Consumer 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 – Fake BT bill containing banking malware – 22 June 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are highlighting a warning from Action Fraud about emails circulating claiming to be from BT. The email, with the subject ‘New BT Bill’, includes a very high level of owing for your current bill and states that they will ‘take your payment from your account as usual by Direct Debit’. The email them provides a link to ‘see your bill here’.

 

The email is not from BT and by claiming a high amount that is owed is designed to panic the recipient into clicking on the link to see the ‘bill’. If the link is clicked a malicious file called ‘BT bill.zip’ will be downloaded which contains banking malware called Dridex. Unusually this is achieved without a website being opened. If downloaded Dridex will attempt to gather personal information like user names and passwords for accounts whilst hidden in the background.

If you receive this email delete it without clicking on any links.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from the Telephone Preference Service – 21 June 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are again receiving reports about telephone cold calls claiming to be from the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

During the calls the cold caller claims that they are ‘checking details and if you still wish to be registered with the TPS’. The cold caller then attempts to gather credit or debit card details from the call recipient.

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.

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 – 21 June 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are receiving reports about letters claiming to be from the People’s Postcode Lottery. Currently the reports are coming from the Great Yarmouth area but these letters may be being sent to residents in other parts of Norfolk as well.

The letters state that the recipient of the letter has won a prize in a recent draw, in this case £355,000, and details how the prize can be claimed by contacting their ‘Foreign Service Manager’.

The letter also states that ‘all winning must be claimed not later than 30th August 2017’ or ‘the entire fund will be returned to the UK Board of Internal Revenue’.

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

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming ‘potential fire risks’ with solar panels – 15 June 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning residents about telephone cold calls claiming to be from solar energy companies.

We have received a report from a Norfolk resident who received one of these calls today (Thursday 15th). During the call the cold caller claimed that there could be a ‘fault with their solar panels’ that was a ‘potentially serious fire risk’ and that the company ‘need to visit to check the panels and issue a micro generation certificate’. The caller also went on to make further claims about ‘availability of Government grants’ for their service.

Trading Standards advises always be very wary of any approach made in a telephone cold call and NEVER agree to someone visiting your home if approached in this manner.

If you have solar panels on your property and you are looking to have any maintenance done to them we recommend using a Norfolk Trusted Trader or a member of the Solar Trade Association

If you have received one of these calls, or have agreed to a home visit following this type of call, you can contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or via their online reporting form.

Rogue Trader Alert – Further reports of doorstep cold callers offering ‘their artwork’ – 15 June 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are again warning residents to be on their guard after receiving further reports of doorstep cold callers visiting properties in Norfolk attempting to sell ‘their artwork’.

The reports are of 'well dressed' young people going door to door carrying cards stating they are deaf and that they are selling 'their artwork and pencil sketches' to pay for school/college/education fees.

Reports this week have come from the Halesworth, Norwich, Thorpe St Andrew, Sprowston, Costessey, Dereham, Potter Heigham, Ormesby, Martham and Winterton areas.

Trading Standards advises NEVER to deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to sell something.

Anyone sighting these sellers 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.

Scam Alert – ‘Goticketsuk.com’ Website – 13 June 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are highlighting a warning from Action Fraud re the ticket website ‘Goticketsuk.com’.

Action Fraud have received a number of reports from people who have purchased tickets from this website and have not received their tickets.

The website, which has been selling tickets for Robbie Williams concerts and the Demon Dayz festival, appears to have been a fraudulent site taking money for non-existent tickets.

The website has now been taken down by Action Fraud and law enforcement partners.

If you have purchased tickets from this website Action Fraud are offering the following advice:

  • If you have fallen victim, it is important that you report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. This will allow police to gain a better understanding of the scale of the fraud and will help build an investigation. Everyone that reports to Action Fraud will receive a Police Crime Reference Number (NFRC) and an update in writing 28 working days later
  • If you have paid by Credit Card, contact your provider as they will be able to reimburse you under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act
  • If you paid by Debit Card, also contact your provider, but remember it might not always be possible to get your money back
  • Further advice is available on the Which? website regarding how to get your money back after a fraud

Action Fraud have received 21,000 reports of Ticket Fraud in the last three years with loses coming to £17m. When looking to buy tickets online check out their on the Action Fraud website before making a purchase.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers targeting homes with solar panels – 12 June 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning residents to be on their guard for doorstep cold callers targeting homes with solar panels. These cold callers are stating to the occupiers that their solar panel system needs servicing, with charges of up to £600 being made for this ‘service’ which may include cleaning the panels.

Trading Standards advise that solar panel owners should always talk to their supplier before allowing any work or ‘maintenance’ to take place on their panels. Generally a solar panel system does not need servicing but it may benefit from being cleaned if the panels are dirty

Trading Standards also recommends that traders who work on a solar panel system are members of the Solar Trade Association and that any work on the electrics of a solar panel system should be carried out by a qualified electrician.

Suitably qualified electrician can be found on the Norfolk Trusted Trader website or via the Electrical Safety First Website.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from ‘CAB’ – 9 June 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning residents about telephone cold calls claiming to be from ‘CAB’, ‘Citizens Advice’ and 'The Credit Investigation Service' asking 'if you have debts'.

We've received a number of contacts about these calls in recent days from Norfolk consumers with several reporting the calls appear to come from a mobile number.

Please remember Citizens Advice DO NOT cold call regarding debt issues. If you receive one of these calls do not give or confirm any personal information, hang up and report it to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from HMRC using a ‘spoofed’ Norfolk County Council email address – 08 June 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are again warning about emails claiming to be notification of a refund from Her Majesties Revenue & Customs (HMRC) this time using a ‘spoofed’ Norfolk County Council (NCC) email address.

 

The email states that ‘HM Revenue & Customs has recalculate your annual fiscal activity’ and you are ‘eligible to receive a tax refund’. The email goes on to offer a link to ‘claim your refund’.

If you receive one of these messages it is a SCAM. DO NOT click on any links or open attachments.

Please remember:

  • HMRC will NEVER notify you of a tax rebate or offer of repayment by email
  • NCC have NO connection to these emails and DO NOT send emails on behalf of HMRC

You can forward scam emails or report details from scam text messages claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

Rogue Trader Alert – Further reports of doorstep cold callers offering ‘Driveway Work’ – 08 June 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are again warning residents to be on their guard after receiving further reports of doorstep cold callers visiting properties offering driveway work including block paving services.

Reports have been received from the Hellesdon, Thorpe Marriott and Brundall areas regarding males going door to door leafleting or cold calling residents offering driveway works. The males have been seen to be using a blue van and a white van both of which are sign written.

It is likely these cold callers may move on to other parts of Norwich & Norfolk.

Trading Standards advises NEVER to deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering home improvement services.

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 sighting these sellers 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.

Looking for a Trader you can Trust ? Norfolk Trusted Trader offers a list of accredited traders covering everything from plumbing to gardening. For more information or to see our online directory click here.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep selling of gravel – 07 June 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning residents to be on their guard following reports that cold callers going door to door offering gravel may be operating in our area.

This follows a report from a resident in Norwich whose neighbour was doorstep cold called by a male offering gravel from a ‘cancelled job nearby’. The neighbour agreed and was charged around £500 for around 1 ton of gravel which was spread on their drive.

Trading Standards advises NEVER to deal with anyone who turns up at your door offering to do work or trying to sell items.

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 rogue trader activity 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 ? Norfolk Trusted Trader offers a list of accredited traders covering everything from plumbing to gardening. For more information or to see our online directory click here.

News Alert – Avian Influenza Prevention Zone – 05 June 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are advising that over the weekend a case of bird flu was confirmed at a farm near Diss. Click here to find all the latest information and advice.

Scam Alert – Subscription Letters – 02 June 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards has been forwarded a letter received by a Norfolk resident claiming that the recipient of the letter needed to supply financial details as the ‘company’ were ‘trying to reach you’ as ‘your subscription is about to be put on hold’.

The resident states they have no knowledge of the company and had never contacted them or requested any form of subscription.

We would remind Norfolk residents to be alert to any unexpected contact, however they are received, requesting personal or financial details and only give out these details if you are totally sure of who you are supplying them too.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers selling ‘their’ artwork – 01 June 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving further reports of doorstep cold callers attempting to sell ‘their’ artwork.

These cold callers will often carry cards stating they are deaf, dumb or both and claim that they are selling ‘their’ artwork to help fund ‘education costs or expenses’.

Recent reports have been received from the Great Yarmouth, Gorleston, Caister, Hemsby, North Walsham, Sheringham, Dereham & Bungay areas.

Trading Standards advises NEVER to deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to sell something or trying to sign you up to a service.

Anyone sighting these seller in Norfolk or concerned about rogue trader activity in your 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.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers in the Costessey area offering ‘Driveway Work’ – 31 May 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of a white transit van calling at properties offering brick paving services.

Reports have come from the Costessey area suggest that the callers undertake poor quality work for cash and then are not able to be contacted on the phone number supplied.

It is likely these cold callers may move on to other parts of Norwich & Norfolk.

Trading Standards advises NEVER to deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering home improvement services.

Anyone sighting these sellers 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. 

Rogue Trader Alert – Leaflets offering Tree Surgery work – 26 May 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of rogue traders offering tree surgery work in the Norwich, Attleborough and Taverham areas.

We are aware of leaflets being hand delivered in these area offering ‘Tree Surgery services’. In two cases residents who made contact with the number on the leaflet were then visited by three males who started work but claimed that a price ‘couldn’t be agreed at the beginning’ as they ‘didn’t know how much work would be needed’.

In both cases the work that was then undertaken was done to a poor standard and excessively charged for.

Having obtained payment the males then attempted to persuade the residents that further work was required around the property.

In one case this included claims that ‘urgent’ repairs were needed to the roof. Fortunately the resident declined the offer and afterwards contacted another trader who checked the roof and confirmed no work was required.

Trading Standards advises 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 in the Sheringham area – 25 May 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving a report of a cold calling incident in the Sheringham area.

Information was received about a male selling fish door to door. The male was seen wearing a white coat and driving a red Transit van.

Previously 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 cold callers could move onto further parts of Norfolk.

Trading Standards advise NEVER deal with doorstep cold callers and NEVER be pressurised into buying on the doorstep.

If you are approached by this seller 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.

Information Alert – Thinking of Home Improvements? Make sure you #CHECK – 25 May 2017

Home Improvements are often one of the most stressful purchases that an individual can make. Be it changing windows to building an extension on your home, these are often high value purchases which can sometimes take years to save for or pay off. Because of this, Norfolk Trading Standards are encouraging consumers to think #CHECK when considering choosing a tradesman or business for your next home improvement project.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers in the Gorleston area – 24 May 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving a report of a cold calling incident in the Gorleston area.

Information was received a 'well dressed' young male carrying a card stating he is deaf and is trying to sell 'his' artwork and pencil sketches to pay for his ‘college fees'. The male was seen going door to door.

Trading Standards advises NEVER to deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to sell something or trying to sign you up to a service.

Anyone sighting this seller in Norfolk or concerned about rogue trader activity 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 – Emails claiming to be an Invoice from Apple for a ‘Yearly Music Membership’ – 23 May 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning about emails claiming to be from Apple. The email pertains to be an invoice for the purchase of an ‘Apple Music Membership’ at the cost of £119.18.

The email goes on to say that ‘if you don’t recognise this transaction made from your Apple ID please use the REPORT button below to be refunded’.

This email is NOT from Apple, it is a phishing email attempting to panic the recipient into thinking a high value transaction is about to take place on their account.

Anyone clicking on the ‘REPORT’ button will be taken to a fake version of the Apple website which will attempt to gather account, personal and financial details which could then be used to commit further frauds.

If you receive this, or a similar suspicious email DO NOT click on any links or attachments and delete it.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers regarding Solar Panels – 19 May 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving a number of reports about doorstep cold callers claiming to be from ‘green’ energy companies. In recent days incidents have been reported to us from the King’s Lynn, North Walsham, Aylsham and Great Yarmouth areas.

The cold callers appear to be targeting properties with existing solar panels and their tactics usually involve claiming that the panels need cleaning or some other basic maintenance.

The cold callers then attempt to sell ‘add-on’ products such as invertors and battery packs by claiming that further energy savings could be made through purchasing these products or by stating that they have found faulty parts in the existing system.

Typically these add-on products cost from £3,000 to £8,000 and are either not required or there are doubts about the cost savings or system improvements that the cold callers are claiming. In some reports the cold callers are using persistent or aggressive sales techniques during the visits.

Trading Standards advises NEVER to deal with anyone who approaches you at your home, or any location, offering to undertake services or sell you items regardless of the claims made.

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

Anyone sighting doorstep 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 – Emails claiming to be from BT referencing ‘recent cyber breaches’ – 18 May 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning about emails claiming to be from BT after Action Fraud received a number of reports. The emails state that ‘due to security breaches on an international scale BT have launched preventative measures in ensuring your customer data remains safe’.

The email is NOT from BT and is an attempt to use the recent highly publicised ‘WannaCry’ ransomware attacks to hook people into responding to what in essence is a basic phishing email.

If you receive this, or a similar suspicious email DO NOT click on any links or attachments and delete it.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from the Telephone Preference Service – 18 May 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are again warning about telephone cold calls claiming to be from the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

During the calls the cold caller claims that they are ‘checking details and if you still wish to be registered’. The cold caller then attempts to get debit card details from the call recipient.

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.

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 – Telephone cold calls offering ‘fantastic holiday deals’ – 17 May 2017

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning residents to be aware of telephone cold calls offering ‘free holidays’ or ‘fantastic holiday deals to celebrate the anniversary of a previous holiday’.

Trading Standards are aware of incidents of this type of cold call where the caller states ‘we can see from our records that 25 years ago you enjoyed a holiday in (well-known holiday destination) and so we are pleased to be able to offer you a fantastic anniversary deal so that you and your husband/wife can come back to (well-known holiday destination).

The cold caller will then use a range of pressure selling techniques to attempt to get the call recipient to make a payment either for the holiday or to ‘hold’ the offer until they can ‘afford it’. In some cases the cold caller then calls again in the future claiming the offer ‘is about to run out’ unless further payments are made to hold the offer again.

In another version of this call the cold caller claims the call recipient has been ‘selected to receive a free holiday’ which can be secured for ‘a small administration fee’ which is usually around £300.

It is extremely unlikely that the call recipients receiving these calls have been ‘selected’ and they are purely cold calls which are designed to make people think they are being offered a ‘bargain’.

We always advise NEVER to buy items or agree or pay for 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 have made payments and you need further advice contact our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or telephone 03454 04 05 06.