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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 Census text messages – 13 May 2021

We are warning residents about fake Census text messages.

CENSUS: There is missing information from your census application. Failure to update your details may result in £1,000 penalty.

These texts have been sent by criminals who have created the fake website to look similar to the Census website, with the same branding, layout and font choices. The fake website attempts to gather a range of personal and financial information.

If you receive this text DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK.

If you think you have provided scammers with your financial details you should contact your bank immediately.

If you receive what you think is a fake message, forward the text message, including the phone number or company name, to 7726. All phone operators now use this number as the short code to report spam texts, which is free of charge. It won’t cost you anything and it means your phone provider can investigate the sender.

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

Scam Alert – Fake online adverts selling imported products – 12 May 2021

We have received a report from a Norfolk resident who has fallen victim to an online scam after purchasing a fake product online.

The resident believed they were purchasing a product that would be shipped from abroad, however after they had purchased the item, they received a further email stating that the product required an importation certificate at an additional cost. The resident paid this cost however did not receive any further contact from the business and did not receive their product.

We are advising Norfolk residents to be wary when purchasing products online and to stop and question whether an advertisement is genuine before parting with money or personal information.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have an online service where consumers can report any fake adverts they find on online platforms such as newspaper websites, paid-for search engines or social media. They ask that online users use the online reporting form which can be found on the ASA website.

This reporting mechanism aims to respond to the ever-increasing number of fake advertisements found online which spread false information and trick internet users into parting with their cash and personal information.

If you think you have been the victim of an online scam you can report this to us via our partners, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Scam calls claiming ‘your National Insurance number has been terminated’– 11 May 2021

We are continuing to receive reports of automated telephone calls making claims about National Insurance numbers.

The caller states that your National Insurance number has been terminated and requests you to press 1 in order to speak to an advisor.

Some calls are claiming to be from the ‘National Crime Agency’, others are saying they are ‘Inland Revenue’.

These calls are a scam and the claims made are not genuine.

If you receive this type of call you can report it to HM Revenue & Customs by emailing phishing@hmrc.gov.uk including where possible the following details:

  • date and time of the call
  • phone number used
  • content of the call

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

Cold Calling Alert – Telephone cold calls regarding applications for benefits – 10 May 2021

We are warning residents about telephone cold calls regarding applications for benefit allowance.

This follows a report from a Norfolk resident who received a call this week during which the cold caller stated he was calling to confirm their application for benefits had been approved. The resident had not applied to receive benefits and so hung up and reported the call to us as a potential scam.

Our advice is always be very wary of any approach made in a telephone cold call and to never give or confirm any personal details.

If you need advice about cold calling or have agreed to a visit during a cold call, contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from ‘DVLA’ – 09 May 2021

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

One recent example reported by a Norfolk resident claimed that ‘The latest payment for your vehicle tax failed’ and that ‘your vehicle is no longer taxed’ The email goes on to provide a link to ‘Pay your tax vehicle now’.

This email is not from the DVLA and any links contained within the email 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
    DVLA never sends 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
    DVLA never sends 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.

Safety Alert - Peloton issues product safety notice for their Peloton treadmill

Peloton have issued a product safety notice for the Peloton Tread as the touchscreen on the treadmill can detach and fall, posing a risk of injury to consumers.

Peloton is working with the Office for Product Safety & Standards in relation to this matter, and are developing a repair. Until this repair is available, Peloton members have the following options:

Full Refund: If you do not wish to wait for a repair and would like to return your Tread for a full refund, you may do so by following the link below.

Wait for Free Repair: Peloton are working to make a repair available in the coming weeks, free of charge. Until this repair is applied to your Tread, do not use it.

Visit the Peloton website.

Scam Alert – Royal Mail Parcel Postage Scam – 05 May 2021

Be wary of fake emails claiming you need to pay a shipping fee to retrieve your parcel.

Criminals are experts at creating spoof emails that use the official logo & branding of trusted organisations to trick you into taking urgent action by clicking on links without close inspection.

#TakeFive and contact the organisation directly using a known email or phone number instead of clicking on links.

You can protect others from falling for this scam by forwarding scam emails report@phishing.gov.uk.

If you think you’ve fallen for this scam, contact your bank immediately on a number you know to be correct, such as the one on the back of your bank card.

Scam Alert – Fake text messages from Hermes – 05 May 2021

We are still receiving reports of fake text messages from Hermes which lead to a bogus website that attempts to gain personal information.

These texts have been sent by criminals who have created the fake website to look similar to the Hermes website, with the same branding, layout and font choices.

If you receive this text do not click on the link.

If you think you have provided scammers with your financial details you should contact your bank immediately.

If you receive what you think is a fake message, forward the text message, including the phone number or company name, to 7726. All phone operators now use this number as the short code to report spam texts, which is free of charge. It won’t cost you anything and it means your phone provider can investigate the sender.

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

Scam Alert – Fake supermarket delivery text messages – 29 April 2021

Our colleagues at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute have received evidence of scam supermarket delivery text messages being sent.

The fake supermarket delivery text messages contain the opening line 'Your Asda order is out for delivery, visit http://........................ to track your order and view delivery note.' and 'Your Morrisons order will be delivered soon. Details at http://..............................................'.

These texts are sent by criminals in large numbers hoping to chance upon a recipient who has recently ordered from the retailer.

If clicked, the link then will go to a fake website designed to look similar to the genuine website often with the same branding, layout and font choices, which will attempt to gather personal and financial details.

If you receive these, or similar texts, do not click on the link.

If you think you have provided scammers with your financial details you should contact your bank immediately.

If you receive what you think is a fake message, forward the text message, including the phone number or company name, to 7726. All phone operators now use this number as the short code to report spam texts, which is free of charge. It won’t cost you anything and it means your phone provider can investigate the sender.

You can also report scams you have received to us via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls regarding ‘council tax’ – 28 April 2021

We are warning residents about telephone cold calls regarding ‘council tax’.

This follows a report from a Norfolk resident who received a call during which the cold caller claimed that the resident’s ‘council tax' was 'banded incorrectly’ and that they were ‘due a rebate’.
The caller then stated that a ‘property surveyor would be required to inspect the property’ for which they would need to take payment of £140. At this point the resident ended the call.

Our advice is always be very wary of any approach made in a telephone cold call and never give or confirm any personal or financial details if approached in this manner.

If you require any information about your council tax contact your local council directly. Their information can be located on your council tax bill or via www.gov.uk/find-local-council
 
You can report suspicious cold calls to us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Automated telephone cold calls making claims about ‘your National Insurance Number’ – 27 April 2021

We are continuing to receive reports of automated telephone calls making claims about National Insurance numbers.

Recent reports have included claims that:

  • ‘Your National Insurance number has been used in numerous criminal activities’; and
  • ‘Your National Insurance number has been used in (location)’

Some calls are claiming to be from the ‘National Crime Agency’, others are saying they are ‘Inland Revenue’. The calls go on to instruct the recipient to call a stated number to ‘resolve the issue’ or to ‘Press 1 to speak to an advisor’ claiming that ‘failure to speak to them’ will result in the suspension of your National Insurance number.

These calls are a scam and the claims made are not genuine.

If you receive this type of call you can report it to HM Revenue & Customs by emailing phishing@hmrc.gov.uk including, where possible, the following details:

  • Date and time of the call
  • Phone number used
  • Content of the call

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

Scam Alert – Fake parcel delivery text messages– 26 April 2021

We are continuing to receive reports of fake parcel delivery text messages which lead to a bogus website that attempts to gain personal information.

The fake parcel delivery text messages contain the opening lines 'DHL: Your parcel is arriving, track here: ...', 'HERMES: We have attempted to deliver a parcel on ...... To reschedule please visit ......' and 'Your package is delayed. Confirm delivery now'.

These texts have been sent by criminals who have created the fake website to look similar to the genuine websites, with the same branding, layout and font choices.

If you receive these or similar texts, do not click on the link.

If you think you have provided scammers with your financial details you should contact your bank immediately.

If you receive what you think is a fake message, forward the text message, including the phone number or company name, to 7726. All phone operators now use this number as the short code to
report spam texts, which is free of charge. It won’t cost you anything and it means your phone provider can investigate the sender.

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

Scam Alert – Automated telephone cold calls claiming to be from HMRC – 22 April 2021

We are continuing 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 calls which state they are from ‘HMRC’ and threaten ‘immediate arrest if you do not respond by pressing 1’.
These calls are appearing to come from a range of different ‘spoofed’ numbers and some residents are reporting receiving a number of calls in quick succession.

These calls are not genuine and do not come from HMRC. If you receive this or a call making similar claims or threats do not interact with the call in any way and hang up immediately.

You can find more information about bogus contacts and phishing emails claiming to be from HMRC on the GOV.UK website.

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

Cold Calling Alert – Telephone cold calls regarding ‘register of professional trades people’ – 21 April 2021

We are warning residents about telephone cold calls from an unknown male attempting to gather personal details.

The man states that he is calling from a business that holds a register of professional tradespeople. He claims that the business is expanding their services into your area and therefore requires your personal details.

Our advice is always be very wary of any approach made in a telephone cold call and never give or confirm any personal or financial details if approached in this manner.

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

Scam Alert – Letters regarding marriage allowance claims – 20 April 2021

A Norfolk resident has reported receiving a letter thanking them for their ‘interest in applying for marriage allowance’. However, the resident had not made any applications and did not recognise the sender’s details given on the letter.

The letter asked for a large amount of personal information including date of birth, National Insurance numbers and details regarding income.

Guidance on how residents can apply for marriage allowance is available on the GOV.UK websiteContact details for Income Tax general enquiries can also be found via the GOV.UK website, where you can access help and guidance.

If you receive a letter that requests you reply with your personal information and you do not recognise the sender, or a similar letter, just recycle it after destroying your details printed on the letter.
Do not reply with personal information.

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.

Cold Calling Alert –Continued reports re cold callers offering ‘free insulation’– 19 April 2021

We continue to receive reports of doorstep cold callers in the Kings Lynn area this week all claiming to be offering to assess the properties’ insulation.

In these incidents the cold callers have made claims including that they can offer ‘free’ loft insultation, cavity wall insulation or replacement boilers, often stating that ‘government’ and ‘council grants’ are available. The callers then often attempt to make an appointment for an ‘assessor’ to visit and check the property and the resident’s ‘eligibility’. In one incident the resident was told this would include ‘checking personal information and bank statements’.

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

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

If you would like one of our 'No Cold Calling' door stickers, contact 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 – Telephone cold calls claiming ‘your broadband needs upgrading’ – 18 April 2021

We are receiving reports about telephone cold calls delivering a recorded message claiming to be from ‘your Internet service provider’ stating that ‘your broadband needs to be upgraded’. 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 suspicious telephone cold calls received to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Information Alert - Changes to rules around wood and solid fuel - 15 April 2021

The rules are changing on May 2021 regarding the sale of wood and solid fuel for consumers.

This new law will ban the sale of the most polluting fuels used in homes: wet wood and house coal.

Ready to Burn scheme

This scheme is backed by the Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in support of The Air Quality Regulations 2020 (England). Wet wood and house coal are the most polluting fuels used in homes. This new law will ban the sale of these fuels. It will be mandatory to use small quantities of wood that’s certified as ready to burn. For larger quantities, the wood will be sold with advice on how to properly season and check the fuel is dry to burn.

HETAS, the non-profit organisation, has been appointed by Defra to run its Ready to Burn certification scheme for manufactured solid fuels.

Wood

Ready to burn wood means it’s been certified for immediate use. It also burns better as it has a moisture content of up to 20%, so it burns with less smoke than wetter wood. In turn, this helps reduce pollution and improve air quality.

Manufactured solid fuel

The new law will also see changes to the sale of manufactured solid fuels. These fuels will need to meet certain standards to be listed as ready to burn from 1 May 2021. A 'manufactured solid fuel' means a fuel produced from coal, wood, plant-derived materials, waxes or petroleum products with other ingredients. For the purpose of burning in domestic properties in England.

Expect to see bags of manufactured solid fuel labelled as 'ready to burn' available very soon.

For further information go to:

www.hetas.co.uk/
www.readytoburn.org/

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering ‘free insulation’– 15 April 2021

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of doorstep cold callers in the Bowthorpe, Cringleford, Brandon and Kings Lynn areas this week all claiming to be offering to assess the properties’ insulation.

In these incidents the cold callers have made claims including that they can offer ‘free’ loft insultation, cavity wall insulation or replacement boilers often stating that ‘Government’ and ‘Council Grants’ are available. The callers then often attempt to make an appointment for an ‘assessor’ to visit and check the property and the resident’s ‘eligibility’. In one incident the resident was told this would include ‘checking personal information and bank statements’.

We advise to be very wary of claims made by doorstep cold callers and never give access to your property, agree to services, share or confirm personal details, buy items or agree to 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 on 0808 223 1133.

Cold Calling Alert – Telephone cold calls regarding ‘loft insulation’ – 14 April 2021

We are again warning residents about telephone cold calls regarding loft insulation.

This follows a number of reports from Norfolk residents who have received calls this week. During these calls a range of claims have been made including that:

  • ‘Old loft insulation is likely to be causing condensation and mould’
  • ‘Vouchers are available due to Government changes in loft insulation’
  • ‘It is a Government requirement to have an up-to-date loft insulation certificate’

Following these claims, in some calls the cold callers then attempted to confirm or gather personal information including the call recipient’s age. In others, the caller stated a date and time that a ‘surveyor’ or ‘assessor' would be visiting.

Our advice is always be very wary of any approach made in a telephone cold call and never give or confirm any personal details or agree to someone visiting your home if approached in this manner.

If you need advice about cold calling or have been told you will receive a visit to your home during a cold call, contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Text messages about your bank account – 7 April 2021

We have received reports from residents about text messages claiming to be from banks stating there is an issue on your account and asking you to log in via a link.

The scam text message contains the opening line 'HSBC: Payee request for MRS K ADAMS on your account through your HSBC mobile banking.'

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.

Scam Alert – Fake text messages from Hermes – 6 April 2021

We have received reports of fake text messages from Hermes which lead to a bogus website that attempts to gain personal information.

These texts have been sent by criminals who have created the fake website to look similar to the Hermes website, with the same branding, layout and font choices.

If you receive this text do not click on the link.

If you think you have provided scammers with your financial details you should contact your bank immediately.

If you receive what you think is a fake message, forward the text message, including the phone number or company name, to 7726. All phone operators now use this number as the short code to report spam texts, which is free of charge. It won’t cost you anything and it means your phone provider can investigate the sender.

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

The scam messages contain the opening line 'Hermes: Sorry we missed your call earlier ...' and 'Status  Missed Delivery  We missed you on last delivery'

Information Alert - Home repairs or improvements? Make sure you #CHECK – 5 April 2021

Is springtime turning your thoughts to planning work on your home or garden?

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

Compare – Use Norfolk Trusted Trader and get three quotes

History – Ask for the traders’ references, recommendations and reviews and make sure you check them out

Establish the details – What is being done, by Who, by When and for How much

Contract – Ensure everything is recorded

Keep all of the paperwork - This may be needed should anything go wrong

Scam Alert - Investment scams and fake cryptocurrency exchanges – 4 April 2021

We have received further reports of individuals falling victim to online investment scams, including fake cryptocurrency exchanges. A Norfolk resident has lost £1,000 after investing in a fake cryptocurrency website.

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 exist online and are not controlled by a bank, treasury or country, meaning you can’t get physical notes or coins from the bank.

Our advice is to always ensure you understand a cryptocurrency or an investment before transferring 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

See useful guidance on how to spot an investment scam via the Which? website.

The Financial Conduct Authority website also provides further details on how to avoid investment scams online.

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 on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Automated telephone cold calls claiming to be from HMRC – 3 April 2021

We are continuing 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 calls which state they are from ‘HMRC’ and threaten ‘immediate arrest if you do not respond by pressing 1’.

These calls are appearing to come from a range of different ‘spoofed’ numbers and some residents are reporting receiving a number of calls in quick succession.

These calls are not genuine and do not come from HMRC. If you receive this or a call making similar claims or threats do not interact with the call in any way and hang up immediately.

You can find more information about bogus contacts and phishing emails claiming to be from HMRC on the GOV.UK website.

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

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep Cold Caller claiming issues with properties’ roof – 30 March 2021

We've had reports of a doorstep cold caller in the Poringland area.

In the incident a male cold called at a property and told the resident that he ‘was working next door’ and ‘could see the lead flashing was coming away from the chimney’. The male stated he could ‘do the work now’ and quoted a price of £750 which went down to £500 ‘if paid in cash’.

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

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 our Trusted Trader page.

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from ‘DVLA’ – 31 March 2021

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

One recent example reported by a Norfolk resident claimed that ‘The latest payment for your vehicle tax failed’ and that ‘your vehicle is no longer taxed’ The email goes on to provide a link to ‘Pay your tax vehicle now’.

This, at times, strangely worded email is 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

Cold Calling Alert – Telephone cold calls regarding ‘Council Tax’ – 30 March 2021

We are warning residents about telephone cold calls regarding ‘Council Tax’.

This follows a number of reports from Norfolk residents who have received calls during which the cold caller states that the Council Tax on the residents’ property ‘is about to be raised from its current band’. In some calls the cold caller has also stated that ‘all properties in your area are being changed’. The caller then offers to ‘sort out the paperwork’ to ‘stop the band being changed’ for a fee and then attempts to gather bank details for the payment.

Our advice is always be very wary of any approach made in a telephone cold call and never give or confirm any personal or financial details if approached in this manner.

If you require any information about your Council Tax contact your Local Council directly, their information can be located on your Council Tax bill or on the GOV.UK council finder

You can report suspicious cold calls to us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133 or via the Citizens Advice online reporting form.

Scam Alert – Royal Mail Fraudulent Texts – 29 March 2021

A new Royal Mail delivery scam is targeting households across the UK to trick victims into giving personal details allowing the scams to access bank information.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute recently alerted shoppers to a text message which appears to be from Royal Mail but is actually from fraudsters.

People have been sent a message claiming their parcel is awaiting delivery but a settlement must be paid first. This is how you spot the scam. This is an example of the first field.

The URL will direct you to a fraudulent website, clicking on the link will take you to a screen asking for personal and payment details.

The best advice with this sort of scams is to delete the message straight away, if you do have a parcel pending delivery and you are out, Royal Mail always leave a card. Royal Mail said the postal service would only ever ask for payment via a text message if a parcel had been sent to them from an international destination and a customs payment was due.

For more information on reporting any suspicious messages call ActionFraud or visit the ActionFraud website.

Information Alert – Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) update for bird keepers - 25 March 2021

Bird flu alert poster - latest updates - housing measures end 23.59 on 31 March 2021 

Compulsory housing measures for poultry and captive birds are set to be lifted at the end of March.

While the risk of bird flu has been reduced to ‘medium’, the risk of outbreaks is likely to persist for several weeks. As a result, enhanced biosecurity requirements that were brought in as part of the Avian Influenza Protection Zone (AIPZ) on 11 November will remain in place. Good biosecurity is the most effective measure of disease control available.

While it is essential to ensure effective biosecurity when there is an increased risk of bird flu, it is advised that poultry keepers apply enhanced biosecurity measures at all times to prevent and mitigate future outbreaks.

Bird keepers are advised to use the time up to the end of the month to prepare the ranges and outdoor areas for release of the birds. This will include cleansing and disinfection of hard surfaces, fencing off ponds or standing water and reintroduction of wild bird deterrents.

In addition, when the birds are allowed out at the end of March all poultry and captive bird keepers will need to keep taking extra precautions, such as cleaning and disinfecting equipment, clothing and vehicles, limiting access to non-essential people on their sites, and workers changing clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures.

Poultry and captive bird keepers are advised to be vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds and any wild birds and seek prompt advice from their vet if they have any concerns. They can help prevent avian flu by maintaining good biosecurity on their premises, including:

  • Fencing off ponds, streams, boggy areas or standing water and draining them where possible
  • Netting or covering ponds
  • Removing any wild bird feed sources
  • Deterring wild birds by regularly walking through the area or by using predator decoys
  • Cleansing and disinfecting concrete or other permeable areas
  • Putting down wood shavings in wet areas
  • Limit the number of people who come onto the site
  • Use disinfectant foot dips when entering and exiting enclosures or houses

Poultry and captive bird keepers and members of the public should continue to report dead wild birds to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 (option 7). Bird keepers should report suspicion of disease to APHA on 03000 200 301

Cold Calling Alert – Telephone cold calls regarding ‘loft insulation’ – 24 March 2021

We are again warning residents about telephone cold calls regarding loft insulation.

This follows several reports from Norfolk residents who have received cold calls in the last week. The callers are making several claims including:

  • that they are a ‘local government energy advisor’
  • that ‘old insulation may be causing mould to form in walls and lofts’
  • that ‘loft insulation is rotting due to condensation’.
  • that insulation previously installed could be ‘poisonous’

Following these claims the cold caller will state that they ‘need to arrange for a surveyor to visit’.

Within some of the reports residents have said that the cold caller has asked for them by name and have then told them their address and asked the resident to ‘confirm if this is correct’. We would remind residents that just because a cold caller knows some basic personal information about you this doesn’t mean they are genuine and that their claims will be authentic.

We also always advise to be very wary of any approach made in a telephone cold call and never give or confirm any personal details or agree to someone visiting your home if approached in this manner.

If you need advice about cold calling or have agreed to a visit during a cold call contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133 or via their Citizens Advice online reporting form.

Scam Alert – Automated telephone cold calls claiming to be from ‘HMRC’ – 22 March 2021

We are again receiving reports of automated calls claiming to be from the HMRC. The call states that a ‘warrant has been issued for your arrest for no payment of tax’ and that you are required to ‘press 1 to speak to your case handler’.

These calls are a scam. Do not call the number provided, or provide anyone with your personal details, including your bank or credit card information.

HMRC are aware of these automated phone call scams. To help their investigations if you receive this or a similar call making claims about arrest warrents please report the details by email to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk, including the:

  • date of the call
  • phone number used
  • content of the call

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

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep Cold Caller claiming issues with properties’ chimney – 19 March 2021

We've had reports of a doorstep cold caller in the Old Catton area.

In the incident a male cold called at a property and told the resident that he ‘could see the chimney stack was coming away from the building’. The male stated he could ‘do the work today’ and quoted a price in excess of £1,500 ‘if paid in 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

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.

Cold Calling Alert – Telephone cold calls regarding ‘loft insulation’ – 17 March 2021

We are warning residents about telephone cold calls regarding loft insulation.

This follows a report from a Norfolk resident who received a call this week during which the cold caller stated he was ‘the local government energy advisor’ before making a number of claims about ‘the safety of old insultation’ which he stated could be ‘rotting due to condensation’. The cold caller then said that he would ‘need to arrange for a surveyor to visit’. At this point the resident hung up and reported the call to us.

Our advice is always be very wary of any approach made in a telephone cold call and never give or confirm any personal details or agree to someone visiting your home if approached in this manner.

If you need advice about cold calling or have agreed to a visit during a cold call, contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers selling household cleaning products – 17 March 2021

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 the North Wootton area claiming he was an ‘ex offender’ and was selling items ‘to earn an apprenticeship’. 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.

Anyone sighting doorstep sellers in Norfolk should contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

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

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