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.

Information Alert – Friends against Scams pop-up advice shops - King’s Lynn and Norwich – 18 July 2018

As part of Norfolk Day 2018 we are holding two Friends against Scams pop up advice shops on Friday 27 July in King’s Lynn and Norwich.

In King's Lynn we will be at NatWest in the Tuesday Market Place and in Norwich we will be at NatWest, Gentleman’s Walk.

To find out more about staying safe from scams and frauds drop in anytime from 10am-2pm.

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold-callers offering for their ‘insulation expert’ to ‘assess their property’ – 16 July 2018

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

The cold-caller was offering householders the opportunity for their ‘insulation expert’ to ‘assess their property’.

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

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

If you see doorstep cold-callers in Norfolk or are concerned about rogue trader activity in your community, contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline using their online reporting form or on 03454 04 05 06.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold-caller offering beds – 13 July 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of a cold caller offering beds in the King’s Lynn area.

A man was seen going door-to-door offering to sell beds to householders. The man was seen to return to a sign-written white Renault van.

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

If you see doorstep cold-callers in Norfolk or are concerned about rogue trader activity in your community, contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline using their online reporting form or on 03454 04 05 06.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold-callers offering garden furniture – 13 July 2018

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

A man was seen going door-to-door offering to sell garden furniture to householders.  The man was seen to return to a sign written silver Mercedes Sprinter van.

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

If you see doorstep cold-callers in Norfolk or are concerned about rogue trader activity in your community, contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline using their online reporting form or on 03454 04 05 06.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold-calling incidents – 12 July 2018

Residents should be on their guard to doorstep cold calling even if they are displaying a No Cold Calling sticker.

This follows a number of recent reports from residents who have had cold callers at their door despite displaying a sticker, with some reporting that the callers can be difficult to turn away and in some cases verbally aggressive when the presence of the sticker is pointed out.

We are asking residents to report all doorstep cold calling incidents to us, especially if their property is displaying a No Cold Calling door sticker of any type.  We are also offering the following advice:

  • If someone cold calls at your property remember it is your doorstep so your decision whether you even answer the door, if you can check through a spy hole or look from a window to see who is there
  • Think about your home security, make sure other doors to your property are locked before answering the front door
  • If the person is offering services or trying to sell something politely but confidently say you are not interested and close the door
  • If the person is claiming to represent an authority or organisation ask to see ID.  If ID is offered, ask if you can take it to check its validity.  If you are given the ID close the door and contact the company or organisation on the ID by a number you find online or in the phone book.  Do not use information on the ID, it could be fake.
  • If no ID is offered, the caller refuses to let you check it, or you can not verify it is genuine politely but confidently say you are not interested and close the door
  • As the cold caller leaves, if you can safely from inside your property watch and see:
    • Do they go to call at neighbouring properties?
    • Do they return to a vehicle, is it sign written, can you see the make, model, colour and registration plate?
    • Are they alone or working with others?
    • Note down a description of the cold caller, why they were calling and who they say they were representing – all of this information is very useful to Trading Standards and the Police when looking at Cold Calling incidents

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

Why not consider setting up a No Cold Calling Zone in your community?  You can find out more about our scheme at www.norfolk.gov.uk/nccz

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

Watch out for telephone cold calls delivering a recorded message claiming ‘your broadband will be disconnected in 24 hours’.

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

These calls are not genuine and are likely to be used to seek remote access to computers, gather personal, account or financial details or attempt to take payments.

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

Scam Alert – People’s Postcode Lottery letters – 10 July 2018

We are receiving reports again from residents who have received letters claiming to be from the People’s Postcode Lottery.  Recent reports have come from the Norwich area but these letters may be being sent to residents in other parts of Norfolk as well.

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

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

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

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

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from TSB – 5 July 2018

Action Fraud have warned TSB customers to be aware of a number of fake emails currently circulating claiming to be from the bank.

If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud or cyber-crime contact Action Fraud using their online form or by calling their helpline on 0300 123 2040

Rogue Trader Alert – Further report of doorstep cold callers in Norfolk – 4 July 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of a doorstep cold callers in Norfolk.

Firstly we have received reports of a man cold calling in the Shipdam area offering to undertake driveway and hard landscaping work.  The man usually carries postcards detailing their 'services' and has been seen to be using a yellow tipper truck and a white minibus.

In some reports when residents have declined the offer of work the man has become verbally aggressive.

Secondly we have had further reports of doorstep cold callers trying to sell household cleaning products.  Today two men carrying large bags were seen in the Kenninghall area.

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

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

It is possible these cold callers may continue to move to other locations in Norfolk.

Anyone sighting these cold callers 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 by a cold caller or sight these cold callers and are concerned for vulnerable neighbours call 999

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls offering to stop telephone cold calls – 2 July 2018

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

We are aware that there are a number of companies cold calling claiming to be able to offer this ‘service’ with some charging one off fees and others charging ongoing monthly fees.

It is extremely unlikely that any ‘service’ of this type can legitimately claim to be able to stop cold calls so any money paid is unlikely to achieve any benefit.

We always advise never to buy items or agree to ongoing services when approached by a telephone cold call.

If you have responded to one of these cold calls, which you now believe may not have been genuine or the company is taking an ongoing monthly payment and you need further advice contact our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or telephone 03454 04 05 06.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from Careline – 27 June 2018

We are highlighting a warning from King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council about telephone cold calls claiming to be from their service Careline.

This follows an incident reported to them where a resident received a telephone call from someone claiming to represent the Careline service, during the call the cold caller asked for bank details.

King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council offer the following advice:  "While a Careline representative may call you to make an appointment, we will never cold-call you to try and sell you products, and we will never ask you for your bank details over the phone.  If you have any doubt that contact from Careline is genuine, end the call and phone us back on 01553 616200."

You can report any suspicious calls or emails to Action Fraud using their online form or by calling their helpline on 0300 123 2040.

Scam Alert – Gamers and parents of young people playing Fortnite warned about scam messages offering ‘free V-Bucks’ – 26 June 2018

Gamers and parents of young people playing Fortnite are being advised to be aware of a number of scam messages posted on social media sites and YouTube claiming to offer ‘free V-Bucks’ which is the currency for the game.

Action Fraud have issued warnings after receiving reports, mainly by parents on behalf of their children, of fraudsters who are taking advantage of Fortnite gamers .  In most reports, the gamer has seen an advert on a social media channel which claims that by following a web link and entering some information, they will receive free Vbucks.  Fraudsters will ask the gamer for information about their account which will then allow them to log in and create fraudulent charges.

Other reports have included:

  • Adverts for ‘discounted V-Bucks’ requiring the payment to be made by credit card, with the card information then being used fraudulently
  • Sites offering V-Bucks in exchange for telephone numbers, which are then signed up for premium rate subscription services
  • Listings claiming to be offering Free V-Bucks which are actually charging for them
  • Sites offering free V-Bucks requiring you to reveal login details, which can then be used to hijack and take control of your account

So far the average loss reported by Action Fraud is £146 per victim.

Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite, have issued warnings about ‘scam sites’ offering free or discounted V-Bucks and state that 'unless you are logging in, Epic will never ask for your password or any other account information, scammers will work to replicate the look and feel of an official Epic website, so please double check the URL’.

Fortnite users can follow this advice to stay safe:

  • Never share your account details with anyone else
  • Never try to purchase V-Bucks from anywhere other than an official Fortnite website
  • Don't be tempted by offers, cheats, hacks or discounts from non-official websites
  • Never enter your credit or debit card information for Fortnite items on a non-official site
  • You'll never be asked for your password through email, social media or a non-Epic website
  • Never share or buy Fortnite accounts
  • Remember: Free V-Bucks don't exist – so you'll never be able to get them without paying
  • Verify your email address on your Fortnite account
  • Set up two-factor authentication in your security settings to boost security

If you have been a victim of fraud or a cyber crime you can report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040

Information Alert – Keeping adults safe from abuse and neglect survey – 25 June 2018

Norfolk Adult Safeguarding Board (NSAB) is running a survey to understand safeguarding concerns in Norfolk.

The survey is open until 5pm on Monday 9 July.

NSAB wants to understand how you think we can best protect vulnerable people, and how we can improve safeguarding services in Norfolk.

Joan Maughan, independent chair of the Safeguarding Adults Board, said:  "This is a great opportunity to really find out how people and organisations recognise all the different types of abuse and neglect that can happen to any vulnerable adult from any background.  It is crucial that we regularly review how we provide safeguarding services to ensure we support and protect vulnerable adults effectively.”

The ‘Keeping Adults Safe from Abuse and Neglect’ survey is anonymous.  No one will be identified by their answers and participation is voluntary.  Participants can skip questions or opt out entirely.

Scam Alert – University rental fraud – 25 June 2018

We are highlighting a warning from Action Fraud to potential University students to be aware of rental fraud when considering accommodation.

Fraudsters will often target college and university students ahead of the new term with fake lettings in local accommodation, taking advantage of the huge demand to collect fees up front to secure a deposit.

Between April 2014 and March 2018, 930 reports of university-related rental fraud, with losses of £1.1m, were made to Action Fraud.  However, the true figure is believed to be higher, as the figure is dependent on victims making their student status known when reporting the incident.

The number of reports peaked each year in September when students are likely to be organising their accommodation for the academic year. 61% of university rental fraud victims reported a ‘significant’ impact on their health or financial wellbeing as a result of being defrauded. 

Action Fraud offer the following advice to protect yourself from rental fraud:

  • Visit the property before you pay – watch out for adverts with no photos, or where multiple adverts have the same photos as they could be fake.  Do not pay any money until you or a reliable contact has visited the property with an agent or the landlord.
  • Be cautious about how you send money – the safest way to make a payment is by a credit card in person at the letting agent’s office.  Be sceptical if you’re asked to transfer money via a money transfer service.
  • Don’t be pressured into transferring large sums of money – under no circumstances would a genuine bank or another trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.
  • Check that the owner is on an approved accommodation list – check with your student union or accommodation office as many universities and colleges will have an approved housing list.  Also look for accreditation membership such as National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS), Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

If you think you’ve been a victim of Rental Fraud contact Action Fraud using their online form or by calling their helpline on 0300 123 2040

Rogue Trader Alert – Continued reports of doorstep cold callers selling ‘their’ artwork – 21 June 2018

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

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

We advise never to deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to sell something or trying to sign you up to a service.

Reports this week have been received from the Thetford, Roydon, Diss, Acle, Lingwood, Brundall, Blofield, Little Plumstead and Ormesby areas, but it is possible this and other doorstep cold callers using this approach could appear in other parts of Norfolk in the coming days and weeks.

Anyone sighting these sellers in Norfolk can report it to Trading Standards, through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline, on 03454 04 05 06 or to Norfolk Police via 101.

If you are concerned about rogue trader activity in your community you can also contact Trading Standards for further advice on 03454 04 05 06 or find out about our No Cold Calling Zone scheme at www.norfolk.gov.uk/nccz

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from the Great Yarmouth Borough Council – 21 June 2018

Great Yarmouth Borough Council are warning about telephone cold calls claiming to be from the council.

During these calls the cold caller is stating that the call recipient is 'eligible to receive a large grant for home improvements' and to release the grant money the cold caller then says an upfront payment of £200 is needed for which they then attempt to take bank card details.

These calls are not genuine and not connected with Great Yarmouth Borough Council in any way.

The council have said: 'This is a scam. Great Yarmouth Borough Council would not cold-call you to ask for payment or bank card details'.

Anyone receiving one of these calls is advised to not give or confirm any information, hang up and then report the call to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls offering supplies of ‘vitamins and health supplements’ – 20 June 2018

We are warning residents about telephone cold calls trying to sell supplies of vitamins and ‘health supplements’.

During the call the cold caller will claim that they has been ‘referred’ or ‘recommended’ to them, sometimes stating by their ‘local health centre or GP’, as someone who could benefit from their products.

The cold caller will then try to discuss with the call recipient their ‘health issues’ before recommending some of their products. They will often make a range of false or misleading claims about the effectiveness of their products and during what can be lengthy cold calls use a number of high pressure and aggressive sales techniques to complete a sale.

People who have agreed to purchase items are then charged highly inflated prices for what are often simple supplements or vitamins, often being persuaded to buy large quantities as a way to ‘save even more money’.

Some are then repeatedly targeted over weeks and months, each time attempting to sell further products or higher amounts.

We advise always be very wary of any approach made in a telephone cold call and never give or confirm any personal details, purchase items, sign up to contracts or agree to a home visit if approached in this manner.

These calls are likely to be targeted towards older and vulnerable people so please share this warning with relatives, friends and neighbours.

If you need advice about telephone cold calling or have agreed to an ongoing supply of an item during a cold call contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or telephone 03454 04 05 06.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering ‘garden services’ – 14 June 2018

Residents are warned to be on their guard after receiving reports of two women doorstep cold calling offering ‘Garden Services’ in the Hellesdon area.  The two women were seen to be driving a red BMW car.

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.

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: Door-to-door fish sellers – 13 June 2018

Residents are warned to be vigilant after receiving reports of people selling fish door-to-door in Norfolk.

Reports so far this week have been received from the Harleston and Acle areas about two men in a white van, printed with the words ‘Ocean Fresh’, cold-calling at properties offering to sell fish.

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

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

We advise consumers to 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 – Doorstep cold callers selling ‘their’ artwork – 12 June 2018

Residents are warned to be on their guard after receiving reports of doorstep cold callers attempting to sell ‘their’ artwork.

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

We advise never to deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to sell something or trying to sign you up to a service.

Reports this week have been received from the Swaffham, Griston, Watton and Attleborough areas, but it is possible this and other doorstep cold callers using this approach could appear in other parts of Norfolk in the coming days and weeks.

Anyone sighting these sellers in Norfolk can report it to us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline, on 03454 04 05 06 or to Norfolk Police via 101.

If you are concerned about rogue trader activity in your community you can also contact Trading Standards for further advice on 03454 04 05 06 or find out about our No Cold Calling Zone scheme at www.norfolk.gov.uk/nccz.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from the Telephone Preference Service – 10 June 2018

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

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

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

These calls are not genuine and are not connected with the TPS in any way.  The TPS will never cold call requesting payment or card details or selling any form of service.

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

If you receive a cold call claiming to be from the TPS do not give or confirm any details, hang up and report it to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

To register with the TPS call 0345 070 0707 or visit www.tpsonline.org.uk

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls regarding loft insulation – 7 June 2018

Watch out for telephone cold calls regarding loft insulation.  This follows a number of reports in recent weeks from across Norfolk.

During these calls a variety of claims and approaches are being used including:

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

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

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

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

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from HMRC – 7 June 2018

We are aware of a number of reports from Norfolk residents in the last few days about telephone cold calls claiming to be from HMRC about Income Tax debts.

During the cold calls the callers are often stating they are ‘HMRC Officers’ and are calling about ‘discrepancies’ or ‘underpayment of tax’ sometimes claiming the debts go back a number of years.

The cold callers are then making a number of demands including:

  • That the resident gives the caller personal information and bank account details
  • That the resident arranges to transfer part or all of the alleged ‘debt’
  • That the resident withdraws cash from accounts which will then be collected from their home
  • That the resident purchases high value gift cards, often iTunes cards, to the value of the alleged debt.  Following this the resident will receive a further call to take the details from the gift cards to ‘clear the outstanding balance’.

In some cases the cold callers are making threats about the call recipient being ‘arrested’ or having to attend court if they do not comply with the callers instructions.

HMRC advises that phone scams are widely reported, and generally attempt to target elderly and vulnerable people.  They often involve people receiving a call out of the blue and being told that HMRC is investigating them.  If you can’t verify the identity of the caller, we recommend that you do not speak to them.

We advise you to always be very wary of any approach made in a telephone cold call and never give or confirm any personal details, financial details or agree to make payments if approached in this manner.

You can report suspicious telephone cold calls to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

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

Safety Alert: 'Squishies' –  5 June 2018

Squishies are a current trend for small children.  They come in many shapes and sizes, often in in the shape of food related items or cute cartoon animals.  Their play value is that they squash down and slowly inflate back to the original toy’s shape and size.

As with most popular toys there are cheaper copied versions around on the marketplace.  These copied versions are normally of lower quality and present risks to very small children who might mistake the toys for mallow type food products, bite parts off and choke on them.  We would recommend that these sort of toys of whatever make or manufacture are very unsuitable for small children because of this risk.  They also are often also missing the name and address labelling of the importers, which is an criminal offence under toy safety requirements.

There have been several European Safety alerts (called ‘RAPEX’ alerts) over this type of toy and parents should be very wary of these cheaper copied Squishies and the dangers they might present to small children.

Parents who have bought these toys for their children should remove them immediately and dispose of them safety.

They can also report where they have bought or seen them for sale to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

Rogue Trader Alert: Door to door fish sellers – 23 May 2018

We are warning residents to be vigilant after receiving reports of people selling fish door to door in Norfolk.

Reports today have been received from the Hoveton and Horsford areas about a man in a red van sign written with the words ‘Fresh Fish’ cold calling at properties offering to sell fish.

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

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

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

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

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from the ‘Amazon Security Team’ – 21 May 2018

We are warning residents to be vigilant after receiving reports about telephone cold calls claiming to be from the ‘Amazon Security Team’.

This follows a report from a Norfolk resident who received a call during which the cold caller claimed that an attempt had been made to order a smartphone handset costing several hundred pounds on the resident’s account.  The cold caller then claimed they needed the resident to ‘switch on their computer’ so the cold caller could ‘take remote access’ to ensure it was ‘still secure’.  Fortunately in this case the resident recognised this as a typical ‘computer fault’ scam and terminated the call.

We always advise to be wary of telephone cold calls and the claims made during them.  If you receive a cold call that requests you giving remote access to your computer, no matter what claims they are making, our advice is do not follow their instructions and hang up.

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

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering ‘free’ insulation – 21 May 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving further reports of doorstep cold callers in the Broadland area stating they can offer ‘free’ insulation due to a ‘government grant’.

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

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

Anyone concerned about 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.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers in the Wymondham area – 21 May 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after received reports of cold callers in the Wymodham area offering to take scrap metal.

Reports have been received about two men going door to door in the area saying they can take any scrap metal.  The men were seen to be using a white hi-top box van.

We advise never to deal with anyone who turns up at your door offering to clear or purchase items.

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 – Doorstep cold callers in the Fakenham area looking to purchase items – 18 May 2018

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

The cold callers are stating they are looking to buy unwanted 'gold, valuables, and jewellery’.  We advise always to be wary of 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 cold calling activity in Norfolk can contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or report to Norfolk Police on 101.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls offering to stop telephone cold calls – 17 May 2018

We are warning residents to be aware of telephone cold calls stating they can help stop telephone cold calls.

We are aware that there are a number of companies cold calling claiming to be able to offer this ‘service’ with some charging one off fees and others charging ongoing monthly fees.

It is extremely unlikely that any ‘service’ of this type can legitimately claim to be able to stop cold calls so any money paid is unlikely to achieve any benefit.

We always advise never to buy items or agree to ongoing services when approached by a telephone cold call.

If you have responded to one of these cold calls, which you now believe may not have been genuine or the company is taking an ongoing monthly payment and you need further advice contact our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or telephone 03454 04 05 06.

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

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

These cold callers have been described as persistent, aggressive and intimidating in their approach and demeanour, especially when residents decline the offer to purchase items.

We advise 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 Norfolk.

If you see these sellers in Norfolk please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or to Norfolk Constabulary via 101.  If you feel intimidated or sight these cold callers and are concerned for vulnerable neighbours phone 999.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering mattresses – 10 May 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of cold callers offering mattresses in the Harleston and Norwich areas.

In Harleston a man was seen going door to door offering mattresses to householders.  The man was seen to return to a sign written white van.In Norwich a man approached a number of people in   the Grove Road area claiming to be selling ‘memory foam mattresses’.

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

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

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from ‘Norfolk County Council’ regarding ‘financial products’ – 9 May 2018

We are warning about telephone cold calls claiming to be from Norfolk County Council regarding ‘financial products’.

This follows a report from a Norfolk resident who received one of these calls during which the cold caller claimed they were from ‘Norfolk County Council’ and could offer a number of ‘financial products’. The cold caller persuaded the resident to agree to a home visit. On the day of the visit, when the person arrived the resident asked for ID and when it was not produced the resident refused to allow them in.

Please be aware Norfolk County Council do not cold call or authorise anyone else to cold call offering financial products.

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.

Information Alert – Is a sunny bank holiday weekend making you think about home improvements?  Make sure you #CHECK – 4 May 2018

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 encourage consumers to think #CHECK when considering choosing a tradesman or business for your next home improvement project.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls offering ‘free’ home visits for ‘health issues’ – 3 May 2018

We are warning about telephone cold calls claiming to be from healthcare companies offering ‘free’ home visits to support ongoing health issues.  This follows a number of reports from the Great Yarmouth area.

These calls often claim to be calling due to ‘your medical history’ and may insinuate that they are calling on behalf of the NHS or local medical practice.

During the call the cold caller will attempt to make an appointment for someone to visit your home for a ‘free assessment’.

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

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

Scam Alert – 2018 FIFA World Cup scams – 3 May 2018

We are highlighting a warning from Action Fraud as the run up to the event could provide an opportunity for fraudsters to take advantage of unsuspecting fans.

The worldwide demand for match tickets, accommodation and flight tickets throughout the competition is expected to be high.  Action Fraud is warning those planning to travel to be cautious when buying tickets or accommodation because the event is likely to be targeted by fraudsters looking to take advantage of unsuspecting fans. This could include:

  • Official World Cup ticket vendors or private individuals attempting to sell on a match ticket via an online marketplace.
  • A fraudulent website or operator offering non-existent flights or other transport to host cities.
  • An accommodation booking service, hotel or operator, offering seemingly convenient accommodation in one of the host cities for the duration of the game.
  • Lottery or competition organisers claiming that you’ve won a prize or cash related to the tournament.

Action Fraud is offering the following advice on how to protect yourself from these scams:

  • Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a fraud. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.
  • Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests. It’s okay to stop the discussion if you do not feel in control of it.
  • Don’t take the risk. Tickets for the World Cup 2018 can only be purchased directly from FIFA. For more information, please visit www.FIFA.com/tickets
  • Stay in control. Purchasing tickets from any other source may result in being denied entry to the game and ticket holders will not be entitled to a refund.
  • A FAN ID and a valid ticket are required for fans to be able to enter the 2018 FIFA World Cup stadiums. For more information, please visit www.fan-id.ru.
  • Visit the Action Fraud website to see their Ticket Fraud, Holiday Fraud and Lottery Fraud advice pages before making any decisions or bookings.
  • Visit the Take Five website for the latest guidance on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
  • Conduct your own independent research into the finer details surrounding terms and conditions of the World Cup tournament. FIFA have released extensive information and support for fans.
  • For more general advice and information on the world cup please visit the Government Guidance Pages.
  • Every Report Matters – If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from BT – 2 May 2018

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

In the most recent report a Norfolk resident received a telephone call from a person claiming they were calling from BT.  The cold caller asked if the call recipient ‘had a call blocker’ and if they were ‘still receiving cold calls’, the cold caller then requested credit card details.  Fortunately in this case the resident refused to give up any information and terminated the call.

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

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

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from your television service provider – 30 April 2018

We are highlighting a warning from Action Fraud regarding telephone cold calls claiming to be from your television service provider.

During the call the cold caller will make one of a number of possible claims including:

  • That they are offering you a discount on your monthly subscription
  • That your subscription needs to be renewed
  • That part or all of the TV equipment has ‘expired’
  • They you are due an upgrade on your TV equipment
  • They you are due an upgrade on your subscription

The cold caller will then claim that to complete this they need to call recipient to confirm, update or give bank account details.

Following these calls it will transpire that the call recipients TV service provider did not call them and that the fraudsters have made transactions using the call recipient’s bank account details.

Action Fraud have received over 300 reports of this type of fraud since the beginning of 2018 and from the reports received victims aged over 66 seem to be the most targeted.

We always advise you to be very wary of claims made during telephone cold calls and never agree to a pay for a service if approached this way.

If you receive one of these cold calls do not give or confirm any personal information, hang up and then report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Action Fraud offer the following advice if you receive one of these calls:

  • Don’t assume a phone call or email is authentic: Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and address or even your mother’s maiden name), it doesn’t mean they are genuine. Criminals can exploit the names of well-known companies in order to make their scams appear genuine.
  • Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision: a genuine company won’t force you to make a financial decisions on the spot.  Always be wary if you’re pressured to purchase a product or service quickly, and don’t hesitate to question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam.
  • Stay in control:  Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information.  Always contact the company yourself using a known email or phone number, such as the one written on a bank statement or bill.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from HMRC – 26 April 2018

We are continuing to receive reports about telephone cold calls claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

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

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

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from ‘CAB’ – 25 April 2018

We are warning residents about telephone cold calls claiming to be from ‘CAB’ and ‘Citizens Advice’ regarding 'debts'.

This follows reports in recent days from Norfolk residents who have received calls.

Please remember Citizens Advice do not cold call regarding debt issues.

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

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls about ‘health supplements’ – 23 April 2018

We are warning people to be aware of telephone cold calls offering ‘health supplements’.

This follows a report from a Norfolk resident who received a telephone phone call from a person who claimed to be ‘a nutritionist attached to your local health centre’.  The cold caller went on to claim that the call recipient had been ‘identified as suitable for supplements which would normally cost £60 for 60 tablets but were available for the reduced price of £20’.

Fortunately the resident declined the offer and ended the call.  Following this the resident contacted their health centre who confirmed they were not connected with the call.

We advise you to always be very wary of any approach made in a telephone cold call and never give or confirm any personal details or agree to purchase items if approached in this manner.

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

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers in the Downham Market area offering gravel – 20 April 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after received reports of cold callers in the Downham Market area offering gravel for driveways.

We advise never deal with anyone who turns up at your door offering to do work or trying to sell items.

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

It is possible these cold callers may 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.

Looking for a trader you can trust? Norfolk Trusted Trader offers a list of accredited traders covering everything from plumbing to gardening.

Information Alert – NatWest Friends against Scams event in Norwich on Wednesday 25 April – 19 April 2018

We are supporting NatWest’s Friends Against Scams event at their Gentleman’s Walk branch in Norwich on Wednesday 25 April.

Norfolk Trading Standards will be there along with NatWest staff, offering advice on how to be fraud and scam aware and how to protect yourself from doorstep cold callers.

NatWest will also be running three Friends against Scams training sessions during the day.  If you are interested in attending one of these sessions please contact the branch for more details.

The event is running from 10am till 3pm.

Information Alert – ‘Copycat’ websites offering fishing licences– 18 April 2018

We are reminding Norfolk residents to be aware of ‘copycat’ websites when looking to apply for or renew a fishing licence.

If you are looking to apply for or to renew a fishing licence online it is best to start with the GOV.uk website.

Rogue Trader Alert – Sales of generators, chainsaws and pressure washers from vans – 17 April 2018

Norfolk Trading Standards and Norfolk Constabulary are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of generators, chainsaws and pressure washers being sold from vans.

Reports have been received this week from a number of locations along the Norfolk and Suffolk boarder, several locations in Diss, Dereham, and around Norwich. bReports have included cold calls at domestic properties and people being approached in car parks of large retail stores.

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

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.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers offering ‘free’ insulation – 17 April 2018

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of a doorstep cold caller in the Thetford area claiming that they could offer ‘free’ insulation due to a ‘Government grant’.

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

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

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

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming they can ‘lower your council tax’ – 13 April 2018

We are receiving reports about telephone cold calls stating they can ‘save you money on your council tax’

Often during these call a range of claims may be made which can include:

  • That they can make savings of hundreds of pounds per year
  • That they can claim refunds for previous years paid
  • That your neighbours are already paying less

 In previous reports the caller has then attempted to take an upfront fee for the service, usually between £50 and £100.

We always advise to be very wary of claims made during telephone cold calls and never agree to a pay for a service if approached this way.

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

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

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