Consumer scam alerts

You can report scams to our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline using their online report form or by calling 03454 04 05 06,  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.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from Citizens Advice – 17 January 2019

We are warning about telephone cold calls claiming to be from Citizens Advice.

This follows a report from a Norfolk resident who received a cold call claiming to be from the ‘Citizens Advice Debt Service’ during which the cold caller attempted to engage with the call recipient about ‘debts’
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Citizens Advice advise that they do not cold call or authorise others to cold call on their behalf.

If you receive one of these calls do not give or confirm any personal information. Hang up and report the call to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

Scam Alert – Text messages claiming to be from ‘DVLA’ stating you have a ‘vehicle tax refund’ – 15 January 2019

We are warning about text messages circulating claiming to be from ‘DVLA’ stating ‘you have a vehicle tax refund’ from ‘an overpayment’, the text goes on to offers a link to ‘process 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.

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 03454 04 05 06.

Scam Alert – Facebook messages claiming to be from a friend asking if you could ‘receive a payment’ via PayPal – 15 January 2019

We are warning Facebook users about scam messages asking to use your PayPal account to ‘receive a payment’.



These messages come from a Facebook friend’s account but are actually sent by Fraudsters who have hacked the friend’s Facebook account and changed their password and phone number.

The fraudsters then message the hacked victims’ friends to ask them to receive payments through PayPal for various reasons. They often also ask for their phone number, so they can communicate through WhatsApp.

The fraudsters then convince the victim to receive funds into their PayPal account and transfer them into a bank account of the Fraudsters choice.

Having received the transfer a chargeback is then initiated through PayPal, leaving the PayPal account holder out of pocket.

If you receive a suspicious message from a friend on Facebook, contact them directly via other means to check the message is genuine.

You can find out more about keeping your Facebook account secure, including activating login alerts and two-factor authorisation on the Facebook website.

Information Alert – Changes to pension cold calls regulations– 13 January 2019

As of last week (9 January), companies that make unsolicited phone calls to people about their pensions will be liable to enforcement action, including fines of up to £500,000.

The ban has been introduced in a bid to prevent people falling victim to cold calling scams that can lead to them losing their life savings.

As many as eight scam calls take place every second - or a massive 250,000,000 calls a year – according to research from the Money Advice Service.

Victims of pension scams can lose their life savings and be left facing retirement with limited income. According to the Financial Conduct Authority, pension fraudsters stole on average £91,000 per victim in 2018.

If you receive a cold call about your pension, get any information you can, such as the company name or phone number, and report it to the Information Commissioner’s Office via their website or on 0303 123 1113.

If you have been a victim of this type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling them on 0300 123 2040 or by using their online fraud reporting tool.

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold caller enquiring about ‘insulation’– 11 January 2019

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving a report of a doorstep cold caller in the Mulbarton area.

A resident received a doorstep cold call from a man who claimed he was ‘representing the local authority’ and they were ‘inspecting homes for fibreglass insulation’. The cold caller then offered to ‘conduct an insulation survey’. The resident declined the offer and reported the cold call to us.

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.

Impartial advice on energy saving and accessing grant schemes is available from the Energy Saving Trust.

Anyone concerned about doorstep cold calling in Norfolk can contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or by telephone on 03454 04 05 06.

Scam Alert – Messages claiming to be from ‘TV Licencing’ – 10 January 2019

We have received more reports from Norfolk residents about emails and text messages claiming to be from TV Licencing.  Often these state that 'Your TV Licence will expire' and then offering a link to ‘Please Set up a new Direct Debit Now'.

These emails are not from TV Licencing and anyone following the link will be taken to a genuine looking fake version of the TV Licencing website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details.  It is likely that many versions of this email will be circulating using a range of different ‘expire’ dates.

Action Fraud report that they have received more than 5,000 reports to them regarding this type of message.  They offer the following advice:

Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

For more information about how to stay safe online, visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk.

You can report suspicious messages to Action Fraud using their online form or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold caller in the Norwich area claiming to be ‘surveying about telephone cold calls’ – 10 January 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving a report of a doorstep cold caller in the Norwich area.

In the incident a resident received a doorstep cold call from a man who claimed he was ‘surveying about telephone cold calls’ and during the conversation also stated he was ‘working on behalf of Trading Standards’.  The man was carrying a clip board and left the area after a neighbour intervened and told him to leave the area.

Be very wary of claims made by doorstep cold callers.  Please be aware Norfolk Trading Standards do not cold call at properties to undertake surveys and we don't authorise anyone else to do this on our behalf.

Anyone concerned about doorstep cold calling in Norfolk can contact Trading Standards through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or by telephone on 03454 04 05 06.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from HMRC – 9 January 2019

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

Most of these cold calls claim to be in connection to non-payment of tax or other duty stating that the call recipient is liable to prosecution or other legal proceedings, such as repossession of belongings, to settle the outstanding balance.  The cold caller will then say that to avoid action the debt can be settled immediately by bank transfer or by iTunes gift cards.

Often, the period for which the tax is allegedly due will be a significant number of years back making it harder for the call recipient to be sure or be able to verify any claims.

If the call recipient refuses to comply or is hesitant further threats of ‘immediate arrest’, ‘court appearances’, ‘bailiffs attending your home’ and ‘stopping pensions or benefits’ will be made by the cold caller.

Where payments are made the cold callers then sever all contact.

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.

Action Fraud has issued the following advice regarding these cold calls:

It is vital that the public exercise caution when receiving messages or telephone calls of this nature:

  • Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information.  Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and contact details), it doesn't mean they are genuine.  Instead, contact the company or organisation directly using trusted methods such as a known email address or phone number.
  • Listen to your instincts.  If something feels wrong, then it is usually right to question it.  No genuine organisation will ask you to pay taxes, bills or fees using iTunes Gift Cards, or any other type of voucher.
  • Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision.  Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.

If you receive a call, text or email of this nature report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.  If you have received handed a call, text or email of this nature and have handed over money or voucher details report it to Norfolk Constabulary on 101.

Scam Alert – WhatsApp Gold – 8 January 2019

WhatsApp users need to be aware of a number of messages circulating again claiming to be offering access to ‘WhatsApp Gold’.  These messages often claim that this download offers several enhancements over the existing WhatsApp along with a link to ‘sign up’.

These messages are a scam and there is no genuine ‘WhatsApp Gold’.  Anyone clicking on the link will be taken to a site which will attempt to infect their device with malware.

Any update to the genuine WhatsApp will take place through the app itself.

If you ever receive a message claiming you can upgrade or install additional features to WhatsApp by clicking on a link ignore the message and delete it.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from BT Openreach– 7 January 2019

We have received more reports about telephone cold calls claiming to be from BT Openreach.

Recent reported calls have included several claims including:

  • Your service is about to be ‘suspended’
  • Your broadband will be ‘disconnected within 24 hours’
  • They have ‘detected issues with your broadband’
  • They are calling about ‘poor performance with your broadband’
  • That your router has been ‘hacked’

We always advise to be wary of telephone cold calls and the claims made during them.  If you receive a suspicious call claiming to be connected to BT do not give or confirm any personal or financial details, hang up, wait five minutes and then contact BT customer service on 0800 800 150.

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 03454 04 05 06.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering ‘roof cleaning services’ – 19 December 2018

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of a doorstep cold caller in the Poringland area offering ‘roof cleaning services’.

Never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property.  If you are looking to have this type of work done only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from.

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

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 offering to stop telephone cold calls – 19 December 2018

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning residents to be aware of telephone cold calls stating they can help stop telephone cold calls after receiving a number of reports from residents recently.

We are aware that there are a number of companies 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 via their online reporting form or telephone 03454 04 05 06.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold caller offering ‘tree and landscaping work’ – 18 December 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of a doorstep cold caller in the Taverham area offering ‘Tree and Landscaping Work.

Never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property.  If you are looking to have this type of work done only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from.

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

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 ‘Norfolk Trading Standards’ about ‘payments to access money owed’ – 14 December 2018

We are warning people to be aware of telephone cold calls claiming to be from 'Norfolk Trading Standards' about ‘payments to access money owed'.

This follows an incident where a Norfolk resident received a call claiming to be from 'Norfolk Trading Standards'.  During the call the cold caller tried to persuade the resident to pay the fee, stating that he could ‘guarantee that the fee was safe to pay’ and that it was a ‘legitimate situation’.

These calls are a scam and are not connected with Norfolk Trading Standards in any way.  Trading Standards do not cold call residents requesting payments to access money owed or refunds.

We always advise to be wary of claims made in telephone cold calls and to always treat unexpected calls claiming to be about financial issues with extreme caution.  Never give or confirm any personal and financial details when telephone cold called even if the caller knows basic information about you.

If you receive this type of call do not give or confirm any personal information, hang up, wait five minutes or use a different phone to report it to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506.

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from ‘TV Licensing’ – 13 December 2018

We are warning about emails circulating claiming to be from TV Licensing stating that 'Your TV Licence will expire' and then offering a link to ‘Please Set up a new Direct Debit Now'.

These emails are not from TV Licensing and anyone following the link will be taken to a fake version of the TV Licensing website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details.

It is likely that many versions of this email will be circulating using a range of different ‘expire’ dates.

TV Licensing offer the following advice for spotting scam emails:

  • Check the email contains your name – TV Licensing will always include your name in any emails they send you
  • Check the email subject line – anything along the lines of "Action required", "Security Alert", "System Upgrade", "There is a secure message waiting for you", and so on, should be treated as suspect
  • Check the email address – does the email address look like one that TV Licensing use?  For example, donotreply@tvlicensing.co.uk. Look closely as often the address may be similar.
  • Check for a change in style – often the scammers will take the real emails and amend them. Look out for changes in the wording used, especially if it seems too casual or familiar.
  • Check for spelling and grammar – are there any spelling mistakes, missing full stops or other grammatical errors?
  • Check the links go to the TV Licensing website – hover over the links in the email to see their destination and check the web address carefully. If you are not sure, go directly to the TV Licensing website.
  • Never provide details by email – TV licensing will never ask you to reply to an email and provide bank details or personal information

You can report suspicious emails to Action Fraud using their online form or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming ‘your broadband will be disconnected in 24 hours’ – 11 December 2018

We are warning about telephone cold calls delivering a recorded message claiming ‘your broadband will be disconnected in 24 hours’.

We have received a number of reports about these calls in the last week with the common theme being a recorded message which delivers the claim and goes on to offer the call recipient press number options to ‘speak to an operative to prevent disconnection’.

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 payments.

If you receive one of these calls do not press any keys if prompted, hang up and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering to undertake ‘driveway work’ – 10 December 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of male going door to door in the Watton area offering to undertake driveway work.

We always advise to never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property.  If you are looking to have this type of work done only deal with reputable companies, you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from.

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

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

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 ‘Norwich Police’ – 6 December 2018

We are highlighting a warning from Norfolk Constabulary asking residents to be vigilant for cold callers claiming to be police officers following several incidents across Norfolk.

Officers have received reports of five cases within the past week where an elderly person has been called by someone claiming to be a police officer.  They will then state someone the victim knows has been arrested before asking for personal bank details.

The first incident happened at Ashill, near Watton, on Tuesday 27 November. There have since been incidents in Thetford, Diss and Holt.

Detective Inspector Bruce Clark said: ‘We are concerned about the number of reports we have received in the past week about this scam and we're urging members of the public, particularly the elderly who are primarily being targeted, to be vigilant to cold calls made on the telephone.

‘In some of these cases the victim has handed over a large quantity of money, whilst in others the victim has become suspicious and ended the call.

‘Genuine police officers or staff would never approach residents and ask for cash withdrawals to be made or for people to purchase items on their behalf.

‘I would ask people with vulnerable relatives, friends or neighbours to make sure they are aware of this type of scam.’

Norfolk Constabulary offer this advice:

  • Never give out personal information about your bank account to anybody over the phone.
  • If someone calls claiming to be a police officer, ask for their identification number and police force. Hang up and call 101 using a different phone. If you can't use a different phone, wait at least five minutes before calling back. A genuine police officer will not mind waiting while you check.
  • Police and banks will never ask you to give out personal details such as account numbers or PIN numbers.
  • If you have given out information which could compromise your bank account security in any way, call your bank to cancel your cards as soon as possible.
  • Never hand over money to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere.

Please share this warning and advice with family, neighbours and friends, especially those who could be more vulnerable to this type of approach.

Anyone with concerns about such calls should contact Norfolk Constabulary on the non-emergency number 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress. Alternatively, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be the ‘National Cyber Crime Unit’ about ‘your internet’ – 5 December 2018

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning about telephone cold calls claiming to be from the ‘National Cyber Crime Unit’ stating your ‘your broadband will be cut off within 24 hours’.

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 payments.

If you receive one of these calls do not interact with it in any way, hang up and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Scam Alert – Single line emails – 5 December 2018

Be aware of emails circulating that have no subject and only contain a link and the name of the sender.

 

This type of approach can prove successful as the email will often come from a ‘known’ contact which can make them believe it is a genuine link they need to see and people’s natural inquisitiveness.  These emails are also unlikely to trigger spam filters owing to the lack of text content.

Often the links will go to sites offering scams like ‘binary options’, fake investments or pharmaceuticals.

As with all unexpected emails are advice is always to be wary of content and never click on links.  If you receive this or a similar email delete it.

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from Virgin Media – 2 December 2018

We are warning about emails circulating claiming to be from Virgin Media stating, ‘Your latest Virgin Media Bill cannot be processed’.

The email is not from Virgin Media and is designed to panic the recipient into thinking their service is about to be disconnected.

Anyone following the link to ‘to update your billing details now’ will be taken to a realistic looking faked version of the Virgin Media website which will attempt to gather personal, financial and account details which could be used to commit further frauds.

This is a common phishing email approach and there is likely to be several versions of this email, using different 'disconnection' dates, circulating along with similar emails claiming to be from other telecoms providers.

Virgin Media offer the following advice on their website about phishing emails:

How can I protect myself from phishing emails?

You can protect yourself from becoming a victim of phishing by adhering to a few simple rules.

  • If you’ve received an email stating your Virgin Media account is set to be closed due to financial issues or that you have another account issue you need to resolve. Do not click the link and visit virginmedia.com/myvirginmedia to login to My Virgin Media and check the status of your account.
  • Disregard the email – if there really is a problem with your Virgin Media account, we will be in touch via letter or phone. We will never take action such as close your account after only sending you an email.

You can forward suspicious Virgin Media emails to phishing@virginmedia.com

Scam Alert – Emails attempting to ‘blackmail’ the recipient – 30 November 2018

We are again warning about emails circulating which attempt to blackmail the recipient after receiving further reports from Norfolk residents.

The emails often state they have ‘hacked this mailbox’ or have been ‘observing you online’ and include a password that will be known to the recipient.

The emails will make claims to have ‘access to all your accounts, social networks, email, browsing history’ and ‘all your contacts, files from your computer, photos and videos’ and often make accusations about websites you have visited. It then threatens to share this with your contacts unless an amount is paid in Bitcoin.

The use of a password known to the email recipient is designed to make recipients believe the email is genuine and consider paying the amount demanded. Action Fraud believe the email contact and the associated password are likely to have been gained by the scammers in an old data breach.

They are offering the following advice regarding this type of email and how to protect yourself:

  • Don’t reply to the email or be pressured into paying: it only highlights that you’re vulnerable and you could be targeted again. The police advise that you do not pay criminals. Try flagging the email as spam/junk if you receive it multiple times.
  • Perform password resets as soon as possible on any accounts where you’ve used the password mentioned in the email. Always use a strong, separate password for important accounts, such as your email. Where available, enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).
  • Always install the latest software & app updates. Install, or enable, anti-virus software on your laptops & computers and keep it updated.
  • If you have received one of these emails and paid the fine, report it to your local police force. If you have not paid, report the email as a phishing attempt to Action Fraud using their online form or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.

Scam Alert – Text messages claiming to be from ‘PayPal’ stating you ‘sent a payment’ – 29 November 2018

We are warning about text messages circulating claiming to be from ‘PayPal’ stating ‘you sent a payment’ and ‘if you didn’t authenticate this transaction check here’’. The text goes on to offer a link.

These text messages are not from the PayPal. If you receive this or a similar text message our advice is delete it. If you have a PayPal account and you are concerned about the security of the account, log in and check it only using the web address you use normally or via the genuine app - never use links in emails or texts.

It is likely that many versions of this text message will be circulating giving different refund amounts and names. 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 03454 04 05 06.

Safety Alert – Police issue warning following the theft of potentially unsafe toys – 29 November 2018

We are highlighting a warning from Warwickshire police after a batch of Little Tykes Squeezoo Bubble Bus and Elephant toys were stolen whilst they were in transit to be destroyed due to quality control issues.

The brand is still stocked and available from reputable retailers but anyone sighting these toys being sold as new from alternative sources (for example, markets, car boot sales, online auction sites or social media) are asked to report this to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506.

Rogue Trader Alert – Flyers offering driveway work – 28 November 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of flyers being hand-delivered offering driveway work in the Costessey area.

The flyers claim to offer a range of services and give contact numbers but no further details about the business.

We advise, when looking to have work done on or around your property, only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and from whom you have obtained a written quotation.

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

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 offering to stop telephone cold calls – 27 November 2018

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

We are aware that there are a number of companies 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 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 if the company is taking an ongoing monthly payment and you need further advice, contact our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or telephone 03454 04 05 06.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from BT – 21 November 2018

We are continuing to receive reports about telephone cold calls claiming to be from BT.

Recent reports have included several variations of calls stating that BT have ‘detected issues with your Broadband’ and will then make a number of claims about scammers, hackers or malicious software accessing your broadband, router or computer.

The cold caller will then try to gain remote access to the call recipients’ computer to ‘fix the problem’.

In some cases, residents are reporting receiving multiple calls per day.

We always advise to be wary of telephone cold calls and the claims made during them.  If you receive a suspicious call claiming to be BT do not give or confirm any personal or financial details, hang up, wait five minutes and then contact BT customer service on 0800 800 150.

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 03454 04 05 06.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming ‘your internet has been compromised’ – 20 November 2018

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning about telephone cold calls delivering a recorded message claiming your ‘Internet has been compromised’ and that they will ‘suspend your broadband within 24 hours’.  It then gives you a press button option to ‘speak to a technician’.

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 payments.

If you receive one of these calls do not press any keys if prompted, hang up and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Scam Alert – ‘International FIFA World Cup online Lottery’ letters – 19 November 2018

Residents need to watch out for letters being delivered in Norfolk claiming to be from the ‘International FIFA World Cup Online Lottery’.

These letters are a scam, there is no genuine FIFA World Cup Lottery draw and no prize is available.

Anyone who makes contact via the details supplied will be persuaded to part with personal details and money as part of an ‘upfront processing fee’.

If you receive this type of letter, dispose of it correctly without responding in any way.

Here are some simple steps you can take to avoid lottery scams:

  • If you haven’t entered a lottery then you can’t have won it.  Never respond to unexpected communications.
  • Official lotteries in other countries operate in much the same way as the UK’s National Lotto.  No official lotteries that we know of contact people to tell them of their win.
  • We don’t know of any official lottery operators who ask for fees to collect winnings.  Any request for a fee payment is a good indication that someone is trying to scam you.
  • Never disclose your bank details or pay fees in advance to claim a lottery win
  • If they’ve provided an email address to respond to, be very suspicious of addresses such as @hotmail(dot)com or @yahoo(dot)com or numbers beginning with 07 because these are free to get hold of
  • Genuine lotteries thrive on publicity.  If they ask you to keep your win a secret, it’s likely to be a scam.
  • Many examples of lottery scam letters have bad spelling and grammar – see this as a warning that fraudsters are at work

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold caller offering ‘tree surgery work’ – 15 November 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of a doorstep cold caller in the South Norfolk area offering tree surgery work.

We advise you to never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property.

If you are looking to have this type of work done only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from.

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

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 ‘Trading Standards’ about ‘bank over-payments’ – 16 November 2018

We are warning people to be aware of telephone cold calls claiming to be from 'Trading Standards' about 'bank over-payments'.

This follows an incident where a South Norfolk resident received a call which claimed to be from 'Trading Standards' stating they were going to attend the residents' property 'with a cheque for £5,000 due to an over-payment at the bank'.  The cold caller then said that the resident had to 'purchase a £100 iTunes voucher to be entitled to the cheque' and that they would call back the following day to collect the code from the voucher.

These calls are a scam and are not connected with Trading Standards in any way.

Trading Standards do not cold call residents in connection with refunds for banking charges, fees or over-payments and will never require residents to purchase gift cards.

We always advise to be wary of claims made in telephone cold calls and to always treat unexpected calls claiming to be about financial issues with extreme caution.  Never give or confirm any personal and financial details when telephone cold called even if they know basic information about you.

Action Fraud offer the following advice about Gift Card fraudsters:

  • Gift cards, including App Store and iTunes Gift Cards can only be used to purchase goods and services from the retailer named on the card.  Never provide the numbers on the back of iTunes Gift Cards to someone you don't know.
  • No genuine organisation will ask you to pay taxes, bills or fees using iTunes Gift Cards, or any other type of voucher. If you’re contacted by anyone that asks you to do this, you’re very likely the target of a scam.
  • Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam.  Even if someone knows your basic details (such as your name and address), it doesn’t mean they are genuine.
  • Genuine banks or other trusted organisations won't pressure you to make a financial transaction on the spot.  If something feels wrong, then it’s usually right to question it.

If you need advice about cold calling contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or telephone 03454 04 05 06.

If you think you have been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold caller pointing out ‘loose tiles’ – 15 November 2018

We  are warning residents to be on their guard after two men cold called at a property in Hellesdon area.

The men told the resident that they ‘could see some loose tiles on the roof’ and following this the men were seen going onto the roof.

Whilst on the roof a member of the residents’ family arrived who intervened and told the cold callers to leave the property.  The men were seen to leave in a sign written silver Ford Transit van.

We always advise never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property and never allow a cold caller access to your home, roof or gardens even if they are offering to do tasks ‘for free’.

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

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

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering to undertake ‘driveway work’ – 15 November 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of men going door to door in the Loddon area offering to undertake driveway work.

The men were seen to be driving a sign written white Ford Transit van.

We always advise to never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property.  If you are looking to have this type of work done only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from.

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

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

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.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering to undertake ‘gardening work’ – 14 November 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of two men cold calling in the Great Yarmouth area offering to undertake gardening work.

These cold callers initially offer to undertake basic tasks like weeding or garden clearance for a relatively small fee.  Having completed this they then attempt to pressure the resident in to agreeing to further works including hard landscaping.

We always advise to never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property.  If you are looking to have this type of work done only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from.

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

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.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering household cleaning products – 14 November 2018

Residents need to watch out for doorstep cold callers in the Acle area offering household cleaning products.

The cold callers are claiming that they are ‘ex-prisoners’ and ‘selling items as part of a rehabilitation scheme’.

We advise you never to deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to sell something no matter what claims they make.

It is possible these sellers may continue to move to other locations within Norfolk.

If you see these sellers in Norfolk please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or to Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

Scam Alert – Update regarding telephone cold calls and voicemail messages claiming to be from ‘HMRC’ – 7 November 2018

We are continuing to receive reports from Norfolk residents about telephone cold calls and voicemail messages claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) about unpaid tax.

HMRC have also been made aware that fraudsters are spoofing legitimate HMRC phone numbers in some scam calls. It is possible the scammers may attempt to use the spoofed number on caller ID as a way of trying to authenticate the call.

HMRC advise they will 'never call out of the blue asking for payment'.

Our advice remains to be very wary of any approach made by a telephone cold call. If you receive one of these calls our advice is do not interact with the call and hang up.

Please continue to share this and the scam alert issued on 31 October to make as many people as possible aware of these scam calls and help to keep Norfolk scam aware.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold-caller pointing out ‘loose tiles’ – 5 November 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after a man cold-called at a property in North Norwich.

The man told the resident that he was ‘working nearby’, ‘could see some loose tiles on the roof’ and offered to put them back into place. The resident agreed to the cold-caller going onto the roof.

Following this, the cold-caller came back to the resident and said that he could see that the ‘felt was damaged under the tiles’ and then quoted a price to repair the problem. The resident declined this offer and the cold-caller left the property.

We advise never deal with cold-callers looking to do work on or around your property and never allow a cold-caller access to your home, roof or gardens even if they are offering to do tasks ‘for free’.

If you are looking to have this type of work done, only deal with reputable companies that you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from before any work is undertaken.

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

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

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

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold-callers offering to do ‘driveway work’ – 5 November 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of two men going door to door in the Taverham area offering to do driveway work.

We advise never to deal with cold-callers looking to do work on or around your property. If you are looking to have this type of work done, only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from.

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

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

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 – Doorstep cold-caller offering ‘free loft insulation checks’– 2 November 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving a report of a doorstep cold-caller in the Dersingham area.

In the incident a resident received a doorstep cold call from a man who claimed he was ‘offering free checks on loft insulation’ as ‘old insulation is not up to British Standards and is a fire risk’. The man also claimed they had ‘Government Approval’. The resident declined the offer and reported the cold call to us.

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

Impartial advice on energy saving is available from the Energy Saving Trust.

Anyone concerned about doorstep cold-calling in Norfolk can contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or by telephone on 03454 04 05 06.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold-caller in the South Norfolk area offering furniture – 2 November 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of a man cold-calling in the South Norfolk area offering furniture.

The cold-caller claimed that he was ‘returning from a show’ and that ‘all of the furniture on the van was reduced’. He was seen to return to a white Mercedes van.

It is possible this cold-caller may move on to other parts of Norfolk.

We advise never to deal with anyone who cold calls at your property attempting to sell items, regardless of the claims they make.

Anyone sighting this seller in Norfolk or concerned about rogue trader activity in their community can contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to have ‘hacked your mailbox’ – 1 November 2018

We are warning about emails circulating that state they have ‘hacked this mailbox more than six months ago' and include a password that will be known to the email recipient.

The emails go on to make claims to have ‘access to all your accounts, social networks, email, browsing history’ and ‘all your contacts, files from your computer, photos and videos’. The emails then make accusations about websites you have visited and threaten to share this with your contacts unless an amount is paid in Bitcoin.

The use of a password known to the email recipient is a new twist on this type of email and the concern is that it may make recipients believe the email is genuine and consider paying the amount demanded.

Action Fraud believe the email contact and the associated password are likely to have been gained by the scammers in an old data breach. They are offering the following advice regarding this type of email and how to protect yourself:

  • Don’t reply to the email or be pressured into paying: it only highlights that you’re vulnerable and you could be targeted again. The police advise that you do not pay criminals. Try flagging the email as spam/junk if you receive it multiple times.
  • Perform password resets as soon as possible on any accounts where you’ve used the password mentioned in the email. Always use a strong, separate password for important accounts, such as your email. Where available, enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).
  • Always install the latest software and app updates. Install or enable anti-virus software on your laptops and computers and keep it updated
  • If you have received one of these emails and paid the fine, report it to your local police force. If you have not paid, report the email as a phishing attempt to Action Fraud using their online form or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from HMRC – 31 October 2018

We have received a large number of reports in the last week from Norfolk residents about telephone cold calls claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).  Norfolk Constabulary has also reported high numbers of contacts to them regarding this type of cold call.

The majority of these have reported an automated recorded message call regarding a ‘warrant being issued for your arrest due to unpaid tax’.

We have also had reports of similar calls that have claimed to be from ‘the Police’ regarding ‘arrest warrants for unpaid tax’ and voicemail message requiring the recipient to ‘urgently contact HMRC’ which then give a contact number to call.

Where residents have interacted with these calls demands are then made for ‘immediate payment’ alongside further threats of ‘arrest’, ‘court appearances’ and ‘stopping pensions’ if their demands are not met.

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.

HMRC have issued the following advice regarding these cold calls:

  • Recognise the signs – genuine organisations like banks and HMRC will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, password or bank details
  • Stay safe – don’t give out private information, reply to text messages, download attachments or click on links in emails you weren’t expecting
  • Take action – forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and texts to 60599, or contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to report any suspicious calls or use their online fraud reporting tool.
  • Check GOV.UK for information on how to avoid and report scams and recognise genuine HMRC contact.
  • If you think you have received an HMRC related phishing/bogus email or text message, you can check it against the examples shown in this guide.

Additional advice

  • HMRC will call people about outstanding tax bills, and sometimes use automated messages, however this would include a taxpayer reference number.  If uncertain of the caller, we would advise customers to hang up and call HMRC directly to check – customers can confirm the call centre numbers on GOV.UK.  For tax credits HMRC do not include customer details in any voicemail messages.
  • HMRC Debt management teams do contact members of the public by phone about paying outstanding debts.
  • Calls to and from the majority of HMRC offices will start with the prefix, 0300 or 0345
  • If a customer (or agent) isn’t confident that the call is from HMRC, we will ask them to call back.  Depending on the circumstances and to give the customer confidence it is actually HMRC calling, information may be disclosed to the caller which only HMRC is party to.
  • Calls from the majority of HMRC offices will leave caller identification data, ie the number the caller has used to contact you from.
  • Visit GOV.UK for up to date advice on scam HMRC phone calls

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls regarding a ‘compulsory loft insulation inspection’ – 30 October 2018

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

This follows a report from a Norfolk resident who received a cold call during which the caller stated they needed to make an appointment for a ‘compulsory loft insulation inspection’ at the residents’ property.  Fortunately, in this case resident recognised the approach as a scam call, hung up and reported the incident to us.

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 the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or telephone on 03454 04 05 06.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering mattresses – 26 October 2018

Residents need to watch out for cold callers offering mattresses in the Bowthorpe area.

Two men were seen going door to door offering mattresses to householders claiming they had come from ‘local show homes’.  They were seen to return to a white luton bodied van.

Never deal with anyone who cold calls at your property or approaches you in the street offering to sell you something.

It is possible these doorstep cold callers could move on to other locations within Norfolk.

Anyone sighting doorstep cold callers in Norfolk or concerned about rogue trader activity in their community can contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or by telephone on 03454 04 05 06.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold calling incidents – 25 October 2018

Residents need 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.

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 or organisation 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

You can report doorstep cold calling incidents to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or to Norfolk Constabulary on 101. In an emergency always dial 999.

If you would like one of our No Cold Calling door stickers contact the Norfolk County Council customer service centre.

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 regarding ‘loft insulation’ – 23 October 2018

Residents need be careful of telephone cold calls regarding loft insulation.

This follows a report from a Norfolk resident who received a cold call asking about ‘the property's insulation’.  The cold caller then attempted to pressure the call recipient into making an appointment for a home visit.

Previously a variety of claims and approaches have being used during these types of calls including:

  • That they can offer a ‘free roof insulation check’
  • That your insulation ‘needs to be checked’ and they offer a ‘free loft survey’
  • That ‘old’ or ‘fibreglass insulation’ is now ‘illegal’ or ‘unsafe’, sometimes stating this is due to ‘fire safety’
  • That they are ‘doing quotes in your area’

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 the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or telephone 03454 04 05 06.

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from ‘TV Licencing’ – 22 October 2018

Emails are circulating claiming to be from TV Licencing with the title 'Something is wrong with your payment'.

The email states ‘Your TVLicence will expire on Thursday 25 October 2018’ and ‘You must renew now, quickly and easily online’.

These emails are NOT from TV Licencing and anyone following the link will be taken to a fake version of the TV Licencing website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details.

It is likely several versions of this email will be circulating with different expiry dates shown.

TV Licencing offer the following advice for spotting scam emails:

  • Check the email contains your name – TV licensing will always include your name in any emails they send you
  • Check the email subject line – anything along the lines of "Action required", "Security Alert", "System Upgrade", "There is a secure message waiting for you", and so on, should be treated as suspect
  • Check the email address – does the email address look like one that TV Licensing use? For example, donotreply@tvlicensing.co.uk.  Look closely as often the address may be similar.
  • Check for a change in style – often the scammers will take the real emails and amend them.  Look out for changes in the wording used, especially if it seems too casual or familiar.
  • Check for spelling and grammar – are there any spelling mistakes, missing full stops or other grammatical errors?
  • Check the links go to the TV Licensing website – hover over the links in the email to see their destination and check the web address carefully.  If you are not sure, go directly to the TV Licensing website.
  • Never provide details by email – TV licensing will never ask you to reply to an email and provide bank details or personal information.

You can report suspicious emails to Action Fraud using their online form or by telephone on 0300 123 2040

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from Citizens Advice – 17 October 2018

We are warning about telephone cold calls claiming to be from Citizens Advice.

This follows a report from a Norfolk resident who received a cold call claiming to be from ‘Citizens Advice’.  The cold caller then started questioning the recipient about ‘debts’ and ‘IVAs’.

Citizens Advice advise that they do not cold call or authorise others to cold call on their behalf.

If you receive one of these calls do not give or confirm any personal information.  Hang up and report the call to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

Scam Alert – People’s Postcode Lottery letters – 17 October 2018

We are reminding Norfolk residents to continue to be vigilant for letters claiming to be from the People’s Postcode Lottery.  This follows further reports about these letters being received by residents in numerous parts of the county.

 

These letters are a scam and no prize is available.  Anyone who makes contact via the details supplied will be persuaded to part with personal details and money as part of an ‘upfront processing fee’.

Please continue to share this warning with friends, family and neighbours to highlight the fact that these letters are not genuine.

If you, or someone you know, receives this type of letter dispose of it correctly without responding in any way.

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from ‘BT’ – 17 October 2018

We are warning about emails circulating claiming to be from ‘BT’ stating you need to 'verify your BTinternet account' with a ‘Click here’ link to 'update your BTinternet information'.

 

These emails are not from BT and anyone following the link will be taken to a fake version of the BT website which will attempt to gather personal, account and potentially financial details.

BT offer the following advice for spotting scam BT emails:

  • BT will never ask you for private/personal details or banking information out of the blue
  • BT will never send you an email with an attachment
  • Do not click on any links in a suspicious email
  • 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
  • Forward any suspicious BT emails to phishing@bt.com and then delete the email

You can also report suspicious emails to Action Fraud using their online form or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold caller in the Hethersett area claiming to be from ’Anglian Water’ – 12 October 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of a man cold calling in the Hethersett area claiming to be from ‘Anglian Water’.

During the cold call the man stated he was from ‘Anglian Water’ and enquired if the properties ‘cold water was running’.  When challenged about why he was calling the man said that ‘other houses hadn’t got water’.  Following this the male left.

Anglian Water provide the following advice about cold callers claiming to be from Anglian Water:

"Bogus callers may claim to be from Anglian Water or even from ‘the water board’ and they might look quite convincing too, but you can find out for sure with one quick free phone call.

"Everyone calling on our behalf always carries an identity card which they will give you to inspect.  It has a Braille strip on the back and the freephone number for Anglian Water.

"If you are still not sure, please take their card and close the door while you call us, any time of day or night, on 0800 145 145.

Using our ‘Fitting Image’ scheme, we can describe the person on your doorstep and give you their unique number.  Only a genuine Anglian Water employee will be able to tell you what that number is and if they can’t then our advice is simple.  Don’t let them in and call the police."

Anyone concerned about cold calling in Norfolk can contact Trading Standards through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or Norfolk Police on 101.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering to undertake ‘gardening work’ – 9 October 2018

Residents should look out for two men going door-to-door in the Sprowston area offering to undertake gardening work.

We always advise to never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property.  If you are looking to have this type of work done only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from.

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

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

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

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold caller offering to ‘pressure-wash driveways’ – 9 October 2018

Residents should look out for a man going door to door in the Acle area offering to pressure-wash driveways.  The man was seen to return to a white Ford Transit van.

We always advise to never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property.  If you are looking to have this type of work done only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from.

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

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

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 – Text messages claiming to be from ‘DVLA’ regarding ‘Vehicle Tax’ – 8 October 2018

Watch out for text messages circulating that claim to be from the DVLA, stating ‘we have recalculated your vehicle tax’ and that you are owed £48.84 due to overpayment’.  The text goes on to offers a link to ‘claim your refund’.

These text messages are not from the DVLA.  DVLA advise on their website that ‘we don’t send emails or text messages that ask you to confirm your personal details or payment information, such as for a vehicle tax refund.  If you get anything like this, don’t open any links and delete the email or text immediately.

It is likely that several versions of this email will be circulating giving different refund amounts.

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 03454 04 05 06.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from the ‘Telephone Preference Management Service’ – 5 October 2018

We are receiving reports about telephone cold calls claiming to be from ‘Telephone Preference Management Services’.

These calls are likely to be a variation of cold calls claiming to be connected to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and may try to claim that:

  • They are ‘checking details and if you still wish to be registered with the TPS’, the caller then attempts to gather personal information and credit or debit card details from the call recipient
  • They are offering a service that can stop ‘all cold calls’ for a monthly, annual or ‘lifetime’ fee

Anyone cold calling claiming to be representing the TPS is not genuine. The TPS will never cold call requesting payment or card details or selling any form of service.

It is free to sign up to the TPS register and once an individual's telephone number is on the TPS, it will remain on it and there is no need to update the registration.

If you receive a cold call claiming to be from the TPS, do not give or confirm any details. Hang up and report it to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06. To register with the TPS call 0345 070 0707 or visit www.tpsonline.org.uk

Scam Alert – People’s Postcode Lottery letters – 3 October 2018

We have received further reports from residents who have received letters claiming to be from the People’s Postcode Lottery. Reports this week have come from the Sheringham and Dereham areas but these letters may be being sent to residents in other parts of Norfolk as well.

 

These letters are a scam and no prize is available. Anyone who makes contact via the details supplied will be persuaded to part with personal details and money as part of an ‘upfront processing fee’.

If you receive this type of letter, dispose of it correctly without responding in any way.

Here are some simple steps you can take to avoid lottery scams:

  • If you haven’t entered a lottery then you can’t have won it. Never respond to unexpected communications
  • Official lotteries in other countries operate in much the same way as the UK’s National Lotto. No official lotteries that we know of contact people to tell them of their win
  • We don’t know of any official lottery operators who ask for fees to collect winnings. Any request for a fee payment is a good indication that someone is trying to scam you
  • Never disclose your bank details or pay fees in advance to claim a lottery win
  • If they’ve provided an email address to respond to, be very suspicious of addresses such as @hotmail.com or @yahoo.com or numbers beginning with 07 because these are free to get hold of
  • Genuine lotteries thrive on publicity. If they ask you to keep your win a secret it’s likely to be a scam
  • Many examples of lottery scam letters have bad spelling and grammar – see this as a warning that fraudsters are at work

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold caller offering to undertake ‘driveway work’ – 2 October 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of a man going door to door in the Sprowston area offering to undertake driveway work.

Never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property. If you are looking to have this type of work done only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from.

It is possible these doorstep cold callers could move on to other areas around Norwich and Norfolk. Anyone concerned about possible rogue trader activity in Norfolk can contact Trading Standards through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or by telephone on 03454 04 05 06.

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 – Further reports of telephone and doorstep cold callers enquiring about 'insulation’ – 27 September 2018

Residents still need to be on their guard as we have received further reports of telephone and doorstep cold callers enquiring about properties insulation.

Reports this week have included doorstep cold callers in the Hethersett and Old Catton areas and a number of incidents of telephone cold calls.

Claims have often included that they are ‘part of a Government backed scheme’ and that ‘old’ insulation is ‘unsafe’ and ‘a potential fire risk’.

Always be very wary of claims made during a cold call and never agree to services, buy items or for visits or access to your property if approached in this manner.

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

Impartial advice on energy saving and accessing grant schemes is available from the Energy Saving Trust.

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from ‘TV Licencing’ – 27 September 2018

Emails are circulating claiming to be from TV Licencing stating you are due 'a refund' and then offering a link to 'process the payment'.

These emails are not from TV Licencing and anyone following the link will be taken to a fake version of the TV Licencing website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details.

TV Licencing offer the following advice for spotting scam emails:

  • Check the email contains your name – TV licensing will always include your name in any emails they send you
  • Check the email subject line – anything along the lines of "Action required", "Security Alert", "System Upgrade", "There is a secure message waiting for you", and so on, should be treated as suspect
  • Check the email address – does the email address look like one that TV Licensing use?  For example, donotreply@tvlicensing.co.uk. Look closely as often the address may be similar.
  • Check for a change in style – often the scammers will take the real emails and amend them.  Look out for changes in the wording used, especially if it seems too casual or familiar.
  • Check for spelling and grammar – are there any spelling mistakes, missing full stops or other grammatical errors?
  • Check the links go to the TV Licensing website – hover over the links in the email to see their destination and check the web address carefully.  If you are not sure, go directly to the TV Licensing website.
  • Never provide details by email – TV licensing will never ask you to reply to an email and provide bank details or personal information.

You can report suspicious emails to Action Fraud using their online form or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.

Rogue Trader Alert – Flyers offering driveway work – 25 September 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of flyers being hand delivered offering driveway work in the Norwich and Broadland areas.

The flyers claim to offer a range of services and gives contact numbers but no further details about the business.

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.

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

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.

 

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