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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.

Rogue Trader Alert: Door to door fish sellers – 23 May 2019

We are warning residents to be vigilant after receiving reports of three men selling fish door to door.

Reported incidents in the last week have come from the Marsham, North Walsham, Felmingham, Shipdam and Hunstanton areas.  The men have been seen to be using a white Ford Transit van.

In the past these types 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 continue to move on to other locations within Norfolk.

Do not 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.

Rogue Trader Alert – Suspicious man offering driveway work – 22 May 2019

We are highlighting a warning from Norfolk Police after a woman was approached by a suspicious workman at a petrol station in the Hethersett area who offered to ‘resurface her driveway’.

When looking to have work done on or around your property you should 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 – Text messages claiming ‘you are due to receive a refund from your Council’ – 21 May 2019

We are getting reports from Norfolk residents who have received text messages stating that ‘you are due to receive a refund from your Council’ and supplying a link to ‘begin the process'.

These text messages are not genuine.

Anyone following the link will be taken to a very plausible fake version of the Gov.uk website which will attempt to gather personal and financial information. Genuine Gov.uk webpages will always  start with www.gov.uk.  If you are directed online to anything with Gov.uk branding but with a different web address do not interact with the webpage.

It is possible several variations of this message could be circulating with different web links.

If you receive this, or a similar text message, delete it without clicking on any links.

If you require any information about your Council Tax contact your Local Council directly, their information can be located on the Gov.UK website at www.gov.uk/find-local-council

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

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from UK Parking Control – 17 May 2019

We are asking residents to be aware of emails circulating claiming to be from UK Parking Control (UKPC).

The convincing looking emails entitled “Parking Charge Reminder” claim you have parked on one of UKPC’s client's private land.  The email then provides a link titled ‘All photos and Payment Options you can find here’.

These emails are a scam and are not connected with UKPC in any way. Anyone following the link will be taken to a website which will attempt to infect your device with malware.

If you receive this or a similar email delete it without clicking on any links or opening any attachments.

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

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from Royal Mail – 14 May 2019

We are asking residents to be aware of emails circulating claiming to be from Royal Mail.

The poorly-worded email claims ‘Courier was unable to deliver the parcel to you’ and asks you to ‘Please confirm your parcel from £3.95’. This is followed with a ‘Confirm Now’ link.

These emails are a scam and are not connected with Royal Mail in any way. Anyone following the link will be taken to a website which will attempt to gather personal and financial information.

Royal Mail offer advice on dealing with scam emails using their name and list examples of known scam emails on the Royal Mail website.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold caller offering power tools – 13 May 2019

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of a man approaching people in the Ormesby area offering to sell power tools. The man was seen to return to a silver Renault van.

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

There is a high possibility that the items being sold are low-quality counterfeits which could be unsafe to use or stolen.

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

Anyone spotting 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 Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers selling household cleaning products – 10 May 2019

We are warning residents to continue to be on their guard after receiving further reports of doorstep cold callers trying to sell household cleaning products.

Recent reports have been received from the King’s Lynn and Cromer areas.

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

It is possible these sellers will continue to move onto other locations in Norfolk.

Anyone spotting these sellers in Norfolk, please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06, or Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

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

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold caller enquiring about your energy supplier – 10 May 2019

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of doorstep cold callers in the Bradwell and Bowthorpe areas.

The cold callers are saying they have been 'sent by the Energy Companies to see if you're happy with your current energy supplier'. The cold callers then ask for details, including information about your current energy supplier.

Our advice is never deal with doorstep cold callers and never be pressured into sharing information on the doorstep, no matter what claims are being made.

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.

Information Alert – England Illegal Money Lending Team grants 2019 – 10 May 2019

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) has funds available to enable local organisations to access grants that actively reduce crime and disorder and raise awareness of loan sharks.

The fund is formed of money seized from illegal money lenders under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) and is awarded to groups who wish to invest in local community projects.

During 2018/19 the team granted £141,269 for 37 crime-busting initiatives.

Groups can apply for up to £5000 to spend on any worthwhile community project that meets the criteria:

  • Contributes to raising awareness of the dangers of using loan sharks
  • Prevents crime and disorder and makes a difference in local communities
  • Promotes the work of the Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) in communities
  • Encourages reporting of loan sharks and signposts victims to the team

The IMLT funding has supported many projects over the years and helped local people and neighbourhoods avoid loan sharks.

If you’ve got what it takes and your project idea meets the criteria, please complete an application form and return it electronically to Catherine.wohlers@birmingham.gov.uk by midnight on the closing date.

The closing date for applications is 30 June 2019.

More information is available on the Stop Loan Sharks website.

Cold Calling Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming ‘you have been mis-sold solar panels’ – 9 May 2019

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving a report of a telephone cold call received by a Norfolk resident regarding solar panels.

During the call, the cold caller stated the call recipient had been ‘mis-sold solar panels and solar panel finance agreement’ and they could ‘get all their money back’.

We advise 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 – Scams targeting Apple App Store and iTunes gift cards – 7 May 2019

We have issued several warnings about scam calls that attempt to persuade the recipient to purchase Apple gift cards.  These scams have included claims of debts to HMRC, outstanding bills, debt collection and utility bills.

Regardless of the claimed reason why payment needs to be made, the scam follows a similar pattern:

  • The scam caller will make claims that are designed to panic and alarm the call recipient
  • They will then highlight an urgency for payment to be made to ‘prevent harsher penalties’
  • They will then claim the quickest method of payment is to purchase Apple App Store or iTunes gift cards from the nearest retailer (supermarkets, catalogue or convenience stores)After the gift cards have been purchased, the victim is told to pay by sharing the code(s) on the back of the card with the caller over the phone

In a recent contact we have also been made aware of a message circulating on Social Media which claims you can ‘Win a prize of up to £50,000’ by ‘purchasing an iTunes gift card and messaging back with the 16-digit code on the rear of the card’.  The message also claims that ‘the bigger the gift card, the higher the prize’.

Action Fraud offer the following advice to protect you from gift card scams:

  • 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 Apple 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 think you have been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming ‘you have been named in a legal case’ – 7 May 2019

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving a report of a telephone cold call which was received by a Norfolk resident.

The call, which appears to deliver a pre-recorded message which states that ‘you have been named in a legal case’ and goes on to give a contact number which the call recipient should contact ‘immediately’.

We advise always be very wary of any approach made by a telephone cold call. If you receive this, or a similar call, we advise you hang up and do not contact the number given.

If you need advice about cold calling or have responded to this cold call approach, contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or telephone 03454 04 05 06.

Cold Calling Alert – Flyers being hand delivered offering driveway work – 7 May 2019

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

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering ‘garden work’ – 7 May 2019

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of doorstep cold callers offering ‘garden work’ in the Sheringham area.

The report was of two men and two women approaching residents, offering to undertake garden and tree work. They were seen to be using a black Ford 4x4 pickup.

We advise never 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.

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

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers selling household cleaning products – 2 May 2019

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of two young men going door to door in the Thorpe and Sprowston areas trying to sell household cleaning products. 

The cold callers were carrying large grey rucksacks bags and claimed they were selling items as they are on a 'youth offending probation scheme'. They were seen to call at properties and approach people outside their homes.

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

It is possible these sellers will continue to move onto other locations in Norfolk.

Anyone sighting these sellers in Norfolk, please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

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

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold caller offering ‘garden work’ – 30 April 2019

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of a man cold calling offering ‘garden work’ in the Heacham area.

We advise never 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.

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 claiming to be from ‘Careline’– 30 April 2019

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of doorstep cold callers claiming to be from the ‘Careline’.

This follows a report from a Fakenham resident who was doorstep cold called by two men claiming to be from Careline, who stated they needed to ‘check equipment’.

King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council have advised that Careline Installers do not cold call and only attend pre-arranged appointments.

Careline installers will also:

  • Have a King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council ID badge
  • Be in uniform
  • Be using a King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council vehicle

If you have any concerns about someone who comes to your home and claims to be representing Careline, King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council advise you either:

  • Activate your alarm unit
  • Call them on 01553 616200 or
  • Contact Norfolk Police on 101 or 999 if you feel threatened

Scam Alert – Text messages claiming to be from 'Tesco' stating you have 'won a prize in a recent prize draw' – 29 April 2019

Be aware of text messages circulating again claiming to be from Tesco stating that you have 'won a prize in a recent prize draw'. The message then offers a link for you to 'claim your prize'.

Anyone following the link will be taken to a website which claims you can 'track your order'. This is then likely to be used in an attempt to gather personal or financial details.

These text messages are not genuine and are not connected with Tesco in any way.

If you receive this or a similar text message, delete it without clicking on any links.

You can report contacts you think not genuine to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or telephone 03454 04 05 06.

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold caller claiming to be from the ‘Alzheimer’s Society’– 26 April 2019

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of doorstep cold callers claiming to be from the ‘Alzheimer’s Society’.

In the initial report a resident in the Stalham area received a doorstep cold call from a female who stated she wanted to 'complete a survey’. Following this, we have received similar reports of both male and female cold callers in the North Walsham, Wroxham, Sutton, Happisburgh, Mundesley and Sea Palling areas.

The Alzheimer's Society have confirmed they do not cold call and would only visit properties by appointment.

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 – Telephone cold calls claiming to be police officers – 25 April 2019

We are highlighting a warning from Norfolk Police who have received reports of two separate incidents where elderly victims were targeted by telephone scammers pretending to be police officers.

The first incident occurred on Wednesday 24 April, when an elderly man in the Norwich area received a call on his landline from a man claiming to be a detective at Scotland Yard. The suspect told the victim that a large amount of money had been stolen from his account. He instructed the victim to either buy an expensive watch or withdraw a large amount of money from his savings account, return home and call the suspect back.

The second incident also occurred on Wednesday 24 April, when an elderly victim in the Norwich area was telephoned by a suspect pretending to be a police officer from the 'Serious Fraud Squad in London'. The suspect tried to persuade the victim to withdraw a large amount of money from his bank account and put it in a cupboard.

Norfolk Police are keen to hear from anyone who may have received a similar type of telephone call, or who has any information about these incidents, by contacting Norwich CID via 101.

Norfolk Police are reminding residents that neither your bank nor the police will ever ask you to withdraw money or purchase items. In addition:

  • Your bank or the police will never ask for your PIN, bank card or bank account details over the phone – never give these details to anybody
  • Neither the police nor the banks will send a courier to collect money from you
  • Always request Photo ID and if unsure call the police
  • If you're asked to telephone a bank, then always do it on a different phone to the one you were contacted on. Fraudsters will keep the line open and have been known to play ring tones, hold music and a recorded message down the phone so the victim believes they are making a call to a legitimate number. Use a friend or neighbour's telephone instead
  • Never download any software suggested by caller
  • Do not rush into complying to the scammers demands/requests
  • Friends, family, carers and neighbours are asked to spread the word to ensure everyone is aware of this scam and what they should do

    Cold Calling Alert – Telephone cold calls about the ‘accident you were involved in’ – 24 April 2019

    We are receiving reports from Norfolk residents about automated telephone cold calls that state they are ‘calling about the accident you were involved in’.

    The automated message call goes on to offer you the option to say yes or no or to ‘be connected to an advisor’

    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.

    You can report suspicious telephone calls to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506.

    Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering ‘roofing repairs’ – 17 April 2019

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

    The reports were of a man cold calling at properties offering to do 'roofing repairs'. The man was seen to be using a white Ford Transit van.

    We advise never to deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to do 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

    Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls offering lottery tickets – 17 April 2019

    We are warning Norfolk residents to be aware of telephone cold calls offering ‘lottery tickets’.

    This follows a report from a resident who received a cold call during which the cold caller claimed the resident could purchase ‘100 lottery tickets for £8’. The cold caller then attempted to take card details for the purchase.

    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 give or confirm any personal or financial details and hang up.

    You can report suspicious telephone cold calls to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

    Rogue Trader Alert – Sales of generators, chainsaws and pressure washers from vans – 9 April 2019

    We have received reports of generators, chainsaws and pressure washers being sold from vans from several locations including Diss, Costessey, Swaffham and around Fakenham.  Reports have included cold calls at domestic properties and people being approached in the street, in car parks of retail stores and drive through restaurants.

    Never purchase items if approached in this manner.  There is a high possibility that the items being sold are low quality counterfeits, which could be unsafe to use, or are stolen.

    It is possible these sellers could move on to other parts of Norfolk.

    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.

    Cold Calling Alert – Telephone cold calls requesting payment for your ‘solar panel service’ – 8 April 2019

    We have received a report of a telephone cold call which was made to a Norfolk resident regarding a ‘solar panel service’.

    During the call the cold caller stated this service was ‘required every five years’ and that they needed bank details for payment.

    Always be very wary of any approach made in a telephone cold call and never give or confirm any personal or financial details, agree a service or to someone visiting your home if approached in this manner.

    If you need advice about cold calling or have agreed to a visit during a cold call contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or by telephone on 03454 04 05 06.

    Scam Alert – Emails offering a ‘Business Deal’ – 6 April 2019

    Watch out for emails circulating with the subject line ‘Business Deal’.

    The email claims to be from a director of a large investment bank and asks you to be the ‘Foreign Beneficiary’ for a sizeable cash sum that ‘your entitlement is 40%’.

    These emails are a scam and are not connected with the named business in any way.  This is one of many variations of this approach that are often in circulation.

    If you receive this or a similar email - delete it.

    Cold Calling Alert – doorstep cold caller offering ‘free roof health checks’– 5 April 2019

    We have had reports about doorstep cold callers in Norfolk calling at properties enquiring about your home's 'insulation' and offering 'free roof health checks'.

    Reports in the last week have been received from the Watton, King's Lynn, Terrington St. John, Caister and Scratby areas.

    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.

    If you are concerned about doorstep cold calling in Norfolk contact us through Citizens Advice consumer helpline, via their online reporting form or by telephone on 03454 04 05 06.

    Scam Alert – ‘International Postcode Online Lottery’ Letters – 5 April 2019

    Letters have been sent to Norfolk residents claiming to be from the ‘International Postcode Online Lottery’.  The letter states the resident has been awarded a prize of £900,000 in a recent draw.

    These letters are a scam and no prize is available.  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 callers trying to sell items – 4 April 2019

    We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of a man carrying a large holdall type bag going door to door in the Hemsby and Caister areas.

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

    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.

    If you feel intimidated or sight these cold callers and are concerned for vulnerable neighbours call 999

    Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from HMRC – 3 April 2019

    We are receiving reports again from Norfolk residents about telephone cold calls claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

    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 ‘visits to your home’ 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 immediately.

    You can report suspected scam telephone calls to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506

    Scam Alert – Letters titled ‘Your Solar PV System’ – 28 March 2019

    We have had a number of reports from Norfolk residents who have received letters titled ‘Your Solar PV System’.

    The letter states you have not ‘received your free health check and service’ and makes claims relating to inverters and their ‘warranties expiring’.

    It then asks the recipient to contact the sender to ‘validate your warranty’ and ‘book your free health check’.

    We always advise residents to be very wary of any unsolicited approach and never agree to services, to having work done or for someone to visit your home if approached in this manner.

    We advise 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.

    We also recommend 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 only 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

    If you have received one of these letters and have agreed to a visit contact us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or telephone 03454 04 05 06.

    Further advice regarding these letters is available on the Solar Trade Association website.

    Scam Alert – ‘Free Trial Offer’ adverts – 27 March 2019

    We are warning people 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.

    Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold caller offering a ‘roof health check’– 26 March 2019

    Residents need to be on their guard as we have received a report of a doorstep cold caller in the Acle area.

    In the incident a resident received a doorstep cold call from a man who claimed he could offer a ‘roof health check’.  The resident declined the offer and reported the cold call to us.

    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.

    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 telephone 03454 04 05 06.

    Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering driveway work – 21 March 2019

    We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of doorstep cold callers approaching residents in the Aylsham area offering to undertake repair work or to lay new driveways.

    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 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 – Emails attempting to ‘blackmail’ the recipient – 21 March 2019

    Norfolk residents have told us about emails which attempt to blackmail the recipient.

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

    The emails will often 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.

    Action Fraud offer 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 – Further reports of emails claiming to be from ‘TV Licencing’ – 20 March 2019

    We have received more reports from Norfolk residents about email claiming to be from TV Licencing.

    These emails generally claim that TV Licensing have been unable to take a payment, that there are issues with Direct Debits or that you are due a refund on your TV Licence.

    The email then offers a link to enable you to make a payment or claim the refund.  This link then goes to a 'genuine looking' version of the TV Licencing website which attempts to gather personal and financial information.

    In some cases when people have submitted information to the fake website they are then targeted by telephone cold calls claiming to be from the 'Fraud Department' at their bank stating there has been 'fraudulent activity' on their account and they need to transfer funds to a new 'safe account' that has been set up for them.

    Action Fraud report that since April 2018 victims of this scam have lost over £830,000.

    We always advise to be very wary of approaches made in unsolicited emails and by telephone cold calls and remember:

    • Never answer unsolicited emails, click on links or open attachments
    • Don't assume a phone call or email is authentic even if they know basic details about you
    • Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information

    TV Licencing have issued the following advice:

    TV Licencing will always:

    • Use donotreply@tvlicensing.co.uk (or donotreply@spp.tvlicensing.co.uk) to email you
    • Include your name in our emails (unless you told us you don’t need a licence and didn’t provide a name)

    TV Licencing will never unprompted:

    • Email you to ask for bank or personal details
    • Email you to tell you that you’re entitled to a refund
    • Offer you a discounted TV Licence

    TV Licencing will never ask on their website for:

    • Your card details to take a missed payment before we’ve first asked you to sign in to identify yourself using your licence number, surname and post code
    • Your mother’s maiden name
    • Your date of birth (unless you’re 74 or over and applying for a free TV Licence)
    • You can read further information about spotting scam TV Licencing email on the TV Licensing website

    You can report scam emails to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506.

    If you have responded to one of these emails and have submitted bank details or card numbers on a linked website, contact you bank immediately on the number printed on your card.

    Scam Alert – ‘International Postcode Online Lottery’ letters – 20 March 2019

    We have received reports about letters claiming to be from the ‘International Postcode Online Lottery’ being received by Norfolk residents.  The letter states the resident has been awarded a prize of £900,000 in a recent draw made in ‘Melbourne, Australia’.

    These letters are a scam and no prize is available.

    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 callers offering driveway cleaning – 14 March 2019

    We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of a doorstep cold caller in the Thetford area offering driveway cleaning.We advise never to deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to do 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 BT – 14 March 2019

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

    Recent reports have included:

    • Calls which deliver a message claiming to be from BT stating your ‘internet and landline will be cut off’ and then offering a ‘Press 1’ option. If this is complied with a call handler then attempts to gather personal data
    • Calls claiming to be from ‘BT Openreach’ during which the cold caller states that there are ‘problems with your router’
    • Calls claiming to be from BT stating they can ‘offer you a 35% discount on your bill’ and then attempting to gather bank details

    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 from 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 ‘less energy efficient houses will pay more council tax’ – 13 March 2019

    We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving a report of a telephone cold call which was received by a Norfolk resident regarding Council Tax.

    During the call the cold caller talked about a ‘Carbon Tax on Council Tax’ which would mean ‘less energy efficient houses will pay more Council Tax’. The cold caller then attempted to make an appointment to undertake ‘a property survey’.

    We advise 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’ – 13 March 2019

    We are continuing to receive reports from Norfolk residents about emails claiming to be from TV Licencing. Reports have included emails claiming that direct debits ‘cannot be collected’ and emails stating ‘Your TV Licence has expired’.



    These emails are not from TV Licencing and any links contained within the message are likely to go to a genuine-looking fake version of the TV Licencing website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details.

    Action Fraud offer the following advice regarding these emails:

    • 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 – Telephone cold calls claiming ‘you have been mis sold cavity wall insulation’ – 11 March 2019

    We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving a report of a telephone cold call which was received by a Norfolk resident regarding cavity wall insulation.

    During the call the cold caller stated the call recipient had been ‘mis-sold cavity wall insulation’ and they could ‘obtain compensation’. The call recipient responded they had ‘never been sold cavity wall insulation’ and the cold caller hung up.

    We advise 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 – Flyers and doorstep cold callers offering to do ‘facia and insulation’ work on park homes – 6 March 2019

    We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of flyers being hand delivered offering to do ‘facia and insulation’ work on park homes.

    This follows an incident in the Great Yarmouth area where leaflets were delivered followed by a cold caller who attempted to quote for work.

    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 have obtained a written quotation from.

    It is possible these rogue traders could target other park home sites in Norfolk.

    Anyone concerned about possible doorstep 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 – Telephone cold calls enquiring about ‘insulation and roofing’ as they are ‘working in your area’ – 5 March 2019

    We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of telephone cold calls being received in the North Norfolk area enquiring about your ‘insulation and roofing’ as they claim to be ‘working in the area’.

    We advise 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.

    We also advise 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.

    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 – Text messages claiming you are ‘due a council tax refund’ – 5 March 2019

    We are getting reports from Norfolk residents who have received text messages stating they are 'due a council tax refund of £357.00' and supplying a link to 'claim your refund'.

    These text messages are not genuine.

    Anyone following the link will be taken to a website which will attempt to gather personal and financial information.

    It is possible several variations of this message could be circulating with different amounts and web links.

    If you receive this, or a similar text message, delete it without clicking on any links.

    If you require any information about your council tax contact your local council direct.  Their information can be located on the Gov Delivery website at www.gov.uk/find-local-council

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

    Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold caller enquiring ‘who installed your windows’– 4 March 2019

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

    In the incident, a resident received a doorstep cold call from a man who asked ‘who installed your windows?’ The resident declined to engage with the cold caller and reported it 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.

    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.

    Cold Calling Alert – Flyers and doorstep cold callers offering ‘tree surgery’ and ‘gardening’ work – 4 March 2019

    We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of flyers being hand delivered offering ‘tree and garden’ work in the Dereham and Swaffham areas and doorstep cold callers offering ‘tree surgery’ work in the Hellesdon area.

    The flyers claim to offer a range of services and gives contact numbers but no further details about the business. The doorstep cold callers have been approaching residents offering to do work on trees. 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 have obtained a written quotation from.

    Anyone concerned about possible doorstep cold caller 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 caller offering ‘tree surgery work’ – 27 February 2019

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

    We advise 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 caller carrying a large holdall bag – 27 February 2019

    We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of a man carrying a large holdall-type bag going door to door in the Stoke Holy Cross area.

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

    Anyone sighting these sellers in Norfolk please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06, or Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

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

    Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold caller offering ‘garden services’ – 26 February 2019

    We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of a man cold calling offering ‘garden services’ in the Sheringham area.

    We advise never 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.

    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

    Information Alert – Thinking about home improvements? Make sure you #CHECK – 22 February 2019

    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, we are encouraging consumers to think #CHECK when considering choosing a tradesman or business for your next home improvement project.

    Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold caller offering ‘tree surgery work’ – 22 February 2019

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

    We advise never 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.

    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 – Emails claiming to be from ‘TV Licencing’ – 21 February 2019

    We are again receiving reports from Norfolk residents about emails claiming to be from TV Licencing. In this case the email claim that TV Licensing had been ‘unable to process your Direct Debt’. The email then went on to offer a link to enable you to ‘update your details’.

    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.

    Action Fraud offer the following advice regarding these emails:

    • 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.

    Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from Citizens Advice – 14 February 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 ‘Citizens Advice’ during which the cold caller stated they were ‘concerned about your credit score’.

    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

    Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold caller offering household cleaning products – 14 February 2019

    We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of a doorstep cold callers offering household cleaning products.

    Reports have been received in the last few days from across the Norwich, Broadland and North Great Yarmouth areas including Sprowston, Thorpe St Andrew, Old Catton, Catton Grove, Thorpe End, South Walsham, Pilson Green, Hemsby, Ormesby, Martham and Scratby.

    The cold callers are carrying large holdall type bags, are claiming that they are ‘recently out of prison’ or ‘working to get a reference’ and in some incidents they are showing a laminated card or piece of paper as 'identification'.

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

    Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering to purchase ‘gold and jewellery’ – 13 February 2019

    We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of doorstep cold callers in the North Walsham and Costessey areas offering to purchase ‘gold and jewellery’.

    We always advise to be very wary to this type of approach and if you are looking to sell items only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself.

    Anyone concerned about possible doorstep cold caller activity in Norfolk can contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06

    Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold caller offering ‘tree surgery work’ – 13 February 2019

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

    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 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

    Cold Calling Alert – Flyers and doorstep cold callers offering driveway work – 8 February 2019

    We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of flyers being hand delivered offering Driveway work in the Norwich area, and doorstep cold callers offering driveway work in the Attleborough area.

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

    The doorstep cold callers have been approaching residents offering repair work or to lay new driveways.

    We advise you only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from when you are looking to have work done 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

    Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering ‘repair work’ – 8 February 2019

    We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of doorstep cold callers in the Attleborough area.

    The reports were of two men offering to undertake ‘repair work' on properties. The men were seen to be using a white pickup.

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

    We advise never to deal with anyone who cold calls offering to do 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

    Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold caller asking about ‘insulation’– 8 February 2019

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

    In the incident a resident received a doorstep cold call from a man wearing a branded green tabard who offered to ‘conduct an insulation survey’. 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 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.      

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