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 – 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.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold caller offering to ‘clean driveways and patios’ – 21 September 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of two men doorstep cold calling in the Dereham area offering to ‘clean driveways and patios’.

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 – People’s Postcode Lottery letters – 19 September 2018

We have had reports from residents who have received letters claiming to be from the People’s Postcode Lottery.  Recent reports have come from the Diss area 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

Cold Calling Alert – Further reports of doorstep cold callers enquiring about property insulation – 19 September 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard again after receiving further reports of doorstep cold callers enquiring about properties insulation.

Reports this week have come from the Aylsham and Bradwell areas and have included claims about ‘being part of a Government backed scheme’ and that ‘old’ insulation is ‘unsafe’ and ‘a potential fire risk’.

We advise you 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.

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

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.

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

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from Lloyds Bank – 19 September 2018

We are reminding residents to be on their guard for telephone cold calls claiming to be from their bank or building society.

This follows an incident where a Norfolk resident received a telephone cold call claiming to be from the ‘Lloyds Bank’ which stated that ‘their account had been compromised’.  The resident was then advised that ‘to keep their money safe’ they should ‘transfer it into a new account that had set up for them’.  The cold caller then gave details including a new account number and sort code to use.

The resident was instructed not to tell anyone about the call, but to go their local branch and transfer money to their ‘new account’.  The cold caller went on to make several claims about knowledge of the residents’ whereabouts and the route they would take to the bank.

If you receive a call claiming to be your bank or building society asking you to transfer money to a new or safe account or to reveal card details or PIN number then it is a scam.  Never give any personal information or financial details and hang up immediately.

Also, your bank or building society will never ask you for your passcode, PIN number, online banking passwords or other confidential information.  Never give them out, even by dialling them on the phone.

If you suspect a cold call is a scam, hang up, wait five minutes for the line to clear or use another phone and call your bank or building society on a phone number that you know is official.  This can normally be found on the company’s genuine website, official app, on a recent statement or on the back of your debit/credit card.  If the incident occurs during opening hours you can also report any incident at a local branch of your bank or building society.

If you feel threatened or that your personal safety is endangered following a telephone cold call contact Norfolk Police on 101 or in an emergency 999.

If you receive a cold call which you believe to be a scam you can report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from BT – 18 September 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’.

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.

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold callers enquiring about your properties ‘insulation’ – 13 September 2018

We have received reports of doorstep cold callers in the Horstead area.

Two men wearing branded tabards were seen going door to door enquiring about property insulation.

We advise you 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 and accessing grant schemes is available for the Energy Saving Trust.

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 you have ‘paid too much Council Tax’ – 13 September 2018

Residents need to watch out for telephone cold calls claiming ‘you have paid too much council tax’.

This follows a report from a Norwich resident who received a call stating they had ‘paid too much council tax’, and that they were ‘due a refund of £6,000’ which they could claim on behalf of the resident as part of their ‘free service’.

The cold caller then attempted to take an upfront payment of £150 which they claimed would be ‘added to the refund’.

We advise you to be very wary of claims made during telephone cold calls and never give or confirm personal or financial details if approached this way.

If you receive one of these cold calls do not engage with the call, hang up and then report it to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

If you believe the council tax banding for your property is incorrect there is a system to challenge this available via the Valuation Office which is free of charge.  Full information on this is available via the GOV.UK website.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls regarding ‘loft insulation’ – 10 September 2018

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

This follows a report from a Norfolk resident who received a cold call during which the cold caller claimed that ‘glass fibre insulation is dangerous’.  When the call recipient tried to find out who the call was from the cold caller hung up.

Previously a variety of claims and approaches have being used with 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’

The cold caller will often then attempt to make an appointment for a ‘surveyor’ to visit your home.

We advise you to 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.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering household cleaning products – 10 September 2018

We have received reports of a doorstep cold callers in the Wymondham 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.

It is possible these sellers may continue to move to other locations in the Norfolk area.

Anyone sighting 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 – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from BT about ‘slow broadband’ – 10 September 2018

Residents need to be watch out for telephone cold calls claiming to be from BT.

In the most recent report a Norfolk resident received a telephone call from a person claiming they were calling from BT about ‘slow broadband’.  The cold caller went on to say that they could ‘help to put it right’.

The cold caller then asked the resident to download an app on their smartphone as part of the process.

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 – Emails claiming to be from ‘DVLA’ regarding ‘Vehicle Tax Overpayment’ – 7 September 2018

Watch out for emails claiming to be from the ‘Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’ stating you ‘still have an outstanding vehicle tax refund of £499.53 from an overpayment’

The email goes on to say that ‘refunds are time limited’ and offers a link to ‘Claim now’.

These emails are not from DVLA and anyone following the link will be taken to a fake version of the DVLA website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details.  It is likely that several versions of this email will be circulating giving different refund amounts.

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’.

If you have received an email 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 caller offering to ‘collect scrap’ – 5 September 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of a man being seen going into gardens in the Costessey area.

When challenged by a resident he claimed was looking to ‘collect scrap’.  He was seen to return to a white Renault van.

We advise never to deal with cold callers looking to buy or sell items on the doorstep.

Anyone concerned about possible rogue trader activity in Norfolk can contact Trading Standards through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer on 03454 04 05 06 or to Norfolk Police on 101.  If you believe there is an immediate threat to security or safety call 999.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming ‘your computer and ISP will be disconnected’ – 5 September 2018

We are warning about telephone cold calls delivering a recorded message claiming ‘your computer and ISP will be disconnected in the next 24 hours’ and giving the option to ‘press 1 to prevent this.

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 – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from Openreach – 5 September 2018

We are warning residents to be vigilant after receiving reports about telephone cold calls claiming to be from ‘Openreach’.

In the most recent report a Norfolk resident received a telephone call from a person claiming they were calling from Openreach.  The cold caller stated that the residents’ ‘line had been corrupted’ and that unless they were given access to the residents’ computer they would ‘disconnected the line for 28 days’.  Fortunately, in this case the resident refused to give access and terminated the call.

We always advise to be wary of telephone cold calls and the claims made during them. I f you receive a suspicious call making claims about telephone, or broadband security we advise that you hang up, wait five minutes and then contact your service provider using a contact number from a bill or on their website.

If you have received a telephone cold call which you believe to be a scam you can report it to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold caller enquiring about ‘insulation’– 4 September 2018

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

In the incident a resident received a doorstep cold call from a man who claimed he was ‘part of government scheme to check if loft insulation and cavity walls have been done incorrectly’.  The resident declined the offer and reported the cold call to us.

We advise you to be very wary of claims made by doorstep cold callers and never agree to services, buy items or arrange 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 Trading Standards through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or by telephone on 03454 04 05 06.

Rogue Trader Alert: Door to door fish sellers – 30 August 2018

Residents need to be on their guard as we have received reports of people selling fish door to door in west and north Norfolk.

Reports over the last week have included:

  • Three men cold calling in the Downham Market area
  • A man cold calling in the Holt area
  • A man driving a small red Ford van and wearing a long white coat going door to door in the Smallburgh area

In the past these type of sellers have been known to use high pressure sales tactics and there have been issues with the quality of the fish being offered, whether the type of fish is as claimed, and whether it has been appropriately stored for transportation.

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

We advise you never to deal with cold callers and never be pressurised into buying on the doorstep.

If you are approached by these sellers or see them in your area please report it to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or to Norfolk Police on 101.

Scam Alert – Text messages claiming to be from banks or financial service providers – 29 August 2018

Residents should always be very wary of text messages claiming to be from banks or financial service providers claiming there are 'issues' with accounts, requiring you to update information or change account settings, even if they appear in existing message streams.

If you receive this type of text message never use any links included in the message to access accounts or provide information.

If you are concerned about the security or status of an account log in to it by using an official app or via your web browser by entering the web address for the provider yourself.

You can find out more about staying safe when banking online on the Get Safe Online Website

Scam Alert – ‘Free Trial Offer’ adverts – 27 August 2018

We warning people to continue to watch out for ‘free trial offers’ being promoted via social media and online adverts.

Common examples of ‘free’ trail offers include skin care products, slimming pills and nutritional supplements.

Many consumers report that they responded to an advert online offering a ‘Free Trial’ and were then asked to give credit or debit card details believing that there is only a small charge to cover postage and packaging.

However, if the consumer fails to cancel the “Free Trial Offer” within a set time they are deemed to have agreed to an ongoing supply of the product, with a monthly charge which is taken directly from their account.  Consumers report payments ranging between £50 and £300.

If you have responded to one of these offers and need further advice contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or telephone 03454 04 05 06

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold caller offering ‘gutter cleaning services’ – 24 August 2018

Residents need to be on their guard as we have received reports of doorstep cold callers in the Shipdam area offering to ‘lay tarmac’.

The cold callers were seen to be using a white Citroen van.

We advise you never to 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.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold caller offering ‘gutter cleaning services’ – 24 August 2018

Residents need to be on their guard as we have received reports of a man doorstep cold calling in the North Walsham area offering ‘gutter cleaning services’.

The man was seen to be driving a silver Ford Transit van.

We advise you never to 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.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers in the North Norwich area – 14 August 2018

 of cold calling incidents in the North Norwich area.

In the first incident four men were seen going door to door in the Hellesdon area offering to sharpen tools.  During conversations with residents the men were attempting to gain access to properties.  The cold callers were seen to be using a light coloured Ford Transit van.

In the second incident men were described as ‘acting suspiciously’ while trying to buy scrap metal in the Taverham area.  These cold callers were seen to be driving a Ford Transit van.

We advise you never to deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to undertake services or attempting to buy or sell items.

Anyone sighting this cold callers in Norfolk or concerned about rogue trader activity in their community 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 you have ‘paid too much council tax’ – 12 August 2018

We are warning residents about telephone cold calls claiming ‘you have paid too much council tax’.

This follows a report from a Great Yarmouth resident who received a call stating they had ‘paid too much council tax’, following this claim the cold caller requested bank card details so they could ‘pay them back’.

We advise you to be very wary of claims made during telephone cold calls and never give or confirm personal or financial details if approached this way.

If you receive one of these cold calls do not engage with the call, hang up and then report it to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

If you believe the council tax banding for you property is incorrect there is a system to challenge this available via the Valuation Office which is free of charge . Full information on this is available via the GOV.UK website.

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold callers asking about your ‘domestic energy supplier’ – 6 August 2018

Residents need to be on their guard as we have received reports of doorstep cold callers in the Cringleford and North Norwich areas.

The cold caller was asking householders about their ‘domestic energy supplier’.

We advise you 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.

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.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering household cleaning products – 3 August 2018

Residents need to be on their guard as we have received reports of a doorstep cold callers in the Bradwell area offering household cleaning products.

The cold callers are claiming that they are ‘ex-prisoners’ and ‘have to sell items door to door as part of their release’.

We advise you to never deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to sell something.

It is possible these sellers may continue to move to other locations in the Norfolk area.

Anyone sighting 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.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering ‘roofing work’ – 1 August 2018

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

The reports were of a man cold calling at properties offering to undertake 'roofing work'.  The man was seen to be driving a small red car.

We advise you to never deal with anyone who cold calls offering to undertake work on or around your property.

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

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

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering ‘driveway cleaning’ – 31 July 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard again after receiving reports of a doorstep cold caller in the King’s Lynn area offering to undertake ‘driveway cleaning'.

We advise you never to deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to undertake work on or around your property.

Anyone concerned about doorstep cold callers 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 claiming to be from the Telephone Preference Service – 30 July 2018

We have received more reports about telephone cold calls claiming to be from the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

During the calls the cold caller states that they calling from or on behalf of the Telephone Preference Service, they will then 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

These calls are not genuine and are not connected with the TPS in any way.  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

Rogue Trader Alert – Sales of watches from a car – 27 July 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of a man attempting to sell watches from a car.

We received a report this week from the King’s Lynn area about a man driving a convertible car approaching people in the street asking if they want to buy a watch.  The manwas seen to have a number of different watches on the passenger seat of the vehicle.

We advise you to never purchase items if approached in this manner.

There is a high possibility that the items being sold are low quality counterfeits versions of well known ‘high value’ brands.

It is possible this seller could move on to other parts of Norfolk.

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 to Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

Information Alert – Norfolk illegal tobacco roadshow 2018 – 26 July 2018

We are urging people to help protect children in Norfolk by reporting illegal tobacco sales to aid the crackdown on traders who sell illegal cigarettes and tobacco.

From Tuesday 7 August Trading Standards and Public Health officers will be will be visiting Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn, Thetford and Norwich and are calling on people to come along to find out more about illegal tobacco and its dangers.

You will also be able to meet Yoyo the tobacco sniffer dog who has played a big part in the illegal tobacco seizures successfully made by our Trading Standards officers in the past year and see him working with his handler to practice searching for tobacco.  Trainee sniffer dogs Peggy and Maggie will also be there.

Roadshow dates and locations:

  • Great Yarmouth Market Place - Tuesday 7 August, 9am-5pm
  • King’s Lynn Vancouver Quarter shopping centre - Wednesday 8 August, 9am-5pm
  • Thetford Kings Square - Thursday 9 August, 9am-5pm
  • Norwich the Forum - Friday 10 August, 8.30am-6pm

During the week we will be sharing information from the roadshow events each day on our Facebook page and on Twitter.

Scam Alert – Computer ‘fault’ scams – 25 July 2018

We regularly receive reports from Norfolk residents who have received ‘computer fault’ scam telephone cold calls.

These callers claim to work for well-known computer software, telecoms or broadband suppliers.  The caller advises that there is a problem with the user’s computer or broadband equipment, often making claims about ‘viruses’, ‘criminals controlling your machine’ and ‘hackers accessing your router’ and that they will be ‘blocking computers from the internet’ or ‘cutting off broadband access’ if the recipient does not agree to immediate remedial work.

The caller will then then attempt to gain remote access to the computer.  This could give them the opportunity to plant malicious software onto the computer or access personal information held on the computer, including account log-in information and bank details, which can be used to commit fraud.

Victims can also end up being asked to pay for the ‘fixes’ the scammer has made to their computer.

If these people do not succeed at the first contact they are known to try calling again repeatedly.  Also where they have been successful in charging a fee the scammers have targeted people again telling them the ‘problem’ has returned.

We have been issuing warnings around ‘computer fault’ cold calls for a number of years but there seems to be little decrease in their number.  Fortunately the majority of the reports we receive are from residents who are aware of the issue and have terminated the call without giving access to their computer or making payment.

Please continue to share with others the information that well known computer companies, telecoms or broadband providers never cold call offering to fix problems with computers or requesting personal or financial details.

If you are concerned about the security of your home computer or to fix problems or issues with it we would advise you to find a quality local trader like a Norfolk Trusted Trader.  You can search the Trusted Trader Directory at www.norfolk.gov.uk/trustedtrader

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 to be from HMRC – 24 July 2018

We are still receiving reports about telephone cold calls claiming to be from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

These reports include a number of automated recorded message calls regarding HMRC taking court action against you for unpaid tax.  These call then provide a press number option to speak with your ‘case manager’.

HMRC state that if you receive a suspicious call or voicemail from ‘HMRC’ about ‘a lawsuit being brought against you’ it is a scam.  HMRC advise not to comply with any instructions given in the call and hang up.

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