel – 23 June 2020

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving two reports of cold callers offering gravel for sale in Norfolk.

The first report is from a Tittleshall resident who was cold called by a male offering a gravel for sale from his truck. The resident declined this, however later received an invoice through their door with bank account details to make payment for the value of £575.

The second report is from a Wormegay resident who has also received a cold call from a male selling gravel.

We always advise:

  • NEVER deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property
  • NEVER agree to have work done by somebody who is ‘just passing’ or take their word that it needs to be done at all
  • NEVER allow a cold caller access to your home, roof or gardens even if they are offering to do tasks for a small fee or free
  • NEVER pay for work before it is completed
  • When looking to have work done on or around your property ONLY deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from before commencing the work

It is possible these doorstep cold callers could move on to other areas around Norfolk.

Anyone sighting these cold callers in Norfolk please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

If you feel intimidated or sight these cold callers and are concerned for vulnerable neighbours call 999.

Information Alert – Home Repairs or Improvements? Make sure you #CHECK – 22 June 2020

If the warm weather has got you thinking about sorting out the garden or arranging home improvement work, Norfolk Trading Standards are reminding consumers to think #CHECK when choosing a tradesman or business for the job.

 

Scam Alert – Phone call claiming to be insurance company – 21 June 2020

We have received a report of a Norfolk resident being cold called by a female claiming to be calling from their ‘boiler insurance company’. The caller used the residents name and stated they were offering a reduction in price for customers over 60.

The caller asked the resident for personal information, including date of birth and bank account details. When the resident refused to provide this information and ended the call, they then received a second call from a male stating to be a manager from the same company.

These calls are not genuine and are likely to be used to gain valuable personal information. If you receive a call from someone you pay on a regular basis, but cannot confirm that it is a genuine contact, hang up and contact the organisation on a number printed on official correspondence such as a recent bill, their website or app.

You can report suspicious telephone cold calls to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls from ‘Mastercard’ and ‘Visa’ claiming that ‘you are required to authorise a payment’ – 19 June 2020

We are receiving reports about telephone cold calls delivering a recorded message claiming to be from Mastercard and Visa. The incoming number displays the Norwich area code of 01603. The message states that you are ‘required to authorise a payment’ and then gives the instruction to ‘press 1 to authorise a payment of £600 for an order placed 15 minutes ago’.

These calls are not genuine and are likely to be used to seek remote access to computers, gather personal, account or financial details.

If you receive one of these calls do not press any keys if prompted and hang up.

You can report telephone cold calls received to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers claiming to be from organisations or charities – 18 June 2020

We are reminding residents to be on their guard against doorstep cold callers, even if they claim to be from well-known organisations or charities.

Recently the ongoing COVID-19 situation has led to reports of doorstep cold callers claiming to be offering help to vulnerable residents or calling for health-related reasons.

We are continuing to ask residents to report all doorstep cold calling incidents to us, especially if their property is displaying a No Cold Calling door sticker of any type. We are also offering the following advice:

  • If someone cold calls at your property remember it is your doorstep so your decision whether you even answer the door, if you can check through a spy hole or look from a window to see who is there
  • Think about your home security, make sure other doors to your property are locked before answering the front door
  • If the person is offering services or trying to sell, something politely but confidently say you are not interested and close the door
  • If the person is claiming to represent an authority, organisation or charity, ask to see ID. If ID is offered, ask if you can take it to check its validity. If you are given the ID, close the door and contact the company or organisation on the ID by a number you find online or in the phone book, Do not use information on the ID, it could be fake. If no ID is offered, the caller refuses to let you check it, or you cannot verify it is genuine, politely but confidently say you are not interested and close the door
  • As the cold caller leaves, if you can, safely from inside your property watch and see:
    • Do they go to call at neighbouring properties
    • Do they return to a vehicle, is it sign-written, can you see the make, model, colour and registration plate
    • Are they alone or working with others
    • Note down a description of the cold caller, why they were calling and who they say they were representing – all of this information is very useful to us and the police when looking at cold calling incidents

You can report doorstep cold calling incidents to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133 or to Norfolk Constabulary on 101. In an emergency always dial 999.

If you would like one of our No Cold Calling door stickers call the Norfolk County Council customer service centre on 0344 800 8020.

Why not consider setting up a No Cold Calling Zone in your community? You can find out more about our scheme at www.norfolk.gov.uk/nccz

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from ‘British Gas’ – 16 June 2020

We are warning about emails claiming to be from British Gas which are circulating again.

One recent example, which included the recipient's email address within the greeting, claimed that ‘we sent you a gas bill for £21.21 and we still haven’t received payment’ before going on to detail a range of charges which could be made along with a link to ‘Pay us online now’.

These emails are not from British Gas and any links contained within the message are likely to go to a genuine-looking fake version of the British Gas website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details. There are likely to be several versions of this email in circulation quoting different amounts.

If you are concerned for the status of an online account log in to it only using a web address from a bill or statement which you have entered into your web browser or using a genuine app. Never use links in unexpected emails.

You can report suspicious emails received to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Text messages claiming to be from ‘DVLA’ – 15 June 2020

We are warning about text messages circulating claiming to be from ‘DVLA’ stating ‘After annual calculations’ you are owed an amount from ‘overpayments’. The text goes on to offer a link to ‘claim your refund’.

These text messages are fake. DVLA do not send text messages or emails about vehicle tax refunds. It is also likely that there will be a several versions of this message circulating quoting different amounts.

If you receive this or a similar text message delete it without clicking on any links.

If you have received a text message which you believe to be a scam you can report it to us via our partners, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering ‘roofing work’ – 15 June 2020

We are warning residents to be on their guard following a cold calling incident in Norfolk this week involving roofing work.

The incident occurred in the Wisbech area and involved a man cold calling a local resident and stating that their guttering and flat roof needed repairs.

Having accessed the flat roof, the cold caller then claimed that additional work was needed on the flat roof including ‘specialist materials’. He then persuaded the resident to hand over a large amount of money for these materials and left the property.

We advise:

  • Never deal with cold callers looking to do work on or around your property
  • Never agree to have work done by somebody who is ‘just passing’ or take their word that it needs to be done at all
  • Never allow a cold caller access to your home, roof or gardens even if they are offering to do tasks for a small fee or free
  • Never pay for work before it is completed
  • When looking to have work done on or around your property, only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from before commencing the work

It is possible this doorstep cold caller could move on to other areas around Norfolk.

If you see cold callers operating in Norfolk please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Constabulary via 101. If you feel intimidated or are concerned for vulnerable neighbours call 999.

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering ‘driveway work’ – 12 June 2020

We are warning residents to be on their guard after received reports of doorstep cold callers in the Hellesdon area offering driveways services.

Our advice is to never deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to do work on or around your property. It is possible these cold callers could move on to other areas within Norfolk.

Anyone concerned about doorstep cold calling activity in Norfolk can contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.

Looking for a Trader you can Trust? Try a Norfolk Trusted Trader. To search our directory and read feedback from their customers visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/trustedtrader

Could your community help stop doorstep cold callers from targeting vulnerable people by becoming a No Cold Calling Zone? To find out more about the scheme or to apply visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/nccz

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming ‘your internet service will be terminated’ – 11 June 2020

We are again receiving reports about telephone cold calls delivering a recorded message claiming to be from ‘your Internet service provider’ stating that ‘your internet service will be terminated within 24 hours’. It then gives the instruction to ‘press 1 to speak to a service manager’.

These calls are not genuine and are likely to be used to seek remote access to computers, gather personal, account or financial details or attempt to take ‘missed’ payments.

If you receive one of these calls do not press any keys if prompted and hang up.

You can report telephone cold calls received to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep Cold Callers offering ‘roofing work’ – 15 June 2020

We are warning residents to be on their guard following a cold calling incident in Norfolk this week involving roofing work.

The incident occurred in the Wisbech area and involved a male cold calling a local resident and stating that their guttering and flat roof needed repairs.

Having accessed the flat roof the cold caller then claimed that additional work was needed on the flat roof including ‘specialist materials’. He then persuaded the resident to hand over a large amount of money for these materials and left the property.

We advise:

  • Never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property
  • Never agree to have work done by somebody who is ‘just passing’ or take their word that it needs to be done at all
  • Never allow a cold caller access to your home, roof or gardens even if they are offering to do tasks for a small fee or free
  • Never pay for work before it is completed
  • When looking to have work done on or around your property only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from before starting the work

It is possible this doorstep cold caller could move on to other areas around Norfolk.

If you see cold callers operating in Norfolk please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Constabulary via 101. If you feel intimidated or are concerned for vulnerable neighbours call 999.

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from ‘DVLA’ – 10 June 2020

We are warning about emails circulating claiming to be from DVLA.

Recent examples have included emails claiming that ‘your payment has failed’ and that you need to ‘Pay your vehicle tax to avoid unpleasant consequences’.

These emails are not from the DVLA and any links contained within the message are likely to go to a genuine-looking fake version of the DVLA website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details.

Our advice is always be wary of claims made in unexpected email approaches and never click on links or open attachments if approached in this way.

DVLA offer the following advice to stay safe online with contacting the DVLA or if you receive something claiming to be from the DVLA:

  • Only use GOV.UK
    • When looking for information or using our online services, double check that you are using a GOV.UK webpage so that you can be sure that you’re dealing directly with DVLA 
  • Scam emails
    • We never send emails that ask you to confirm your personal details or payment information. If you get anything like this, do not open any links and delete the email immediately
  • Beware of misleading websites
    • Keep an eye out for potentially misleading third-party websites. These sites will often offer to help you apply for a driving licence or tax your car but are likely to charge additional fees for services that you could get for free or at a lower cost on GOV.UK
  • Look out for premium rate numbers
    • Look out for websites offering to connect you to our contact centre, as they are usually premium rate numbers. Our contact centre numbers will only ever begin with 0300 – which costs the same as a local call
  • Be mindful of what you share online
    • Never share images online of your driving licence and vehicle documents. This personal information could be invaluable to those looking to steal the identity of a vehicle or its owner
  • Texts
    • We never send texts about vehicle tax refunds. Text scams often ask you to follow a link to provide credit card details. Never click on the link and delete the text straight away

You can report suspicious emails received to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from ‘BT’ – 10 June 2020

We are warning that emails claiming to be from BT continue to circulate.

Recent examples have included emails claiming that ‘Your monthly payment was recently declined’ and another saying ‘payment information for your account has been declined.

These emails are not from BT and any links contained within these messages are likely to go to a genuine-looking fake version of the BT website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details.

BT offer customers the following advice about suspicious emails claiming to be from BT:

If you're worried about an email that appears to be from BT, rather than clicking on any links you should type ‘www.bt.com/mybt’ in your browser to log in to your My BT account.

  • From here you can check your account details are up to date and view your bill
  • Alternatively use our automated phone service to check your balance - 0800 443 311
  • Forward the email to our dedicated mailbox –‘phishing@bt.com’ and delete the email

You can report suspicious emails received to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold callers enquiring about ‘insulation’– 9 June 2020

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of doorstep cold callers in the Happisburgh area.

In the incident, a resident received a doorstep cold call from two men who claimed they were calling as part of a ‘government scheme’ which could ‘offer funding for insulation’.

We advise to be very wary of claims made by doorstep cold callers and never give access to your property, agree to services, buy items or for return visits if approached in this manner.

Anyone concerned about doorstep cold calling in Norfolk can contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via the Citizens Advice online reporting form or by telephone on 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Test and trace scams – 8 June 2020

We are continuing to receive reports of online test and trace scams.

Please remember, genuine texts, calls or emails from the NHS service won’t ask you for any personal details upfront.

You’ll be given a unique ID number to log into the NHS Test and Trace website. The only official web address for the NHS Test and Trace service can be accessed via the following link: https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk/

Here is an example of a recent phone call scam where the recipient is noted as 'X'. Thankfully in this case the recipient who received it realised it was a scam and hung up:

Caller: Good morning. I am calling from the NHS Track and Trace Service. According to our system you are likely to have been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 test.

X: Ok, can you tell me who that person was?

Caller: I am not able to do that. That is confidential information.

X: Right ...So?

Caller: But you do need to be tested within the next 72 hours. So, can I get the best mailing address so that we can send a kit to you?

X: Ok (gives address).

Caller: Thank you. I just need to take a payment card so that we can finalise this and send the kit to you.

X: Sorry, a payment card? I thought this was all free?

Caller: No, I am afraid not. There is a one-off payment of £500 for the kit and the test results. Could you read off the long card number for me, please, when you are ready?

X: No, that's not right. This is part of the NHS so there is no charge.

Caller: I am afraid there is. Can you give me the card number please, this is very important and there are penalties for not complying.

X: (puts the phone down)

Testing through the NHS is free.

If you receive this or a similar phone call it is a scam our advice is do not give or confirm any information and hang up.

Stay scam aware and report any suspicious approaches to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Visit the GOV.UK test and trace webpage to find out more.

Information Alert – Test and trace scams – 4 June 2020

There have been many reports across social media of test and trace scams.

Please remember, genuine texts, calls or emails from the NHS service won’t ask you for any personal details upfront.

You’ll be given a unique ID number to log in to the NHS Test and Trace website. The only official web address for the NHS Test and Trace service can be accessed via the GOV.UK website.

Once you’ve logged in using your ID, you’ll be asked to enter some basic information about yourself including:

  • Your name, date of birth and current address
  • The names of the people you live with
  • Places you’ve recently visited
  • Names and contact details of people you were in touch with around 48 hours before you developed symptoms

You won’t be asked to share this information upfront over a call or text, so if someone is asking you for it directly, they are a scammer.

Contact tracers will never:

  • Ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to us (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • Ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product of any kind
  • Ask for any details about your bank account
  • Ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • Ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • Disclose any of your personal or medical information to your contacts
  • Provide medical advice on the treatment of any potential coronavirus symptoms
  • Ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • Ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

Stay scam aware and report any suspicious approaches to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Visit the GOV.UK test and trace webpage to find out more.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering ‘driveway work’ – 3 June 2020

We are warning residents to be on their guard after received reports of doorstep cold callers in the Hethersett area offering driveways services.

This follows an incident in which a man cold called at a property claiming that 'as they were working in the area' he could offer 'discounted block paving or tarmac driveways for cash'.

The resident declined the offer and reported the incident to us.

Our advice is to never deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to do work on or around your property. It is possible these cold callers could move on to other areas within Norfolk.

Anyone concerned about doorstep cold calling activity in Norfolk can contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.

Looking for a Trader you can Trust? Try a Norfolk Trusted Trader. To search our directory and read feedback from their customers visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/trustedtrader

Could your community help stop doorstep cold callers from targeting vulnerable people by becoming a No Cold Calling Zone? To find out more about the scheme or to apply visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/nccz

Scam Alert – Online scammers selling pets – 2 June 2020

Criminals continue to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to commit fraud, including scams involving the purchase of pets, such as puppies and kittens.

Scammers post adverts on social media, general online selling platforms and specific pet selling platforms with buyers being persuaded to place deposits for pets immediately to secure the pet of choice.

But the criminals posting these adverts never have any animals to sell. They use the COVID-19 and social distancing as a reason why the victim cannot come and see the animal first or pick it up.

After the initial payment more and more funds will be requested to cover insurance, vaccinations and even delivery of the pet.

To help protect yourself from scams like this:

  • Do your research - Before purchasing anything online, including pets, look up reviews for the site, or person, you are buying from. If you’re still not sure, ask a trusted friend or family member for their advice
  • Trust your instinct - If you can’t physically go to see the animal in person, ask for a video call. If the seller declines, challenge them on why. If you have any suspicions, don’t go ahead with the purchase
  • Choose your payment method wisely – if you decide to go ahead with the purchase, avoid paying by bank transfer as that offers you little protection if you become a victim of fraud. Instead, use a credit card or a payment service such as PayPal

More information is available on the Action Fraud news webpage - animal lovers looking for pets.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold calling incidents – 1 June 2020

We are reminding residents to be on their guard to doorstep cold calling even if they are displaying a No Cold Calling sticker.

This follows a number of recent reports from residents who have had cold callers at their door despite displaying a sticker, with some reporting that the callers can be difficult to turn away and, in some cases, verbally aggressive when the presence of the sticker is pointed out.

Recently the ongoing COVID-19 situation has led to reports of doorstep cold callers claiming to be offering help to vulnerable residents or calling for health related reasons.

We are asking residents to report ALL doorstep cold calling incidents to us, especially if their property is displaying a No Cold Calling door sticker of any type. We are also offering the following advice:

  • If someone cold calls at your property, remember it is your doorstep so your decision whether you even answer the door. If you can, check through a spy hole or look from a window to see who is there
  • Think about your home security, make sure other doors to your property are locked before answering the front door
  • If the person is offering services or trying to sell something politely but confidently say you are not interested and close the door
  • If the person is claiming to represent an authority, organisation or charity ask to see ID. If ID is offered, ask if you can take it to check its validity. If you are given the ID close the door and contact the company or organisation on the ID by a number you find online or in the phone book, do not use information on the ID, it could be fake

If no ID is offered, the caller refuses to let you check it, or you cannot verify it is genuine, politely but confidently say you are not interested and close the door.

As the cold caller leaves, if you can, safely from inside your property watch and see:

  • Do they go to call at neighbouring properties
  • Do they return to a vehicle, is it sign-written, can you see the make, model, colour and registration plate
  • Are they alone or working with others

Note down a description of the cold caller, why they were calling and who they said they were representing – all of this information is very useful to us and the police when looking at cold calling incidents

You can report doorstep cold calling incidents to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133 or to Norfolk Constabulary on 101. In an emergency always dial 999.

If you would like one of our No Cold Calling door stickers call our customer service centre on 0344 800 8020.

Why not consider setting up a No Cold Calling Zone in your community? You can find out more about our scheme at www.norfolk.gov.uk/nccz

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from ‘Netflix’ – 29 May 2020

Since the beginning of lockdown, scammers have been exploiting the popularity of streaming services, and the increase of those that have signed up to the many services available.

There has been a dramatic rise in suspicious domains impersonating a variety of streaming giants, with a great many phishing emails, text message and fake adverts pointing to them to attempt to steal your money.

The data harvested on these spoof websites includes names, addresses and other personal information, as well as stealing credit card or banking details for financial gain.

Our advice is always be wary of claims made in unexpected email approaches and never click on links or open attachments if approached in this way.

Netflix offer the following advice regarding scam emails:

How do I know if an email or text is actually from Netflix?

Keep the following in mind to determine if it’s from us:

  • We will never ask for your personal information over email. This includes:
    • Credit card number
    • Bank account details
    • Netflix password
  • We will never request payments via a third party vendor or website

What should I do if I received a suspicious email or text?

Scammers can’t get any information from you unless you give it to them.

If you received a suspicious email:

  • Don’t click any of the links or open any of the attachments
  • Forward the email to phishing@netflix.com
  • Delete the email

You can report suspicious emails received to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Social Media messages claiming to be from ‘Dominos’ offering ‘2 Large Pizza for Free’ – 26 May 2020

Be aware of social media messages claiming to be from Dominos offering ‘2 Large Pizza for Free’. It’s a scam. 

 

 

Scammers are continuing to use the coronavirus pandemic to spam people with claims that these offers are ‘supporting the Nation’ during this time.

If you get a message like this, do not interact with it in any way and do not like or share on your social media profile.

Scam Alert – Facebook Messenger asking to borrow money – 22 May 2020

We are warning Facebook users to be aware of messages from existing Facebook friends sent via the Messenger service which asks to borrow money.

The message will give a reason why the money is needed ‘urgently’ and will be followed by further messages pressuring the recipient into sending the money.

These messages come from a Facebook friend’s account but are actually sent by fraudsters who have hacked the friend’s Facebook account and taken control of it.

If you receive this or a similar message via Messenger, do not interact with the message and contact the friend via another route if possible. Advise them their Facebook profile may have been compromised.

Find out more about keeping your Facebook account secure, including activating login alerts and two-factor authorisation.

Scam Alert – Further examples of scam text messages claiming to be from PayPal – 28 May 2020

With more people ordering items online, we are warning residents about scam text messages claiming to be from PayPal. 

A recent example says that ‘you have (1) important unread message’. The message then provides a link to ‘view & resolve the current issue with your account’.



These text messages are not genuine and are not connected with PayPal.

If you receive this or a similar text message, delete it without clicking on any links.

If you are concerned about the security of an online account, contact the provider directly via their genuine website or app. 

Never use links or details provided in a text message.

You can report suspected text message scams to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

News Alert – Norfolk Against Scams Partnership launch anti-scamming campaign during Covid-19 – 21 May 2020

Agencies from across Norfolk have come together to warn residents to be extra vigilant of new and existing scams during the Covid-19 pandemic. A three-week campaign is being headed up by the Norfolk Against Scams Partnership, with a membership comprising Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards, Norfolk Constabulary, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCCN), voluntary agencies, businesses and residents.

There will be a different focus on partners’ social media platforms each week, using the hashtag #NorfolkScamAware:

  • Trusted information – to guide the public to useful information and support agencies.
  • Protect – to give advice on how people can better equip themselves to identify the signs of scamming.
  • Watch Out – to make victims aware of the Norfolk Scam Prevention Service and the new scams that have emerged due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you’re on Facebook or Twitter search for the hashtag #NorfolkScamAware and share some of the information with your family, friends, neighbours and in the community where you live.

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from ‘TV Licensing’ – 20 May 2020

There continues to be a range of emails circulating claiming to be from TV Licencing.

Recent examples have included emails claiming to be a ‘COVID19 Personalized Offer’ stating you are eligible for ‘1 x 6 months of free TVLicence’.

These emails are not from TV Licencing and any links contained within the message are likely to go to a genuine-looking fake version of the TV Licencing website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details.

Our advice is always be wary of claims made in unexpected email approaches and never click on links or open attachments if approached in this way.

TV Licensing offer the following advice to help spot scam TV Licence emails:

  • Check the sender's email address - TV Licensing will only send emails from donotreply@tvlicensing.co.uk (or donotreply@spp.tvlicensing.co.uk)
  • Check how scammers address you - genuine TV Licensing emails will always use your title and last name. Scammers may simply use your email address, say ‘Dear Customer’ or nothing at all
  • Check links in the email - do not click on links or attachments. If you’re unsure, you can inspect links first. On a computer, hover over the link with your mouse (but don’t click it). On a mobile or tablet, press down and hold (don’t release while on the link)
  • Check addresses of any websites it takes you to - scammers can’t use ‘www.tvlicensing.co.uk’ for copy-cat sites. They’ll try to disguise this so carefully inspect the full address in the browser bar

You can report suspicious emails received to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Information Alert – EasyJet Cyber Incident – 19 May 2020

EasyJet has confirmed that it had suffered a cyber-attack and is in the process of contacting affected customers following the incident.



The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued the following advice for EasyJet customers:

  • Anyone who thinks they have been a victim of online crime can report a cyber incident using Action Fraud’s online fraud reporting tool anytime of the day or night or call 0300 123 2040. For further information visit www.actionfraud.police.uk
  • If you’re an EasyJet customer, we recommend changing your password on your EasyJet account – and if you know you’ve used that password anywhere else, change it there too. The best way to make your password long and strong is by using a sequence of three random words you'll remember

There is more information on the NCSC website:

  • Now would also be a good time to check if your account has appeared in any other public data breaches. Visit haveibeenpwned.com, enter your email address and go from there
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a free security feature that gives you an extra layer of protection online and can stop cyber criminals getting into your accounts - even if they have your password. If it is available, then we suggest using it on all your important accounts
  • If your account has been compromised, your personal details may be used to help craft more convincing scam emails. If you believe you have received a suspicious email then you can report it to the NCSC using the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) but the NCSC has produced advice which will help you spot the most obvious signs of scam emails
  • EasyJet confirmed that 2,208 credit card details were accessed in this incident. If you were one of them, you should be notified of this by EasyJet. We advise that you monitor your accounts for any unusual activity and if you’re worried, get in touch with your bank’s fraud department. There is more information on the NCSC website

Scam Alert – Further reports of telephone cold callers claiming to be police officers – 19 May 2020

We have received a further report of a Norfolk resident receiving a telephone cold call claiming to be from a police officer.

In this incident, the male cold caller claimed to be a police officer from the 'Met Police' and stated he was calling about the resident's bank card which 'had been breached'.

During the call the male also mentioned 'the Serious Fraud Office' and 'the Flying Squad' as being involved. He then said the resident should 'call 999 immediately' to 'verify his information'.

Courier fraud happens when a fraudster contacts a victim by telephone claiming to be a police officer, bank or from a government department, among other agencies. Several techniques will then be adopted in order to convince the victim to hand over their bank details or cash, which may then be passed on to a courier.

Residents are reminded that neither your bank nor the police will never ask you to withdraw money or purchase items.

If you receive this or a similar call do not follow the instructions given. Instead:

  • Hang Up
  • Either wait five minutes for your phone line to clear, use a mobile phone or a different phone line; and
  • Call and report to Norfolk Police via 101

In an emergency always call 999.

Please continue to share these warnings and advice with family, friends and anyone within your community who could be vulnerable to this type of approach.

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