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Consumer scam alerts

You can report scams to our partners, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline, using the Citizens Advice online reporting form or by calling 0808 223 1133 (freephone), or you can report a scam to Action Fraud, the UK national fraud office using their online fraud reporting tool or by calling 0300 123 2040.

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Scam Alert – Automated telephone cold calls making claims about ‘your National Insurance number' – 4 March 2021

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

Recent reports have included that:

  • 'Your National Insurance number has been breached in a security risk’
  • 'Your National Insurance number has been used in numerous criminal activities’
  • 'Your National Insurance number has been used fraudulently’
  • 'Your National Insurance number is about to be cancelled’
  • 'Your National Insurance number has been compromised’

Some calls are claiming to be from the ‘National Crime Agency’, others are saying they are ‘law enforcement officers’. The calls go on to instruct the recipient to ‘Press 1’ to:

  • ‘Prevent the suspension of your National Insurance number’
  • 'Stop cancellation of your National Insurance number’
  • ‘Stop a warrant being issued for your arrest’

Some calls also make claims that ‘urgent’ and ‘immediate action’ is required to ‘resolve the issue’.

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

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

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

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

News Alert – BBC Watchdog report on unsafe electrical product – 4 March 2021

On Wednesday 3 March BBC Watchdog on The One Show featured the story of a house fire in Norfolk which was caused by an electrical tower socket purchased from an online marketplace.

Following the incident and testing undertaken by us, the product was found to be unsafe, leading to a Europewide safety recall being issued.

You can see the report on the BBC iPlayer for 29 days from the day it was shown, the report starts at 03:47.

You can find details of current product recalls on the GOV.UK website.

If you’re looking to purchase electrical items online, check out the Safe Shopping advice on the Electrical Safety First website.

If you have concerns about the safety of a product you have purchased you can report it to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers in South Norfolk area – 1 March 2021

We are warning residents to be on their guard after reports of cold callers in the Chedgrave, Poringland and Hethersett areas.

Norfolk Constabulary have highlighted reports of men cold calling in these areas offering to sell generators and cleaning products.

Our advice is never deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to sell something.

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

Anyone spotting these cold callers in Norfolk please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Police via 101.

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

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from Aviva – 25 February 2021

We have received reports from residents about automated scam telephone calls claiming to be from Aviva. The caller states that there is an Aviva credit card payment pending for £900 and in order to cancel the payment you need to 'press 1'.

These messages are spammed out randomly to huge numbers of mobile numbers hoping to trick people into sharing personal details.

The messages will often claim that accounts have been frozen, that money is about to leave the account or that there is fraudulent activity with the aim of panicking the recipient into reacting.

Our advice is always be very wary of claims made during a cold call and never give or confirm personal or financial details unless you are 100% sure you know who you are talking too.

There is likely to be a range of this type of scam calls being made using the names of well-known financial service providers in the coming days and weeks.

If you receive this or a similar call, our advice is hang up, wait five minutes and then contact the named company using the customer service number given on previously-received correspondence or on the genuine website or app.

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 0808 223 1133.

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

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of telephone cold callers enquiring about property insulation.

The caller states they are replacing work carried out by the council and are offering homeowners a free survey to assess the safety of their loft insulation.

The caller may also state:

  • That they are 'working in your area’ and can offer ‘a free survey to see if you are eligible for new insulation’
  • That ‘glass fibre insulation’ is ‘no longer sufficient’
  • That they 'need to visit to check insulation installed several years ago’

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

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

Scam Alert - Investment scams and fake cryptocurrency exchanges – 23 February 2021

We have received reports of individuals falling victim to online investment scams, including fake cryptocurrency exchanges.

Bitcoin is the most famous cryptocurrency, but there are more than 1,500 cryptocurrencies including other well-known ones such as Ethereum and Litecoin. Cryptocurrencies only exist online and are not controlled by a bank, treasury or country, meaning you can’t get physical notes or coins from the bank.

An individual has reported meeting a man on Facebook who then recommended a Norwich-based company for investing in cryptocurrency. This was a fake cryptocurrency trader using a fake website in order to scam people into investing money. Unfortunately, the individual has lost £40,000 to this scam.

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

A cryptocurrency scam can take many forms. This could include:

  • A fake cryptocurrency which doesn’t or will ever exist 
  • A bogus investment which promises to put money in a legitimate cryptocurrency
  • A dangerous website link that then downloads malware onto your computer

Which? Have put together useful guidance on how to spot an investment scam.

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

If you think you have received an investment offer that you believe is a scam or you have become a victim of a scam, you can report this to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Fake competition emails from 'Currys PC World' – 22 February 2021

We have received a number of reports of fake ‘Currys PC World’ emails being received by Norfolk residents.

The fake email contains the subject line 'Answer & Win! MacBook Pro' or 'Answer & Win! Nespresso'.
The emails state that the recipient has an opportunity to win a MacBook Pro or Nespresso.

We can confirm that they are bogus emails and are not sent from Currys PC World. They are phishing emails intended to obtain your personal information.

If you have received an email which you’re not quite sure about, you can forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) at report@phishing.gov.uk.

If you think you may have compromised the safety of your bank details and/or have lost money due to fraudulent misuse of your cards, you should immediately contact your bank.

If you have received an email which you believe to be a scam you can also report it to us via our partners, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert - Fake listings on Facebook marketplace – 21 February 2021

We are warning Norfolk residents to be vigilant when buying second-hand goods online after receiving a report that an individual has lost over £200 after responding to a fake Facebook Marketplace advert.

The resident believed they were purchasing an iPad from the seller who would deliver it to their home after the money had been paid via bank transfer. However, once the money had been transferred the resident was unable to make further contact with the seller.

We are advising residents to be cautious when purchasing items using second-hand selling sites, especially if you are asked to pay directly into a private individual’s bank account. We recommend to never pay for an item in full before seeing it.

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

Scam Alert – Text messages claiming to be from ‘Royal Mail’ – 17 February 2021

We are again warning about text messages circulating claiming to be from Royal Mail.

The scam text message contains the subject line 'Royal Mail: Your package has a £2.99 shipping fee'.

This follows a number of reports in the last week from Norfolk residents who have received the above pictured or similar text messages.

Anyone clicking on the link will be taken to a fake version of the Royal Mail website which has been created to fool people by using the same branding, layout and font choices. This site will then attempt to gather personal and financial details.

Our advice is always be wary of claims made in unexpected messages and never click on any links or open attachments contained within them.

You can see further examples of fake Royal Mail communications on the Royal Mail website.

If you receive what you think is a fake message, forward the text message, including the phone number or company name, to 7726. It won’t cost you anything and it means your phone provider can investigate the sender.

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

Scam Alert – Fake ‘NHS COVID-19 relief grant’ text messages – 14 February 2021

We are warning residents about text messages claiming to be from the ‘NHS’ claiming that you are ‘eligible for a COVID-19 relief grant.

The fake 'NHS COVID- Relief Grant' text messages contains the subject line 'Records show that you are eligible for a COVID-19 relief grant'.

These messages are fake and are not from the NHS. There are likely to be several variations of each message circulating containing different link addresses.

You can report suspicious text messages received by forwarding the message to 7726. You will not be charged for sending the message and it allows you network provider to investigate the sender.

If you have received a text message which you believe to be a scam you can also report it to us via our partners, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Automated telephone cold calls making claims about ‘your National Insurance Number' – 12 February 2021

We have received several reports this week about automated telephone calls making claims about National Insurance numbers.

Recent reports have included:

  • That ‘your National Insurance number has been breached in a security risk’
  • That ‘your National Insurance number has been used in numerous criminal activities’
  • That ‘your National Insurance number has been used fraudulently’
  • That ‘your National Insurance number is about to be cancelled’
  • That ‘your National Insurance number has been compromised’

Some calls are claiming to be from the ‘National Crime Agency’, others are saying they are ‘Law enforcement officers’. The calls go on to instruct the recipient to ‘Press 1’ to:

  • 'Prevent the suspension of your National Insurance number’
  • 'Stop cancellation of your National Insurance number’
  • 'Stop a warrant being issued for your arrest’

Some calls also make claims that ‘urgent’ and ‘immediate action’ is required to ‘resolve the issue’.

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

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

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

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

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from ‘BT’ – 11 February 2021

Emails claiming to be from BT  are continuing to circulate.

Recent examples have included emails that claim BT have ‘detected incorrect information on your account’ and that ‘your account will be suspended if you do not login by clicking the ‘Amend Now’ button’. 

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

BT offer customers the following advice about suspicious emails claiming to be from BT:

  • If you're worried about an email that appears to be from BT, rather than clicking on any links in the email you should type ‘www.bt.com/mybt’ in your browser to log in to your My BT account. From here you can check your account details are up to date and view your bill
  • Alternatively, use the automated BT phone service to check your balance on 0800 443 311
  • Forward the email to phishing@bt.com and delete the email

You can report suspicious emails received to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133

Scam Alert – Scam Callers claiming to be Police Officers – 10 February 2021

We are highlighting a warning from Norfolk Police after numerous Norfolk residents were targeted by telephone scammers pretending to be police officers within the last two weeks.

On Monday 8 February, a woman aged in her 70s and from the Wymondham area was contacted by a fraudster claiming to be a police officer.

During the call the victim was encouraged to transfer large amounts of money from her bank account, after being coerced into believing that she was part of an undercover police operation. She was conned out of £30,000.

Another incident was also reported on Tuesday 9 February.  A man in his 20s from the Norwich area was contacted by a fraudster claiming to be a police officer. The caller had cloned the Norfolk Constabulary number, making the victim believe he was speaking to a genuine police officer. £20,000 was taken.

Officers have also received 15 reports within the past two weeks in which victims have been contacted by fraudsters claiming to be police officers.

Courier Fraud happens when a fraudster contacts a victim by telephone claiming to be a police officer, bank or from a government department, among other agencies. A number of techniques will then be adopted in order to convince the victim to hand over their bank details or cash, which may then be passed on to a courier.

Neither the police nor your bank will ever ask you to withdraw or transfer money or purchase items.

Further advice includes:

  • Police officers, banks and other government agencies will never ask you to withdraw money or transfer it to another account as part of an undercover operation.
  • They will never ask you to reveal your full banking password or PIN.
  • The police will never ask you to handover money for safe keeping or as part of an operation.
  • The police will never send someone to your address to collect money, cards or PIN Numbers or ask you to deliver these to another location.

Try these steps if you are approached:

  • Stop – take a moment to think before parting with your money or information.
  • Challenge – Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests, only criminals will try to rush or panic you. 
  • Protect – Contact your bank immediately if you think you have fallen victim to a scam. Report it.

You can confirm requests are genuine by using a known number or email address to contact organisations directly. Ask for ID from individuals who have approached you in these circumstances.

If you're asked to telephone a bank, always do it on a different phone to the one you were contacted on.

Officers are particularly keen for members of the community to ensure they contact family and friends, particularly elderly relatives to ensure they are aware of these scams and the warning signs.

If anyone has received a similar type of telephone call or has any information about these incidents, contact Norfolk Police on 101 quoting Operation Radium.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

If you believe a crime is in progress, always call 999.

Scam Alert – Online scammers selling Pets – 09 February 2021

Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic we have seen a rise in reports of fake pet sales, in particular puppies and kittens, being advertised for sale via social media.

The fraudsters will place an advert of the pet for sale, often claiming that the pet is currently held somewhere less accessible or overseas. They're also using lockdown as a way of stopping buyers from visiting to look at the animal.

Upon agreement of a sale, the suspect will usually request an advance payment by money transfer or bank transfer. However, the pet does not materialise. The fraudster is then not contactable or will subsequently ask for further advanced payments for courier charges, shipping fees and additional transportation costs. Even if further payments are made, the pet will still not materialise as it is likely to not exist.

Follow our top tips to stay safe when purchasing pets:

  • Be cautious if the seller initially requests payment via one method, but later claims that due to ‘issues with their account’ they will need to take the payment via an alternative method such as a bank transfer
  • Consider conducting research on other information provided by the seller. For example a mobile phone number or email address used by the seller could alert you to any negative information associated with the number/email address online
  • Request details of the courier company being used and consider researching it
  • Agree a suitable time to meet face-to-face to agree the purchase and to collect the pet. If the seller is reluctant to meet, this could be an indication that the pet does not exist
  • A genuine seller should be keen to ensure that the pet is going to a caring and loving new home. If the seller does not express any interest in you and the pet’s new home, be wary
  • If you think the price is too good to be true then it probably is, especially if the pet is advertised as a pure breed
  • Do not be afraid to request copies of the pet’s inoculation history, breed paperwork and certification prior to agreeing a sale. If the seller is reluctant or unable to provide this information it could be an indication that either the pet does not exist or the pet has been illegally bred e.g. it originates from a ‘puppy farm’.  A ‘puppy farm’ is a commercial dog breeding enterprise where the sole aim is to maximise profit for the least investment. Commercial dog breeders must be registered with their local authority and undergo regular inspections to ensure that the puppies are bred responsibly and are in turn fit and healthy. Illegally farmed puppies will often be kept in inadequate conditions and are more likely to suffer from ailments and illnesses associated with irresponsible breeding
  • When thinking of buying a pet, consider buying them in person from rescue centres or from reputable breeders.

If you have been affected this or any other scam, please report it to us via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep Cold Callers offering to clean driveways in the Hethersett area – 5 February 2021

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving a report of cold callers offering to clean driveways in the Hethersett area.

In the incident the cold callers were reported as being two adults and a youth who were seen to leave the location in a sign written white Ford Transit van with foreign number plates.

Never deal with doorstep cold callers and never agree to have work done on or around your property if approached in this way. 

It is possible these doorstep cold callers could move on to other areas around Norfolk.  Anyone who sees these cold callers in Norfolk should contact us through the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Police 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 ‘Amazon’ – 04 February 2021

We are again warning residents to be on their guard for telephone cold calls claiming to be from ‘Amazon’.

We have had several reports from Norfolk residents of recorded message calls claiming to be from Amazon. Recent reports have included:

  • that your Amazon Prime subscription ‘is about to renew at the cost of £79.99’ the call then states you can ‘press 1 to speak with someone'
  • that ‘a payment of £79.99 has been taken to renew your Amazon Prime subscription’ the call then states you can ‘press 1 to cancel the payment’
  • that ‘a purchase costing £300 has been made on your Amazon account’ the call then states you can ‘press 1 if you did not make this purchase’
  • that ‘£1,000 has been charged to your Amazon account’ the call then states you can ‘press 1 to speak to the Amazon fraud team’

Where residents have interacted with the call, they have then been connected to a person who attempts to gather personal, account or financial details.

These calls are a scam and are not connected with Amazon in any way. If you receive this or a similar call our advice is do not interact with the call and hang up.

Amazon have put together some helpful tips on how to identify if a phone call is from them. This information can be found on the Amazon UK 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 freephone 0808 223 1133.

Cold Calling Alert – Telephone cold calls regarding ‘loft insulation’ – 02 February 2021

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

This follows a report from a Norfolk resident who received a call this week during which the cold caller claimed that ‘your insulation could be causing mould’. The caller then attempted to gather a range of personal information from the resident before trying to make an appointment for a home visit.

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

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

Scam Alert – Fake COVID-19 Vaccine emails – 02 February 2021

We are continuing to warn about emails circulating claiming to be from the NHS offering the COVID-19 vaccine.

Fake COVID-19 Vaccine email from email address: booking@notifications.services.gov.uk

Again this message is fake. Anyone following the links supplied in the emails will be taken to a fake NHS website which could attempt to gather personal and financial details.

The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus. These people will be contacted by the NHS. You will never be asked to supply financial details for the vaccination.

If you receive this or a similar email you can report it by forwarding it to report@phishing.gov.uk.

If you have received an email which you believe to be a scam you can also report it to us via our partners, the Citizens

Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133

Scam Alert – Fake HMRC text messages – 01 February 2021

We've had reports of scam messages supposedly from HMRC that offer tax refunds or rebates.

Scam text message showing "HMRC : Records show that you have a pending tax rebate 10/01/21. To calculate your claim, click here: rebate-claim.gov.com"

If you receive something like this, take five to think before clicking on any links or responding. Criminals often include the branding and logos of trusted organisations in emails to trick you into thinking they're genuine.

For more information on reporting any suspicious messages or calls visit the GOV.UK website.

Help us spread the word – pass on the message to those close to you who may be at risk of being caught out

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering to sell and lay gravel in the Dereham area – 29 January 2021

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving a report of cold callers offering to sell and lay gravel in the Dereham area.

In the incident a man cold called at a property claiming that he was "working in the area" and that he had "4 tonnes of gravel" which he was "looking to sell" before he returned home to Cambridge.

The resident declined the offer and asked the doorstep caller to leave the property. He was seen to return to a white-cabbed van with a silver tipping body.

We advise:

  • Never deal with cold callers looking to do work on or around your property
  • Never agree to have work done by somebody who is ‘just passing’ or take their word that it needs to be done at all
  • Never allow a cold caller access to your home, roof or gardens even if they are offering to do tasks for a small fee or free
  • Never pay for work before it is completed
  • When looking to have work done on or around your property, only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from before starting the work

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

Anyone spotting these cold callers in Norfolk please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Police via 101.

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

Scam Alert – Watch out for COVID-19 fake products – 27 January 2021

We’ve seen reports in Norfolk of fake products online saying they can protect you or cure coronavirus.

Don’t be a victim of one of these are scams – they won’t work, and they’re designed to take your money. Help us spread the word by telling loved ones who may be vulnerable or at risk of being caught out.

For advice on staying scam aware visit the Friends Against Scams website.

If you’ve been a victim of a scam contact the Norfolk & Suffolk Victim Care Scams Prevention Service.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers in the Hellesdon area – 26 January 2021

We've had reports of doorstep cold callers in the Downham Market area offering to carry out work on trees.

In this incident a resident was cold called by a man who offered to trim trees and hedges in the resident's front garden.

Our advice is:

  • Never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property
  • Never agree to have work done by somebody who is ‘just passing’ or take their word that it needs to be done at all
  • Never allow a cold caller access to your home, roof or garden even if they are offering to do tasks for a small fee or free
  • Never pay for work before it is completed
  • When looking to have work done on or around your property, only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from before commencing the work

If you see cold callers operating in Norfolk please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

If you feel intimidated or are concerned for vulnerable neighbours call 999.

Looking for a Trader you can Trust? Try a Norfolk Trusted Trader. To search our directory and read feedback from their customers visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/trustedtrader

Scam Alert – Fake COVID-19 vaccine emails – 26 January 2021

We are continuing to warn about emails circulating claiming to be from the NHS offering the COVID-19 vaccine.

The scam email contains the subject line 'Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS'

The fake COVID vaccine email contains the subject line 'This is a public health message from NHS'

 

These messages are fake. Anyone following the links supplied in the emails will be taken to a fake NHS website which could attempt to gather personal and financial details.

The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus. These people will be contacted by the NHS. You will never be asked to supply financial details for the vaccination.

If you receive this or a similar email you can report it by forwarding it to report@phishing.gov.uk.

If you have received an email which you believe to be a scam you can also report it to us via our partners, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Fake courier emails – 25 January 2021

We are warning about emails circulating claiming to be from courier services which state that they have a parcel which currently cannot be delivered.

The fake DHL  email contains the subject line 'DHL delivery - your package is waiting for delivery'.

Fake email contains the subject line '#(@royalmail.delivery.com)#Your package is stopped at our post.id'

The messages will often claim that a payment is due to be able to deliver the package and that without payment the package will be returned.

These messages are not genuine and have no connection with the genuine company.

Our advice is always be wary of claims made in unexpected emails and never click on any links or open attachments.

You can see further examples of fake Royal Mail emails and how to report ones received to them on the Royal Mail website.

DHL offer the following advice on their website about emails purporting to be from them:

  • Attempts have been made to defraud Internet shoppers by the unauthorised use of the DHL name and brand via email communications and graphics which appear, on the surface, to have originated from DHL
  • In most cases the communications concern the sale of consumer goods over the Internet where payment may be requested before the goods are delivered
  • Please be advised that DHL does not request payment in this manner. DHL only collects money due for official DHL related shipping expenses

If you have received an email which you believe to be a scam you can also report it to us via our partners, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Automated telephone cold calls claiming to be from ‘Inland Revenue’ – 22 January 2021

We have received several reports of automated calls claiming to be from the Inland Revenue. The call states that failure to appear at the Magistrates Court will result in the suspension of your National Insurance Number and that you are required to call a number given to ‘resolve’ the issue.

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

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

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

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

Scam Alert – Text messages about your accounts or payments – 21 January 2021

We frequently receive reports about text messages claiming to be from various companies and organisations stating there are issues with accounts or payments.

Accounts payment alerts

These messages are spammed out randomly to huge numbers of mobile numbers hoping to trick people into clicking on a link which will take them to bogus versions of the organisation’s genuine website. There it will attempt to gather personal, login and financial details.

The messages will often claim that accounts have been frozen, that money is about to leave the account, that payments can’t be made or that there is unusual or fraudulent activity with the aim of panicking the recipient into reacting.

If you receive messages like these our advice is:

  • Do not click on any links or open attachments
  • Do not reply to the message
  • Do not call any numbers given in these messages

You can report suspicious or spam text messages to your network operator by forwarding the message to 7726. You may get an automated response thanking you for the report and giving you further instructions if needed. You will not be charged for sending texts to 7726.

If you are concerned about the security of an account contact the service provider directly using the Customer Service number printed on the card, on a recent statement or via information available on their genuine website or app. never use details provided in a text message.

If you think you might have responded to a text message scam and provided your bank account details, contact your bank immediately.

Scam Alert – Watch out for COVID-19 scams and fraud – 20 January 2021

Watch out for Covid-19 scams & fraud with a person raising their hand in alarm against a yellow background. The Norfolk Against Scams partnership logo

Be careful if someone offers to do shopping or collect medication for you: some criminals are asking for money upfront then disappearing. If you do need assistance, make sure it’s from someone you trust.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of fraud, report it as soon as possible by contacting Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visiting the Action Fraud website

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep Cold Callers in the Downham Market area – 19 January 2021

We've had reports of doorstep cold callers in the Downham Market area offering to undertake work on trees.

In this incident a resident was cold called by a male who stated, 'they were in the area' and offered to trim trees in the residents’ front garden.

The male was seen to be driving a silver/grey 4x4.

Our advice is always:

  • Never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property
  • Never agree to have work done by somebody who is ‘just passing’ or take their word that it needs to be done at all
  • Never allow a cold caller access to your home, roof or garden even if they are offering to do tasks for a small fee or free
  • Never pay for work before it is completed
  • When looking to have work done on or around your property only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from before commencing the work

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

If you see cold callers operating in Norfolk please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

If you feel intimidated or are concerned for vulnerable neighbours call 999.

Rogue Trader Alert – Further report of Doorstep Cold Callers in the Wymondham area – 18 January 2021

We've had a further report of a doorstep cold calling in the Wymondham area.

In this incident a male cold called at a property claiming to be 'working next door' and stated that he could see that the resident's chimney needed repairs. The male offered to do the work 'straight away' quoting a cash price and offering to take the resident to the bank to collect the money.

Our advice is never deal with cold callers and never agree to having work on your property when approached by someone 'passing by' no matter what claims they are making.

Please share this warning with vulnerable family, neighbours and friends especially in the Wymondham area.

If you see cold callers operating in Norfolk please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Police on 101.

If you feel intimidated or are concerned for vulnerable neighbours call 999

Looking for a Trader you can Trust? Try a Norfolk Trusted Trader. To search our directory and read feedback from their customers visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/trustedtrader

Scam Alert - Coronavirus Vaccine Scams - 18 January 2021

In order to receive your Coronavirus vaccine, you can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a GP surgery or pharmacy local to you.

Help spread the word – tell loved ones who may be at risk

Contact Action Fraud if you believe you, a loved-one, friend or neighbour has been the victim of fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting the Action Fraud website

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep Cold Callers in the Wymondham area – 15 January 2021

We've had reports of a doorstep cold calling in the Wymondham area.

In the incident a man cold called at a property claiming he was 'doing work on a house nearby' and that he had seen that work was needed on the resident's chimney.  He then quoted a cash price in excess of £1,500 and offered to take the resident to the bank to collect the cash.

Fortunately the resident declined the offer and reported the incident to us.

Our advice is:

  • Never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property
  • Never agree to have work done by somebody who is ‘just passing’ or take their word that it needs to be done at all
  • Never allow a cold caller access to your home, roof or garden even if they are offering to do tasks for a small fee or free
  • Never pay for work before it is completed
  • When looking to have work done on or around your property, only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and have obtained a written quotation from before commencing the work

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

If you see cold callers operating in Norfolk please contact us through our Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Police on 101.

If you feel intimidated or are concerned for vulnerable neighbours call 999

Looking for a Trader you can Trust? Try a Norfolk Trusted Trader. To search our directory and read feedback from their customers visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/trustedtrader 

Scam Alert – Coronavirus Vaccine Scams – 14 January 2021

Coronavirus vaccines will only be administered free of charge through the NHS. The NHS will never:

  • Ask for bank account, PIN or card details
  • Arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
  • Ask you to prove your identity

If you believe you or a loved-one, friend or neighbour have been the victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting the Action Fraud website.

Help spread the word – tell loved ones who may be at risk.

Scam Alert - Fake HMRC and GOVUK text messages - 13 January 2021

We are continuing to receive reports about different text messages circulating claiming to be from HMRC and GOVUK.

These messages are fake. HMRC do not send text messages about tax refunds or ask you to disclose personal or payment information by text message.

There are likely to be several variations of each message circulating containing different link addresses.

You can forward suspicious tax related text messages to HMRC by forwarding the message to 60599 (text messages will be charged at your network rate)

If you have received a text message which you believe to be a scam you can also report it to us via our partners, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from the ‘NHS’ – 13 January 2021

We're reminding residents to continue to be aware of telephone cold calls.

This follows a report form a Norfolk resident who received a cold call from a male who stated he was ‘calling from the NHS’ and then asked the resident if they or their family were ‘feeling well today’ before trying to get the resident to give personal details. The resident ended the call at this point and reported it to us.

Our advice is always to be very wary of unexpected telephone cold calls and never give or confirm any personal or financial details if approached this way.

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

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep Cold Callers in the Harleston area – 11 January 2021

We've had reports of a doorstep cold calling in the Harleston area on Friday calling at properties offering loft insulation.

Currently during the National Lockdown retail door-to-door sales SHOULD NOT be taking place. Sales activities should be conducted remotely, such as by phone, online, or mail.

Our advice is always 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.

You can report any doorstep cold calling incidents in Norfolk or concerns about a business complying with the coronavirus restrictions to us via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133

Scam Alert – Text messages about ‘COVID Benefit Payments’ – 08 January 2021

We are warning about text messages circulating claiming to be from ‘GOVUK’ offering a ‘benefit payment of 300GBP’.

These messages are fake. Anyone following the links supplied in the messages will be taken to a website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details.

If you receive this or a similar text message you can report it by forwarding it to 7726.

If you have received a text message which you believe to be a scam you can also report it to us via our partners, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133

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