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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 – Text messages about your accounts or payments – 21 January 2021

We frequently receive reports about text messages claiming to be from various companies and organisations stating there are issues with accounts or payments.

Accounts payment alerts

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 organisation’s genuine website. There it will attempt to gather personal, login and financial details.

The messages will often claim that accounts have been frozen, that money is about to leave the account, that payments can’t be made or that there is unusual or fraudulent activity with the aim of panicking the recipient into reacting.

If you receive messages like these 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

You can report suspicious or spam text messages to your network operator by forwarding the message to 7726. You may get an automated response thanking you for the report and giving you further instructions if needed. You will not be charged for sending texts to 7726.

If you are concerned about the security of an account contact the 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.

Scam Alert – Watch out for COVID-19 scams and fraud – 20 January 2021

Watch out for Covid-19 scams & fraud with a person raising their hand in alarm against a yellow background. The Norfolk Against Scams partnership logo

Be careful if someone offers to do shopping or collect medication for you: some criminals are asking for money upfront then disappearing. If you do need assistance, make sure it’s from someone you trust.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of fraud, report it as soon as possible by contacting Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visiting the Action Fraud website

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep Cold Callers in the Downham Market area – 19 January 2021

We've had reports of doorstep cold callers in the Downham Market area offering to undertake work on trees.

In this incident a resident was cold called by a male who stated, 'they were in the area' and offered to trim trees in the residents’ front garden.

The male was seen to be driving a silver/grey 4x4.

Our advice is always:

  • 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 garden 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.

Rogue Trader Alert – Further report of Doorstep Cold Callers in the Wymondham area – 18 January 2021

We've had a further report of a doorstep cold calling in the Wymondham area.

In this incident a male cold called at a property claiming to be 'working next door' and stated that he could see that the resident's chimney needed repairs. The male offered to do the work 'straight away' quoting a cash price and offering to take the resident to the bank to collect the money.

Our advice is never deal with cold callers and never agree to having work on your property when approached by someone 'passing by' no matter what claims they are making.

Please share this warning with vulnerable family, neighbours and friends especially in the Wymondham area.

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 Police on 101.

If you feel intimidated or 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

Scam Alert - Coronavirus Vaccine Scams - 18 January 2021

In order to receive your Coronavirus vaccine, you can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a GP surgery or pharmacy local to you.

Help spread the word – tell loved ones who may be at risk

Contact Action Fraud if you believe you, a loved-one, friend or neighbour has been the victim of fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting the Action Fraud website

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep Cold Callers in the Wymondham area – 15 January 2021

We've had reports of a doorstep cold calling in the Wymondham area.

In the incident a man cold called at a property claiming he was 'doing work on a house nearby' and that he had seen that work was needed on the resident's chimney.  He then quoted a cash price in excess of £1,500 and offered to take the resident to the bank to collect the cash.

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

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’ or take their word that it needs to be done at all
  • Never allow a cold caller access to your home, roof or garden 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 Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Police on 101.

If you feel intimidated or 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 

Scam Alert – Coronavirus Vaccine Scams – 14 January 2021

Coronavirus vaccines will only be administered free of charge through the NHS. The NHS will never:

  • Ask for bank account, PIN or card details
  • Arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
  • Ask you to prove your identity

If you believe you or a loved-one, friend or neighbour have been the victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting the Action Fraud website.

Help spread the word – tell loved ones who may be at risk.

Scam Alert - Fake HMRC and GOVUK text messages - 13 January 2021

We are continuing to receive reports about different text messages circulating claiming to be from HMRC and GOVUK.

These messages are fake. HMRC do not send text messages about tax refunds or ask you to disclose personal or payment information by text message.

There are likely to be several variations of each message circulating containing different link addresses.

You can forward suspicious tax related text messages to HMRC by forwarding the message to 60599 (text messages will be charged at your network rate)

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

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from the ‘NHS’ – 13 January 2021

We're reminding residents to continue to be aware of telephone cold calls.

This follows a report form a Norfolk resident who received a cold call from a male who stated he was ‘calling from the NHS’ and then asked the resident if they or their family were ‘feeling well today’ before trying to get the resident to give personal details. The resident ended the call at this point and reported it to us.

Our advice is always to be very wary of unexpected telephone cold calls and never give or confirm any personal or financial details if approached this way.

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

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep Cold Callers in the Harleston area – 11 January 2021

We've had reports of a doorstep cold calling in the Harleston area on Friday calling at properties offering loft insulation.

Currently during the National Lockdown retail door-to-door sales SHOULD NOT be taking place. Sales activities should be conducted remotely, such as by phone, online, or mail.

Our advice is always 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.

You can report any doorstep cold calling incidents in Norfolk or concerns about a business complying with the coronavirus restrictions to us via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133

Scam Alert – Text messages about ‘COVID Benefit Payments’ – 08 January 2021

We are warning about text messages circulating claiming to be from ‘GOVUK’ offering a ‘benefit payment of 300GBP’.

These messages are fake. Anyone following the links supplied in the messages will be taken to a website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details.

If you receive this or a similar text message you can report it by forwarding it to 7726.

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

Safety Alert – Yoyo Sparklers – 7 January 2021

We have received a complaint relating to 'Yoyo Sparklers' and are investigating this.

Images of the product affected by this alert are available on the Norfolk Trading Standards Facebook page.

We would urge anyone else who has experienced an issue with this product to contact us via our partners the Citizens Advice Consumer Service using their online contact form or by calling their consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

If you currently have any of this product do not use them, instead dispose of them safely or return them to the retailer.

Scam Alert – Fake tax rebate text messages – 7 January 2021

We are warning about text messages circulating claiming to be from ‘GOVUK’ which state that ‘due to the new national lockdown you are eligible for a tax rebate’.

The scam email includes the opening line 'GOVUK: Due to the new national lockdown, you are eligible for a tax rebate.'

These messages are fake. HMRC do not send text messages about tax refunds or ask you to disclose personal or payment information by text message.

There are likely to be several variations of this message circulating containing different link addresses.

You can forward suspicious tax related text messages to HMRC by forwarding the message to 60599 (text messages will be charged at your network rate).

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

Scam Alert – Fake COVID-19 vaccine text messages – 5 January 2021

We are warning about text messages circulating claiming to be from the NHS offering the COVID-19 vaccine.

The scam text message contains the subject line 'NHS: We have identified that you are eligible to apply for your vaccine.' 

These messages are fake. Anyone following the links supplied in the messages will be taken to a fake NHS website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details. 

The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus. These people will be contacted by the NHS. You will never be asked to supply financial details for the vaccination.

If you receive this or a similar text message you can report it by forwarding it to 7726.

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

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold caller offering ‘property maintenance’ – 15 December 2020

We are warning residents to be on their guard following a cold calling incident in the Hethersett area.

During the reported incident a man cold called at a property, showed the resident a flyer he was carrying and then attempted to deliver a sales pitch offering property exterior maintenance. The resident declined the offer and reported the incident to us.

Currently retail door-to-door sales should not be taking place in areas within tiers 1, 2 and 3. Sales activities should be conducted remotely, such as by phone, online, or mail.

If you see cold callers operating in Norfolk or have concerns about a business complying with the coronavirus restrictions, 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 – Fake HMRC texts and emails – 15 December 2020

We are warning about text messages and emails circulating claiming to be from ‘HMRC’ which state they relate to tax refunds.

The scam email contains the subject line 'Your tax refund is here'.

The scam text message contains the subject line 'HMRC: You are due a tax-refund of up to £535.'

These messages are fake. HMRC do not send text messages or emails about tax refunds or ask you to disclose personal or payment information by email or text message.

There continues to be a numerous variation of these messages circulating quoting different amounts due.

You can forward suspicious HMRC emails to the HMRC phishing team at phishing@hmrc.gov.uk (please give details in the subject line, for example ‘suspicious email address’).

You can forward suspicious HMRC text messages to 60599 (text messages will be charged at your network rate).

If you have received an email or 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.

Scam Alert – Beware of Covid-19 vaccination scams – 15 December 2020

We are hearing reports across the country of people being contacted out of the blue with offers of a coronavirus vaccination. The approaches have been made by text and from a recorded voice message on the telephone. In each case the recipient is required to respond by clicking a link in the text message or by pressing 1 when receiving the call. They are then asked to give personal information, as well as financial details to book their vaccination.

These contacts are not genuine and are a scam.

Criminals are exploiting the current situation to attempt to steal personal details and your money.

The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus. These people will be contacted by the NHS.

There has been a surge worldwide of vaccine-related phishing email scams. We expect to see an increase in these in the coming days.

Phishing emails seen have contained malicious files that installed malware, or links to bogus websites to obtain the victim's information.

Protect yourself from vaccine-themed phishing campaigns by:

  • Checking the email addresses on incoming messages and be alert to hyperlinks that contain misspelled domain names
  • Being aware of highly emotive language designed to manipulate you
  • Not supplying login credentials or personal information in response to an email; monitor key financial accounts regularly
  • Keeping software and apps updated

You can report contacts you suspect to be a scam to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Information Alert – Scamnesty 2020 week two – clairvoyant scams – 14 December 2020

We are proud to support the Friends Against Scams Scamnesty 2020 campaign.

Have you received post out of the blue telling you that you need to purchase a ‘lucky’ charm for protection?

Friends Against Scams’ focus for this week of Scamnesty is clairvoyant scams! These are letters that claim you might have an upcoming positive change in your life or that you're in trouble, but they can help.

Take a stand against scams and send your scam mail to the Friends team. Find out more on the Friends Against Scams Scamnesty 2020 website.

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from ‘DPD’ – 10 December 2020

We are warning about emails circulating claiming to be from ‘DPD’ suggesting that you have missed a delivery.

Image showing examples of emails claiming to be from DPD

The emails all contain a link that asks you to provide personal information, to arrange a new convenient time to receive your parcel. Some emails request financial details to be able to take a small payment ‘for redelivery’.

These emails are fake and are not from DPD. These emails are phishing emails designed to steal your personal information and money.

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.

You can report suspicious emails received to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133 or forward them to the National Cyber Security Centre on report@phishing.gov.uk

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from ‘Royal Mail’ – 8 December 2020

We are again warning about emails circulating claiming to be from Royal Mail.

The scam email contains the subject line 'Unsuccessful delivery attempt'

The email claims that you have missed a delivery from ‘HM Courts & Tribunals Service’ and provides a link to ‘Reschedule Now’.

The email is not genuine and is not from Royal Mail. Often these scam messages will make claims, in this case that the letter is court related, in an attempt to persuade more people to interact with it.

Our advice is always be wary of claims made in unexpected emails and never click on any links or open attachments.

You can see further examples of fake Royal Mail emails and how to report them on the Royal Mail website.

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

News Alert – Avian influenza (bird flu) new housing measures across Great Britain for poultry and captive bird keepers –  7 December 2020 

Due to the heightened risk of avian influenza, new housing measures for poultry and captive birds will be introduced from 14 December 2020 in England, Scotland and Wales.

Updated advice for poultry and bird keepers can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Information Alert – Scamnesty 2020 week one – lotteries and prize draw scams – 7 December 2020

We are proud to support the Friends Against Scams Scamnesty 2020 campaign.

Have you received post telling you you’ve won a lottery and all you need to do to claim the prize is send a small administration fee? This is a sign of a lottery scam.

Take a stand against scams and send your scam mail to the Friends team. Find out more on the Friends Against Scams Scamnesty 2020 website.

Information Alert – Door to door sales – 4 December 2020

In tiers 1, 2 and 3, retail door-to-door sales should not be taking place, and sales activities should be conducted remotely (such as by phone, online, or mail).

Details of this restriction can be found in the guidance available on the GOV.UK website.

You can report any concerns about a business complying with the coronavirus restrictions by contacting us via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from ‘Amazon’ – 3 December 2020

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

We have had several reports from Norfolk residents of recorded message calls claiming to be from Amazon that advise your Amazon Prime subscription ‘is about to renew at the cost of £39.99’. The call then states you can ‘press 1 to speak with someone’.

Where residents have interacted with the call, 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.

Amazon have put together some helpful tips on how to identify if a phone call is from them. This information can be found on the Amazon UK website.

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 freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert - Investment scams and fake cryptocurrency exchanges – 2 December 2020

We have received reports of Norfolk residents falling victim to online investment scams, including fake cryptocurrency exchanges. 

Bitcoin is the most famous cryptocurrency, but there are more than 1,500 cryptocurrencies including other well-known ones such as Ethereum and Litecoin. Cryptocurrencies only exists online and are not controlled by a bank, treasury or country, meaning you can’t get physical notes or coins from the bank.

If you don’t understand a cryptocurrency or an investment, it is recommended that you avoid handing over any money.

A cryptocurrency scam can take many forms, this could include:

  • A fake cryptocurrency which doesn’t, or will never, exist 
  • A bogus investment which promises to put money in a legitimate cryptocurrency
  • A dangerous website link that then downloads malware onto your computer

Which? Have put together useful guidance on how to spot an investment scam which can be found on the Which? website

The Financial Conduct Authority have also produced an interactive warning list where members of the public can check investment or pension opportunities that they have been offered and receive advice about current scams. This is available on the Financial Conduct Authority website.

If you think you have received an investment offer that you believe is a scam or you have become a victim of a scam, you can report this to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline.

Scam Alert – Text messages claiming to be from ‘Royal Mail’ – 1 December 2020

We are warning about text messages circulating claiming to be from Royal Mail.

The scam text message contains the opening line 'We attempted to deliver your package on Monday, 30 November 2020 but no one was available'.

A Norfolk resident has reported receiving the message pictured above which states, ‘we attempted to deliver your package’ and offering a link to ‘reschedule your package delivery’.

The link listed then goes to a fake version of the Royal Mail website which has been registered with one small difference which may be hard to spot

The scam text message contains the subject line 'Reschedule an item'.

In this case the website has been registered as ‘royaimail’. Anyone accessing it is asked for a range of personal information supposedly to enable them to ‘reschedule the delivery’.

Our advice is always be wary of claims made in unexpected messages and never click on any links or open attachments contained within them.

You can see further examples of fake Royal Mail communication and how to report ones received to them on the Royal Mail website.

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

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls offering cover for washing machines – 1 December 2020

We are warning Norfolk residents about telephone cold calls from an individual stating that your washing machine warranty has expired and needs extending.

The cold caller attempts to gather personal and financial details from the call recipient.

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

If you want to check on warranty details of any goods within your home, contact the business where you purchased the item directly via their official website or phone number.

A recent article published by Which? gives further advice on receiving unwanted calls about appliance cover which can be found on the Which? website.

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

Information Alert – Don’t fall prey to loan sharks online – 30 November 2020

We are proud to support the Stop Loan Sharks Week Campaign #SharkFreeSurfing to raise awareness of the dangers of online loan sharks and help people access advice and support if they have fallen victim to this crime. If you have been a victim of illegal money lending, or are concerned about someone you know, please contact the Stop Loan Sharks 24-hour helpline on 0300 555 2222 or visit the Stop Loan Sharks website.

How to protect yourself from loan sharks online

  • Know who you're dealing with. If you've only ever met someone online or are unsure of the legitimacy of a lender, take some time to do a bit more research. Check the lender is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). If not, don’t borrow from them and report to the Stop Loan Sharks team
  • Beware of loan adverts with no credit checks. Loan sharks have been known to advertise in community groups and on local selling pages. They may seem friendly and accommodating, but their behaviour can quickly change, and you might be harassed or threatened if you get behind with your repayments. Lenders must carry out credit checks to make sure borrowers can afford to pay back their loans. You should never hand over your bank details to strangers, even if they lure you with attractive offers. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is
  • Beware of any requests for your details or money. Loan sharks may ask for copies of your passport or pictures of your house, the street and your house number. Never send money or give card details, online account details or copies of personal documents to anyone you don’t know or trust

If you suspect someone may be a loan shark or they are acting inappropriately, you can report them anonymously to the Stop Loan Sharks website or by calling the Stop Loan Sharks Helpline on 0300 555 2222.

Alternatively, you can email the team reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk or access support via live chat on the website Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

The Stop Loan Sharks App is free to download on both iOS and Android devices from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Information Alert – Buying Online this Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Check out our top tips to stay safe – 26 November 2020

With the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend fast approaching and many sites offering their deals already, check out our Top Tips for buying safely online:

  • Who are you buying from?
    If you’re buying from a website that you don’t know or for the first time make sure you check them out, especially if they’re claiming to have stock of this years ‘must have items’ that no one else has:
    • Does the site have full contact details?
      If it’s just an email address be very wary
    • Look online, what is the site’s reputation?
      What are other customers saying about them?
      Check feedback, if available, but remember it can be falsified
    • Have a good look at the site and its quality
      What is the copy like, are there spelling mistakes, do all the links on the pages work?
    • Are they offering eye catching prices or items not available anywhere else?
      What they’re offering could be poor quality, unsafe, counterfeit or not even exist

    If you’re in any doubt, back out of the purchase

  • Is it just too good to be true?
    Be very wary of links shared via social media to websites offering big name brands with huge discounts. Where is that link going to go and will your data be safe?
    Just clicking through to check it out could put your device in danger, make sure your antivirus and phone software is up to date so that you don’t fall victim to any kind of malware that could be lying in wait.

  • Watch out for Scam emails
    With many people looking to shop for bargains across the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend scammers may also be using this period as an opportunity to send out fake email offers amongst the numerous ones from genuine companies.
    Take some extra time to check out emails before clicking on links or opening attachments, if you’re not sure just delete it

  • How are you paying?
    When buying online, make sure you use a secure form of payment. Credit cards, debit card and secure payment sites like PayPal give you extra protection from fraud than other methods of payment.
    Never pay for items by directly transferring money into an account unless it is someone you know and trust, as this offers very little protection.
    Before entering any payment details online, ensure the link is secure:
    • A padlock symbol should appear in your browser’s address bar, make sure the padlock is not on the page itself
    • The web address should begin ‘https://…’ The ‘s’ stands for secure
    • In later versions of browsers, the address bar or name of the site will turn green
  • Out and about? Avoid purchasing on public wi-fi
    Public wi-fi can now be found in many locations and provides a convenient way to search online without using any of your data allowance. But connecting to that network means any personal data you send could be intercepted if the wi-fi connection is compromised.
    If you’re planning to buy something when away from home stay safe and use your data instead

  • When do you need it by?
    This is a very busy time of year for many online businesses. Make sure you check the delivery date for your order. If it’s just an estimated date it could change, and you could end up waiting till after Christmas for your delivery

  • What if there is a problem?
    If you need to return anything, proof of purchase is very important. Keep all emails and receipts, electronic or otherwise.
    Also when you receive items you have ordered online check them before wrapping them. This way you’ll avoid disappointment on Christmas Day and can sort problems quickly with the supplier

Need more advice following an online purchase? Contact our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from HMRC – 25 November 2020

We continue to receive 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

We recently talked about this type of scam on BBC Radio Norfolk with Chris Goreham. You can listen again for the next 29 days via BBC Sounds website, with our section starting at 3:08:45.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls offering to stop telephone cold calls – 20 November 2020

We are warning Norfolk residents to be aware of telephone cold calls stating they can help stop telephone cold calls after again receiving reports from residents recently.

We are aware that there are a number of companies who cold calling claiming to be able to offer this ‘service’ with some charging one-off fees and others charging ongoing monthly fees.

It is extremely unlikely that any ‘service’ of this type can legitimately claim to be able to stop cold calls, so any money paid is unlikely to achieve any benefit.

We always advise never to buy items or agree to ongoing services when approached by a telephone cold call.

If you have responded to one of these cold calls, which you now believe may not have been genuine or the company is taking an ongoing monthly payment and you need further advice contact our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133 or via the Citizens Advice online reporting form.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep Cold Caller offering ‘gardening work’ – 23 November 2020

We are warning residents to be on their guard following a cold calling incident in the Necton area.

During the reported incident a male cold called at a property and offering to undertake garden work. The resident declined the offer and reported the incident to us.

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 garden 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.

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.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from ‘BT’ – 19 November 2020

We have had further reports this week about telephone cold calls claiming to be from ‘BT’. 

These calls are not genuine. BT will never cold call and ask for bank details or payment card numbers to confirm your identity.

If you receive this or a similar call our advice is do not give or confirm any details, press any buttons or allow remote access to computer equipment and hang up.

You can report scam calls claiming to be from BT at www.bt.com/scams

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.

Information Alert – National Consumer Week 2020 – 16 November 2020

Find out how to be a #SafeShopper this #NCW20 at Citizensadvice.org.uk/NCW20

Almost half of British adults (47%) have had issues with parcel delivery since the country first went into lockdown in March, new research by Citizens Advice reveals. 

With more people turning to online shopping as a result of Coronavirus, Citizens Advice has found that over half (51%) of people say they feel more reliant on having goods delivered.

New polling by Citizens Advice has found:

  • 96% of people say they've ordered a parcel since March
  • The biggest problem consumers face is late delivery, with almost one in three people (30%) across the country facing a delay
  • Nearly one in five people (18%) who experience a parcel issue suffered some sort of financial loss, with 40% of those losing over £20

The Citizens Advice Consumer Service has received three times as many calls about delivery issues since March compared to the same period last year.

Citizens Advice also saw views on its webpage nearly double. The charity’s online advice on parcel issues was viewed almost 208,000 times between March and October, compared to 94,000 in the same period in 2019.

As a result, this National Consumer Week (Monday 16 November - Sunday 22 November), Citizens Advice and the Consumer Protection Partnership are working to clue the public up on their online shopping rights, and what to do if something goes wrong with a parcel delivery. Here are their top tips:

  • Check delivery policies - before you place an order find out what the delivery times, costs and returns policies are of the items you have ordered
  • If you’re out of the house during delivery - consider asking a neighbour or friend if it can be delivered to their address if you think it may be a time or date you are not home. But beware, if you do provide details of a safe space or nominated neighbour and something goes wrong it’s not the seller or courier’s responsibility
  • Online trader or online marketplace? Make sure you know if you are dealing with a trader or a private seller on an online marketplace as dispute processes may vary. If you have an issue with a trader, a dispute can be raised directly with them, but if it’s a private individual it may be easier to go through a marketplace's dispute process
  • Review traders - check and review if the trader is genuine. It’s always worth taking a look at reviews to gain an insight as to how reliable the company is and how well they deal with missing parcel complaints and refunds
  • Who to deal with when a parcel goes missing - your purchase and contract is with the seller. If your parcel goes missing you should speak to the trader to deal with the problem, not the courier company

Rogue Trader Alert – Cold calling incidents in the NR2 and NR4 areas of Norwich and Thorpe St Andrew – 16 November 2020

We are warning residents to be on their guard after a number of doorstep cold calling incidents were reported to us.

In the first incident two men cold called at a property in Thorpe St Andrew offering to undertake driveway work. The men were making a range of claims about the residents’ drive needing work before a neighbour intervened and told them to leave. They were seen to leave in a white flatbed Ford Transit van.

We have also had reports of doorstep cold callers in the NR2 and NR4 areas of Norwich attempting to sell household cleaning products from bags they are carrying.

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

It is possible these sellers will continue to move onto other locations within Norwich and Norfolk.

Anyone spotting 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 see these cold callers and are concerned for vulnerable neighbours call 999.

News Alert – Bird flu national prevention zone declared – 12 November 2020

The UK Chief Veterinary Officer has declared a national Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) covering all of England to reduce the risk of the disease spreading.

This comes after two separate, unrelated cases in kept poultry and birds confirmed in England last week and a third case of H5N8 avian flu in captive birds was confirmed at a broiler breeder farm in Herefordshire. A very small number of wild birds in South West of England have also been found to have had the disease.

This means it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures.

Advice for poultry keepers can be found on the GOV.UK website.

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