Check out the latest Scam Alert!
by John Trotter (April 2022)
HAVE you been watching “Scam Interceptors” on BBC 1 in the mornings? Definitely an eye-opener for the viewers. If you have missed it, then I recommend that you watch it on Catch-up.
Easter soon, and our hot cross buns testing is proceeding at home. You will probably have seen the stories about the Whats app scam concerning offers of a FREE Cadbury Easter Chocolate Basket. In case you have missed this, here’s the story so far.
A fake message claiming to be from Cadbury is spreading quickly on WhatsApp. It’s inviting people to grab a ‘Cadbury FREE Easter Chocolate Basket’ by clicking through to a site that has nothing to do with Cadbury.
Fortunately, Cadbury UK has been quick to warn its customers that the message is absolutely nothing to do with the brand. If you receive the message, do not interact.
Next, a warning that shoppers are being targeted with a fake Tesco refund email. The email, claiming that recipients are due compensation from Tesco ‘because of a system error’, has been confirmed as a fake. Unlike other phishing attempts, this message didn’t have any branding and used random employee names to try to appear real. If you receive one of these emails, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and block the sender.
Also, Action Fraud tells me that they are aware of a scam circulating where criminals are contacting victims whilst claiming to be from Action Fraud. If you get a call from someone claiming to be from Action Fraud, hang up immediately. You can always contact Action Fraud directly on 0300 123 2040 to confirm whether the call was genuine.
We are now in the new tax year, so please beware of scam emails or messages that suggest you are owed a tax refund. Criminals use “hooks” to grab your attention by claiming you owe tax or are due a refund. HMRC will only contact you by letter about this. So, remember to #Stop/Challenge/Protect . It could keep your money and yourself safe!
Finally, some of the commonest scams reported to Action Fraud involve fraudsters connecting remotely to a victim’s computer. Never allow remote access to your computer following an unsolicited call, text message or browser pop-up.
Remote Access scams will often begin with a browser pop-up saying that your computer is infected with a virus, or maybe a call from someone claiming to be from your bank saying that they need to connect to your computer in order to cancel a fraudulent transaction on your account. Regardless of the narrative the fraudster’s use, their goal is to steal your money or access your financial information by tricking you into allowing them to remotely connect to your computer. So, only install software or grant remote access to your computer if you’re asked by someone you know and trust, such as a friend or family member, and never as a result of an unsolicited call, browser pop up, or text message. Remember, a bank or service provider will never contact you out of the blue requesting remote access to your device.
Protect your money by contacting your bank immediately on a different device from the one the scammer contacted you on.
Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk.
If you or someone you know is struggling to pay bills or outstanding debts, Citizens Advice may be able to help. Citizens Advice Sefton telephone service is available: Help To Claim advice line number for help claiming Universal credit is 0800 144 8444. 8am to 6pm. Mon to Fri. For general advice . 0808 278 7841 (freephone) Mon – Fri 9.30am – 4.30pm and text relay for people with hearing impairment: Text relay: 03444 111 445 for people with hearing impairment .The debt number is 0151 318 6407. 9.30 to 4.30 Mon to Fri. Our local website address is- www.https://seftoncab.org.uk/Citizens Advice Lancashire West telephone is available between 9.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday, & 9.00am and 1.00pm Saturdays on Adviceline 0344 245 1294 and Help to Claim line 0800 144 8 444. Their website address is – www.citizensadvicelancashirewest.org.uk