03/04/2017 Friend or foe? Over 200 reports of ‘friendly’ fraudster email scam in three days

Fraudsters are turning to kindness with new phishing emails which encourage the recipient to open an attachment on the false premise that they could have already fallen victim to scammers.

In the past three days, Action Fraud has received 226 reports from email users who have this email. The phishing email is sent from a fraudster who describes themselves a “law-abiding citizen” and has accidentally received the email recipient’s personal details. Attached to the phishing email is a document which the fraudster claims contains the recipient’s personal details. The fraudster suggests that the email recipient’s details may have been made available to scammers and they are contacting them to try to rectify the problem. To do so the recipient must open the document.

In reality, the attached document opens the door to malware being downloaded onto the victim’s computer. The malware attempts to obtain sensitive data from victims, such as banking credentials and passwords; this is subsequently used to take money from the victim.

In order to protect yourself from malware, having up-to-date virus protection is essential; however it will not always prevent you from becoming infected.

Protect yourself

• Don’t click on links or open any attachments you receive in unsolicited emails or SMS messages. Remember that fraudsters can ‘spoof’ an email address to make it look like one used by someone you trust. If you are unsure, check the email header to identify the true source of communication.
• Do not enable macros in downloads, enabling the macro will allow the malware to be installed onto your device
• Always install software updates as soon as they become available. Whether you are updating the operating system or an application, the update will often include fixes for critical security vulnerabilities.
• Create regular backups of your important files to an external hard drive, memory stick or online storage provider. It’s important that the device to which you back up isn’t left connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that too.
• If you think your bank details have been compromised, you should immediately contact your bank.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Avoid rogue traders. Use Warwickshire Trading Standards No Rogue Traders Here approved trader scheme
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

03/04/2017 Friend or foe? Over 200 reports of ‘friendly’ fraudster email scam in three days was last updated on April 3, 2017.

29/03/2017 Coleshill bogus TPS cold calls warning

Residents in the Coleshill area have reported receiving scam phone calls from people claiming to represent the Telephone Preference Service. The callers, who appear to phone from outside the UK, were trying to obtain personal details and would probably have asked for money to pay for 'TPS membership', had the calls not been terminated.

The TPS is a FREE service. TPS operators will NEVER make cold calls to a residents home.

Residents are advised not to buy at the door from unexpected doorstep traders.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Avoid rogue traders. Use Warwickshire Trading Standards No Rogue Traders Here approved trader scheme
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

29/03/2017 Coleshill bogus TPS cold calls warning was last updated on March 29, 2017.

29/03/2017 Double glazing warning

Warwickshire residents are being advised to contact double glazing businesses direct after one resident fell victim to a double glazing installer who took money but didn't deliver on his promises.

The victim approached a man wearing a t-shirt displaying the name and logo of a well known double glazing business at a motorway service station. She agreed for the trader to come to her property to measure up and he then took £1000 in cash as a deposit and for materials. No paperwork was ever provided and he then disappeared with the money.

Residents are advised not to buy at the door from unexpected doorstep traders.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Avoid rogue traders. Use Warwickshire Trading Standards No Rogue Traders Here approved trader scheme
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

29/03/2017 Double glazing warning was last updated on March 29, 2017.

14/03/2017 Door to door loyalty card warning

Warwick area residents have reported receiving unsuspected visits from a person selling shopping 'loyalty' cards door to door for £10 each. The seller claims that the cards provide a 10% discount at a number of stores, although resident's reported not recognising most of the store names. The seller did not appear to carry an ID badge.

Residents are advised not to buy at the door from unexpected doorstep traders.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Avoid rogue traders. Use Warwickshire Trading Standards No Rogue Traders Here approved trader scheme
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

14/03/2017 Door to door loyalty card warning was last updated on March 14, 2017.

28/02/2017 Storm Doris! Beware of bogus cold callers

In the wake of damage caused by Storm Doris Warwickshire Trading Standards is issuing a warning for people to beware of bogus cold callers.

Rogue traders use unusually stormy weather as a way of persuading people that they need work done on their property – such as repairing loose roof tiles or removing damaged trees.

You can't tell a good trader from a bad one on the doorstep. Avoid buying from unexpected/unknown doorstep traders.

If you are looking for a Trading Standards approved and vetted trader, consider using Warwickshire Trading Standards new approved trader scheme - No Rogue Traders Here

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Avoid rogue traders. Use Warwickshire Trading Standards No Rogue Traders Here approved trader scheme
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

28/02/2017 Storm Doris! Beware of bogus cold callers was last updated on February 28, 2017.

27/02/2017 Car clamp advice Leamington Spa

Warwickshire Trading Standards Service has become aware of reports of car clamping being carried out in the Leamington Spa area. This may be being carried out by the DVLA targeting un-taxed vehicles.

However, in case there are any rogue car clampers operating, this is the law:

Vehicle owners are advised that it is a criminal offence for anyone to clamp a vehicle on private land if they do not have lawful authority. Lawful authority to immobilise or move a vehicle is restricted to organisations such as the police, DVLA and local authorities.

Further, clamping of a vehicle on a public highway can only be done by public bodies.

If you believe your vehicle has been clamped unlawfully, please contact Warwickshire Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506 for advice.

If it is safe to do so, vehicle owners may wish to consider taking photographs of the clamp in situ and any parking restriction signs etc.

If a vehicle owner feels threatened, they should call the Police.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Avoid rogue traders. Use Warwickshire Trading Standards No Rogue Traders Here approved trader scheme
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

27/02/2017 Car clamp advice Leamington Spa was last updated on February 28, 2017.

14/02/2017 Cold caller ‘home loss’ threat

Retired homeowners are warned to beware of unexpected phone calls from sales people who are using scare tactics and claiming that the Government can take their home. These callers may attempt to give the impression that they are legally trained solicitors and that their services are free of charge. In reality however, they are sales people attempting to get homeowners to pay out potentially thousands of pounds to create trusts and similar legal devices with a view to protect a home or assets from being sold to pay for care fees.

Anyone receiving such a call should note:

  • If you require legal advice, ensure you speak to an expert, for example a solicitor.
  • Councils may view attempts to avoid residential care home fees in this way as deliberate deprivation of assets.
  • Never buy goods or services from cold callers.
  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Avoid rogue traders. Use Warwickshire Trading Standards No Rogue Traders Here approved trader scheme
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

14/02/2017 Cold caller ‘home loss’ threat was last updated on February 14, 2017.

06/02/2017 Nuneaton: Tarmac gang impersonate Warwickshire Highways workers warning

Nuneaton residents and businesses are warned to beware of a known gang of rogue traders falsely claiming to be Warwickshire Highways staff, operating across the town.

A Nuneaton trader was approached by men who appeared to be carrying out some tarmacking work on the road/pavement outside his business. They told the trader that they were Warwickshire Highways staff and offered to fill in the pot holes in his driveway/car park with some 'left over' tarmac.

The trader did not agree to the work but they started anyway before demanding £2000.

This is the first time that Trading Standards Officers have encountered rogue traders using small amounts of tarmac on the road/pavement to give the impression they are genuine highway workers.

Warwickshire Highways staff will NEVER offer to carry out tarmacking work on the private properties of traders or residents.

Trading Standards Officers are now investigating.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Avoid rogue traders. Use Warwickshire Trading Standards No Rogue Traders Here approved trader scheme
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

06/02/2017 Nuneaton: Tarmac gang impersonate Warwickshire Highways workers warning was last updated on February 6, 2017.

06/02/2017 Doorstep smart meter fitter visit warning

Warwickshire residents are warned to beware of unexpected visits from people claiming to represent energy firms offering to fit smart meters. A resident recently reported that he had received a knock at the door from some one who claimed to have come to fit a smart meter at his property. The resident had no prior knowledge of the caller and when challenged was told 'it's the law'. This in not entirely correct although if your energy supplier has contacted you to change your energy meter to a smart meter because your current meter needs replacing (i.e it's too old), then you should get it replaced as it could be a safety hazard not to. If you don't want a smart meter then your supplier may offer to install a 'dumb' meter or a smart meter set up to work in 'dumb' mode with all the communications switched off.

Trading Standards suspects that the caller was probably seeking access to the house with the aim of getting the resident to change his energy supplier, although a distraction burglary attempt cannot be ruled out.

  • NEVER allow any one you don't know or trust in to your home
  • If you believe that a visit by an energy representative is genuine, check with your supplier first on a public listed number.
  • Trading Standards advises consumers to check annually if they can save money on their energy bills by using an energy comparison website
  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Avoid rogue traders. Use Warwickshire Trading Standards No Rogue Traders Here approved trader scheme
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

06/02/2017 Doorstep smart meter fitter visit warning was last updated on February 6, 2017.

25/01/2017 Rogue traders tackled with approved trader scheme partnership

Worried about rogue traders? Warwickshire Trading Standards has entered in to a new partnership with No Rogue Traders Here - an approved trader scheme.

‘No Rogue Traders Here’ is an approved trader scheme with a difference, putting consumers in touch with traders who have been fully vetted.

All traders are:

  • Approved by Trading Standards
  • Bankruptcy and identity checked
  • Home and business addresses verified
  • Licences and insurance verified
  • Monitored on both quality & price
  • Interviewed before being admitted to the scheme

‘No Rogue Traders Here’ vetted traders include: Builders – Roofers – Plumbers – Double Glazing – Central Heating & Boilers – Electricians – Carpenters – Decorators – Bathrooms – Kitchens – Driveways. They also have handymen who will carry out small jobs.

To find out more and register, visit: No Rogue Traders Here or phone 0800 233 5000.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Avoid rogue traders. Use Warwickshire Trading Standards No Rogue Traders Here approved trader scheme
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

25/01/2017 Rogue traders tackled with approved trader scheme partnership was last updated on January 25, 2017.

16/01/2017 ‘Migrant Helpline’ exposing computer users to Ramnit malware

Scammers are reported to be sending out bogus emails that purport to come from a genuine charity called Migrant Helpline, to trick computer users in to downloading Ramnit, a type of malware designed to steal personal and corporate banking details.

The email address sending most of the bogus emails is noreply@yeshivadonations.com, but this may change. The email itself it titled ‘Thank you for choosing to donate to Migrant helpline’ and makes reference to a donation of £196. It invites recipients who wish to query the donation (because they haven't made one) to click on a link in the email. At this point the malware is downloaded on to the recipient's computer.

This fraud is in no way related to the genuine charity

This and many other phishing emails are being sent out with the sole purpose of encouraging users to click on a link, leading to a malware download.

Beware of any unusual emails you might receive and delete them without opening them, clicking on any link they might contain or downloading any attachments. Even emails that appear to come from businesses or people you know or trust should be treated with caution. The email addresses of your family and friends or businesses you trade with could have been spoofed (or forged)!

If you receive an email from a business you buy goods or services from or a bank or utility company, never follow any links in their emails. Instead, always visit the company's website by typing their web address into your browser.

When choosing a web mail account (such as gmail or Hotmail)  make sure it offers spam/junk mail filtering and keep this feature turned on.

Most internet security packages also include spam/junk mail blocking. Ensure that the one you use is up to date and switched on.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

16/01/2017 ‘Migrant Helpline’ exposing computer users to Ramnit malware was last updated on January 16, 2017.

16/01/2017 BT launch new nuisance and scam call blocker – free for BT home phone customers

BT have launched a new proactive scam and nuisance call blocking service called BT Call Protect. It's free for BT home phone customers, but to benefit, most customers will need to sign up for the new service.

BT Call Protect proactively monitors nuisance calls and automatically prevents them getting through to your phone by sending them directly to a junk voicemail. BT will identify nuisance calls on the BT Blacklist which will automatically send them to your junk voicemail.

You can also create your own personal blacklist to send all future calls from unwanted numbers to your junk voicemail.

BT has a team of experts who analyse masses of data to identify nuisance calls and create the BT blacklist. Numbers on this blacklist will be sent directly to your junk voicemail. The team is continually updating the list with new nuisance numbers, so you can be sure it’s up to date.

The blacklist also includes Scam numbers detected by the BT Security team.

BT Call Protect

16/01/2017 BT launch new nuisance and scam call blocker – free for BT home phone customers was last updated on January 16, 2017.

13/01/2017 More threatening ‘HMRC’ scam phone calls!

Warwickshire consumers are continuing to report threatening bogus phone calls from scammers claiming to be HMRC.

The recorded phone calls falsely claim that HMRC have filed a lawsuit against them and request that they press 1 to speak to a call handler or the Police.

People who have responded have reported being asked for their National Insurance Number and other personal details, suggesting that this is an organised attempt to steal personal and financial information for the purposes of identity theft and other criminal activity.

This phone scam, along with a number of others appear to be use phone numbers beginning with the Manchester prefix 0161.

Residents are advised to put the phone down immediately on receiving a call of this nature. Never follow any instructions given or reveal any personal or financial information.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

13/01/2017 More threatening ‘HMRC’ scam phone calls! was last updated on January 13, 2017.

13/01/2017 Mobile upgrade scam leaves residents paying for two phones!

Warwickshire consumers are warned to beware of bogus phone calls from people falsely claiming to be their mobile phone provider.

One Warwickshire resident reported receiving a phone call from someone who claimed to be calling from EE, offering an upgrade to his mobile phone. The consumer agreed the contract but when the phone later arrived he realised that his contract was not with EE at all but with another company, leaving him paying contracts for two separate mobile phones!

Despite cancelling the new contract, the bogus trader continued to take money from his account.

Never agree to buy goods or services from cold callers. If you think an offer is genuine, ask to phone back via a publicly listed telephone number.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

13/01/2017 Mobile upgrade scam leaves residents paying for two phones! was last updated on January 13, 2017.

10/01/2016 Bogus PPI claim scams

Warwickshire residents  are warned to beware of scam phone calls from people arranging delivery of bogus PPI awards.

A Warwick district resident reported receiving a telephone call from someone who claimed to be arranging the couriering of a £3750 PPI award  payment to his home. The resident was asked to hand over a fee of £375 in iTunes vouchers when the courier arrived. The caller knew both the resident's name and address.

This scam can involve the handing over of forged or stolen cheques in return for the iTunes voucher. In many cases, the courier may simply just try to obtain the voucher's serial number and not hand over anything.

The perpetrators of the scam only need the voucher serial number to redeem it, they don't need the physical card. Therefore, the serial number can be passed on to criminal gangs operating abroad.

The phone calls are often made from call centres in the Far East, even though the callers use english sounding names.

Never pay for any goods or services using iTunes vouchers. 

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

10/01/2016 Bogus PPI claim scams was last updated on January 10, 2017.

06/01/2017 Fake Amazon email warning

Action Fraud has received several reports from victims who have been sent convincing looking emails claiming to be from Amazon. The spoofed emails from “service@amazon.co.uk” claim recipients have made an order online and mimic an automatic customer email notification.
The scam email claims recipients have ordered an expensive vintage chandelier. Other reported examples include: Bose stereos, iPhone’s and luxury watches.

The emails cleverly state that if recipients haven’t authorised the transaction they can click on the help centre link to receive a full refund. The link leads to an authentic-looking website, which asks victims to confirm their name, address, and bank card information.

Amazon says that suspicious e-mails will often contain:

  • Links to websites that look like Amazon.co.uk, but aren't Amazon.co.uk.
  • Attachments or prompts to install software on your computer.
  • Typos or grammatical errors.
  • Forged (or spoofed) e-mail addresses to make it look like the e-mail is coming from Amazon.co.uk.

Amazon will never ask for personal information to be supplied by e-mail.
You can read more about identifying suspicious emails claiming to be from Amazon by visiting https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201489210

To report a fraud or cyber crime, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

06/01/2017 Fake Amazon email warning was last updated on January 6, 2017.

05/01/2017 Boiler calls warning

Warwickshire residents are warned to beware of persistent and unwanted phone calls from people claiming to be offering free boilers for householders on benefits. Consumers are warned that these calls may be being made by people who actually want to sell you overpriced boiler cover or a boiler at a 'discount' which may not save you money at all!

Never agree to purchase goods or services from cold callers, or arrange for those callers to visit your home. It can be hard to tell a good trader from a bad one on the doorstep! If you are looking for a new boiler, consider using local businesses and where possible go on recommendation.

Some householders on certain benefits may qualify for free boiler grants funded by energy companies as part of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). To find out if you can benefit from ECO funding, please contact the Energy Saving Advice Service (0300 123 1234)

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

05/01/2017 Boiler calls warning was last updated on January 6, 2017.

14/12/2016 Lloyds bank scam letter warning

Lloyds customers should be on the lookout for a new sophisticated fraud that involves fraudsters sending fake bank letters.

The convincing letters being sent are a replica template from Lloyds and include their logo, address and signature from a customer service representative.

The letter tells recipients that there have been some “unusual transactions” on their personal account and asks them to call a number highlighted in bold to confirm they are genuine.

When victims call the number, an automated welcome message is played and the caller is asked to enter their card number, account number and sort code followed by their date of birth.Victims are then instructed to enter the first and last digit of their security number.

The bank has confirmed that the phone number and letters are fake.

The letters are essentially a sophisticated phishing attempt and serves as a warning to consumers to question written correspondence from their banks.

If you are ever suspicious about correspondence from your bank you should call the customer serviced number on the back of their card.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

14/12/2016 Lloyds bank scam letter warning was last updated on December 14, 2016.

13/12/2016 Bogus Trading Standards Officers warning!

Victims of rogue traders and other doorstep criminals are warned to beware of visits from people falsely claiming to be Trading Standards Officers. One Warwickshire doorstep crime victim reported being approached by an individual who introduced himself as a Trading Standards Officer and flashed a ID photo card. He claimed that money the victim had lost had been recovered.

This is a well known scam whereby the accomplices of rogue traders visit the homes of doorstep crime victims. On the basis of claiming they are there to return money lost by the victim, they then ask for more money upfront to pay for court costs etc.

Do not let people you don't know or trust in to your home.

Keep your door chain on.

If you believe a visitor to be genuine, phone their office using a publicly listed telephone number.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

13/12/2016 Bogus Trading Standards Officers warning! was last updated on December 13, 2016.

09/12/2016 Cyber-Crime

Cyber-Crime Survey

How safe do you feel online? Help us to get a picture of cyber-crime in the region by completing the second annual cyber-crime survey.

Warwickshire, West Mercia and the West Midlands have joined forces to launch the survey which will look at how people are affected by online crime and how aware they are of the dangers that exist. Take the cyber-crime survey

Closing date for responses is Monday 9th January 2017.

More information

09/12/2016 Cyber-Crime was last updated on December 9, 2016.

01/12/2016 Facebook sellers warning

Warwickshire consumers are warned to be wary of purchasing goods from Facebook sellers where payment is asked for via a direct a bank transfer. One consumer reported buying a phone from someone advertising via Facebook. The buyer and seller communicated using messenger.

However, after the payment was made , the seller blocked the buyer and deleted their chat communication. The phone was not delivered.

Buyers should consider paying in cash and avoid wherever possible bank transfers.

More advice on buying and selling on Facebook

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

01/12/2016 Facebook sellers warning was last updated on December 1, 2016.

01/12/2016 Government ‘money’ overpayment scam

Warwickshire residents have reported receiving phone calls to say that they were shortly to receive a cheque from the Government for money that they had overpaid. The callers then go on to try and obtain bank details and other personal and financial information.

Residents are warned never to reveal any personal or financial information to cold callers. This information can be used for identity theft and other crimes.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

01/12/2016 Government ‘money’ overpayment scam was last updated on December 1, 2016.

30/11/2016 ‘Model’ agency’ warning

Warwickshire residents are warned to beware of  'model agencies' that take huge fees for portfolios of photographs and promise modelling contracts that never materialise. One Warwickshire resident reported paying almost £800 after attending a 'photo-shoot'. She was given assurances that a modelling contract would be forthcoming and paid almost £800 for a portfolio of photographs. However, no contract was offered.

Rogue modelling agencies have little or no links to the genuine modelling industry. They show a great deal of interest in a new client and often makes promises that a contract will be forthcoming in order to get the client to pay hundreds of pounds for a portfolio of photographs, often worth very little.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

30/11/2016 ‘Model’ agency’ warning was last updated on November 30, 2016.

30/11/2016 ‘Nottingham Knockers’ operating in South Warwickshire

Warwickshire Trading Standards has received reports from Warwickshire Police that groups of so called 'Nottingham Knockers' have been operating in the South Warwickshire area in the past few days. These doorstep callers offer small household products for sale which may be of poor quality and pressure homeowners in to buying by falsely claiming to be ex-convicts on probation schemes.

Warwickshire Trading Standards advise householders not to buy at the door from unexpected doorstep traders. If in doubt, keep your door closed.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

30/11/2016 ‘Nottingham Knockers’ operating in South Warwickshire was last updated on November 30, 2016.

24/11/2016 Home for sale fraud and how to protect yourself

A homeowner who only discovered that he had been the victim of identity theft after he saw his £500,000 house for sale on Rightmove has prompted Warwickshire Trading Standards to issue some advice on identity theft and on protecting the deeds to your property.

A recent BBC article describes how criminals stole the victim's mail and forged his signature in order to falsify the documents needed to transfer the deeds to his property in to their name. They then put his house in to a property auction.

People who have paid off their mortgages are more vulnerable to this type of scam because the criminals are able to transfer the house deeds without needing the extra authority of the lender.

The Land Registry has a range of advice on their website on how you can protect yourself from property related fraud. This includes signing up to a Property Alert service. You can get alerts for up to 10 properties and there’s no fee. You do not need to own the property so you can receive alerts on behalf of a family member. You will receive an alert if someone applies to change the register of your property, for example if someone tries to use your property for a mortgage or tries to change the property deeds in to their name.

This won’t automatically block any changes to the register but will alert you when something changes so that you can take action.

Identity Theft Advice

There is a range of advice available from Action Fraud on how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you are a victim of identity theft.

Protect Yourself

  • Don’t throw out anything with your name, address or financial details without shredding it first.
  • If you receive an unsolicited email or phone call from what appears to be your bank or building society asking for your security details, never reveal anything (for example, your full password, login details or account numbers)! Be aware that a bank will never ask for your PIN or for a whole security number or password.
  • If you think the call is genuine wait five minutes and call your bank from a different telephone making sure there is a dialling tone. Always phone back on a publicly listed telephone number, not the number you were given.
  • Check your statements carefully and report anything suspicious to the bank or financial service provider concerned.
  • Don’t leave things like bills lying around for others to look at.
  • If you’re expecting a bank or credit card statement and it doesn’t arrive, tell your bank or credit card company.
  • If you move house, ask Royal Mail to redirect your post for at least a year.
  • These credit reference agencies offer a credit report checking service to alert you to any key changes on your credit file that could indicate potential fraudulent activity: • Callcredit • Equifax • Experian •ClearScore • Noddle
  • It is particularly helpful to check your personal credit file 2-3 months after you have moved house.

What should you do if you’ve been a victim of identity fraud?

  • Act quickly – you mustn’t ignore the problem. Even though you didn’t order those goods or open that bank account, the bad debts will end up under your name and address.
  • If you believe you’re a victim of identity fraud involving plastic cards (e.g. credit and debit cards), online banking or cheques, you must report it to your bank as soon as possible. Your bank will then be responsible for investigating the issue and they will report any case of criminal activity to the police. The police will then record your case and decide whether to carry out follow-up investigations.
  • If you think you’re a victim of another kind of identity fraud, you must report the matter to the relevant organisation. Depending on their advice, you should then alert your local police force.
  • You should report all lost or stolen documents – such as passports, driving licences, plastic cards, cheque books – to the relevant organisation.
  • If you’re not sure which organisation to call, contact Action Fraud for advice on 0300 123 2040.
  • Contact the Royal Mail Customer Enquiry line on 08457 740 740 if you suspect your mail is being stolen or that a mail redirection has been fraudulently set up on your address. The Royal Mail has an investigation unit that will be able to help you.
  • Get a copy of your credit report. A credit report will show you any searches done by a lender, what date the search took place, what name and address it was done against and also for what type of application. It will also show what credit accounts are set up in your name. You can contact any one of these credit reference agencies and receive support in resolving credit report problems caused by identity fraud. • Callcredit • Equifax • Experian • ClearScore • Noddle.
  • Look at your credit report closely. If you find entries from organisations you don’t normally deal with, contact them immediately. Remember to keep a record of all your actions, including the people you’ve spoken to and when, and keep copies of all letters you send and receive.
  • The credit reference agencies will contact lenders on your behalf where fraudulent applications have been made or fraudulent credit accounts opened in order to restore your credit history to its former state.
  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

24/11/2016 Home for sale fraud and how to protect yourself was last updated on November 24, 2016.

23/11/2016 Bogus Talk Talk warning

Fraudsters are again phoning Warwickshire residents pretending to represent TalkTalk.

The fraudsters, (who appear to be based in call centres in the Far East),  are known to make a number of false claims, including:

  • there is a problem with your Internet reception
  • there is a problem with your router
  • a file downloaded on to your computer needs to be 'cleaned'
  • there is a virus on your computer that needs removing
  • you are experiencing 'technical issues'

They then ask you a series of questions before requesting you to carry out a number of tasks on your computer. These tasks are designed to provide them with remote access to your computer. They can then steal personal and financial information including user names and passwords.

They can often be quite persuasive and sometimes aggressive on the phone.

Always put the phone down. Never provide remote computer access to any cold caller.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

23/11/2016 Bogus Talk Talk warning was last updated on November 23, 2016.

15/11/2016 Call prevention cold call scams

Warwickshire residents are warned to beware of cold calls from people offering 'call prevention services'. These callers claim to be able to offer you protection against, ironically, cold calls, for a small monthly fee. In reality, if they do anything at all, the simply register your details with the Telephone Preference Service, a free to register service.

Would you give your bank details to a stranger in the street? No? Then NEVER give your bank details to cold callers. Never buy goods or services from cold callers. ALWAYS put the phone down.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

15/11/2016 Call prevention cold call scams was last updated on November 15, 2016.

15/11/2016 Scam ‘Warwickshire awareness campaign’ warning

Residents are warned to beware of cold calls made from a mobile telephone number, from someone selling 'monitored' burglar alarms. The caller claims that they are working on a 'Warwickshire Awareness Campaign' backed by Warwickshire County Council, selling devices that will alert the emergency services in the event of an emergency. The caller claims that the system is entirely free to the over 55's, bar a £300 installation fee.

Warwickshire Trading Standards can confirm that Warwickshire County Council is not running any such campaign. This is a scam.

These cold calls are being made by rogue/high pressure alarm businesses wishing to install monitored alarms in resident's homes.  The alarms are often offered free of charge or for a low cost, but after installation residents are pressurised in to signing up to a high priced monitoring contract costing several thousand pounds.

NEVER buy goods or services from a cold caller.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

15/11/2016 Scam ‘Warwickshire awareness campaign’ warning was last updated on November 15, 2016.

15/11/2016 BT scam warning

Warwickshire residents are warned to beware of a 'new' phone scam.

A Rugby area couple reported receiving a phone call from someone falsely claiming to work for BT. The caller informed the couple that unfortunately, their direct debit payment for their phone hadn't gone through. They confirmed the victims name/address etc and asked who they banked with. They then informed them that their bank would call them back in 15 mins to discuss.

The "Bank" (the fraudsters) then called back and tried unsuccessfully to obtain security question and other bank details from them.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

15/11/2016 BT scam warning was last updated on November 15, 2016.

15/11/2016 ‘Charity’ books for schools sponsorship scam

Warwickshire businesses and charities are warned to beware of  cold calls from a rogue publication company claiming to be a charity. The bogus charity claims to be seeking sponsorship for books for schools. In reality, these books are hardly ever printed or distributed, making the sponsorship worthless.

NEVER engage in conversation with these callers or ask to be sent any information. They will record phone calls and attempt to portray any interest as a verbal contract to buy/sponsor.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

15/11/2016 ‘Charity’ books for schools sponsorship scam was last updated on November 15, 2016.

11/11/2016 Bogus NHS cold callers selling mobility products warning!

Older residents are warned to beware of high pressure cold calls from companies selling mobility equipment and furniture. The cold callers falsely claim they are carrying out a survey on behalf of the NHS before trying to organise visits to the consumer's home on the pretence of delivering a 'free gift' and measuring up for new products.

The cold caller's telephone numbers may appear local, but they are unlikely to be located in Warwickshire. They are reported to be very persistent and may phone several times.

Residents are advised to put the phone down. 

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

11/11/2016 Bogus NHS cold callers selling mobility products warning! was last updated on November 11, 2016.

10/11/2016 Beware of bogus Telephone Preference Service callers

A consumer reported receiving a phone call from someone claiming to represent the Telephone Preference Service. The caller asked the consumer to confirm their details, (the caller knew the name and address of the consumer) and then asked the consumer for the visa card details that were used when the consumer registered with the TPS.

These are bogus phone calls. The TPS is a free service. Consumers do not need to provide a debit or credit card to register and no one from the TPS would ever phone a consumer to confirm their name and address, nor ask for bank account or card details.

Never reveal personal or financial information to cold callers. These are criminal gangs that are only interested in stealing your account information or setting up direct debits for bogus services.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

10/11/2016 Beware of bogus Telephone Preference Service callers was last updated on November 10, 2016.

10/11/2016 More threatening HMRC bogus phone calls!

Warwickshire Trading Standards are issuing further warnings about the HMRC phone scam after receiving more complaints today.

Recipients of these phone calls are told that they owe money to HMRC and are threatened with legal action, bankruptcy or a visit from the Police or a bailiff if they don't pay up.

Some victims have paid these bogus debts with itunes vouchers.

Many Warwickshire consumers have reported persistent and aggressive HMRC scam phone calls and text messages. Some phone calls are 'live' and some recorded.

If you receive a unexpected phone call from someone claiming to represent HMRC demanding money, put the phone down. If you believe the phone call to be genuine, phone HMRC back on a publicly listed phone number.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

10/11/2016 More threatening HMRC bogus phone calls! was last updated on November 10, 2016.

04/11/2016 Bogus ‘summons’ Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) emails

You've Been Summoned!

Fraudsters are sending out a wave of scam emails purporting to be from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that claim you have to appear in court.

Concerned members of the public have reported receiving the email entitled “You’ve been witness summoned to court”.

The email entices people to click on a link to view their start time/case details. This link is likely to lead to malware.

This email has no connection to the CPS and anyone receiving the email should not download any attachments or click on any links.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

04/11/2016 Bogus ‘summons’ Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) emails was last updated on November 4, 2016.

20/10/2016 Used car deposit warning

Buying a used car? Warwickshire Trading Standards are warning consumers to think twice before paying deposits to hold vehicles they are interested in buying.

Trading Standards has received an increasing number if complaints from car buyers who paid 'holding deposits' for vehicles which were then either sold to someone else before they could view it, or the vehicle was markedly different to the advert. In both cases they should have received their deposit back, but did not.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via  on 03454 040506.
  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

20/10/2016 Used car deposit warning was last updated on October 20, 2016.

20/10/2016 False vehicle registration warning to internet car buyers

Purchasers of second hand cars advertised on websites are warned to beware of a new scam involving the use of false vehicle registration numbers.

Consumers can now find a lot about the car they are interested in buying by putting the vehicle's registration number in to a free Government website, including information on a vehicle's mileage and condition.

This has led some unscrupulous sellers of dodgy vehicles to remove or obscure the licence plate of the cars they are selling on photographs posted on the Internet.

One Warwickshire resident expressed an interest in a vehicle that was being sold on a popular Internet classified advert website. The vehicle was shown without the number plates visible, so the buyer contacted the seller to ask for the registration number. The seller supplied him with a registration number and the buyer carried out a range of free and low cost checks on the vehicle. Satisfied with the result he then paid for the vehicle online and went to collect the car. When he arrived it turned out the the seller had given him a registration number for another vehicle of the same make/model, but not the one he had purchased. This car, the one he had paid for, was in a very poor condition with a high mileage!

Trading Standards advise consumers to be wary of purchasing vehicles without seeing them first and be suspicious of any advert where the licence plate of the vehicle cannot be seen affixed to the vehicle.

The new 'check before you buy' free web tools are now an important weapon in a car buyer's armoury to protect them against buying vehicles in a poor state that may be clocked or even unroadworthy. Some additional low cost checks can also help ensure that the car is not stolen or on finance.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via  on 03454 040506.
  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

20/10/2016 False vehicle registration warning to internet car buyers was last updated on October 20, 2016.

20/10/2016 Door to door cavity wall warning

Warwickshire residents are warned to beware of unexpected doorstep callers offering 'free, Government funded' cavity wall insulation and other energy efficiency measures.

Trading Standards are concerned that some unscrupulous traders may be using the offer of 'free' insulation to convince homeowners to sign up to energy efficiency measures that may not be appropriate for their property and may end up costing them money.

Funding for energy saving measures may be available to some residents if they are on certain benefits and own or privately rent their home, often via their energy supplier.

The Government has posted information on energy saving improvements and eligibility criteria on its website. Consumers can also phone the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm).

It can be very difficult to tell a good trader from a bad one on the doorstep. Trading Standards urges homeowners not to be seduced by the offer of something free on the doorstep. Residents should instead speak to the Energy Saving Advice Service to get the facts.

It can be difficult telling a good trader from a bad one on the doorstep - never buy goods or services from unexpected callers!

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

20/10/2016 Door to door cavity wall warning was last updated on October 20, 2016.

07/10/2016 Friends against scams

A new campaign has launched today to raise awareness of scams and encourage people to take a stand against them.

Scams often target people in vulnerable situations - the Friends Against Scams campaign aims to protect and prevent these people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to ‘Take a Stand Against Scams’.

Each year scams cause between £5bn and £10bn worth of detriment to UK consumers. In addition to the financial impact, scams can have a severe emotional and psychological impact on victims.

For more information and to complete an online awarenss session on scams, please visit: Friends Against Scams

07/10/2016 Friends against scams was last updated on October 7, 2016.

07/10/2016 Charity collectors Rugby

Warwickshire Trading Standards has been alerted by local businesses in Rugby to a man going from business to business claiming to be from Warwickshire County Council collecting money for a lung cancer charity. He was on foot and carrying a bag with money it it.

Warwickshire County Council are unaware of any such collection and warn businesses to be on their guard.

07/10/2016 Charity collectors Rugby was last updated on October 7, 2016.

23/09/2016 Rogue traders operating in Rugby – roofers

Warwickshire Trading Standards is warning local residents living in Rugby and more specifically in Bilton and Overslade to beware of itinerant door step visits from rogue traders offering roofing 'services'.

Trading Standards and Warwickshire Police have been dealing with incidents and will be distributing further advice and information to some local residents today.

Residents are advised not to buy goods or services from unexpected doorstep callers.

If in any doubt, do not open the door.

If you need to report a rogue trader, please phone Trading Standards on 03454 040506

More information: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/consumeradvice

23/09/2016 Rogue traders operating in Rugby – roofers was last updated on September 23, 2016.

16/09/2016 Postcode scam telephone call

A Warwickshire resident reported receiving three unexpected phone calls from someone claiming to be calling to check their postcode!

Never provide any personal or financial information to unexpected callers. Fraudsters gather information which can then be used to commit crime, including identity theft.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

16/09/2016 Postcode scam telephone call was last updated on September 16, 2016.

13/09/2016 More bogus HMRC phonecalls

More reports have been received about the current HMRC scam. A recorded telephone call, allegedly from HM Revenue and Customs, states that HMRC are bringing a lawsuit against the recipient of the phone call and will be suing them.

The recipient is asked to phone an 0161 number and press “1” to speak to the officer dealing with the case. Some victims of the scam have reported being asked to pay a fine using an iTunes gift card.

This scam is becoming widely reported and seems to be targeting older people. Please do not reply to the message.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

13/09/2016 More bogus HMRC phonecalls was last updated on September 13, 2016.

12/09/2016 Money mule warning to new and returning students

Students are warned to beware of criminal gangs targeting them to become money mules. Money mules are recruited to launder money obtained illegally. Money laundering is a criminal offence and can lead to prosecution and a custodial sentence.

Research conducted by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified a number of bank accounts that are operated by “money mules” and are being used for the purposes of laundering illegitimate money.

It is understood that students are being recruited, sometimes unwittingly, as “mules” by criminals to transfer illegally obtained money between different bank accounts.

What is a money mule?
A money mule is someone who is recruited by those needing to launder money obtained illegally.
Criminals advertise fake jobs in newspapers and on the internet, in a number of ways; usually offering opportunities to make money quickly, in order to lure potential money mule recruits.

These include:
- Social media posts
- Copying genuine company’s websites to create impression of legitimacy
- Sending mass emails offering employment
- Targeting individuals that have posted their CVs on employment websites

Students are particularly susceptible to adverts of this nature. For someone in full-time education, the opportunity for making money quickly can understandably be an attractive one.

The mule will accept money into their bank account, before following further instructions on what to do with the funds. Instructions could include transferring the money into a separate specified account or withdrawing the cash and forwarding it on via money transfer service companies like Western Union or MoneyGram.

The mule is generally paid a small percentage of the funds as they pass through their account.

Money Laundering is a criminal offence which can lead to prosecution and a custodial sentence.

Furthermore, it can lead to the mule being unable to obtain credit in the UK and prevented from holding a bank account.

PROTECTION / PREVENTION ADVICE

  • Be aware that the offence of money laundering carries a maximum prison sentence, in the UK, of 14 years.
  • Never give the details of your bank account to anyone that you do not trust.
  • No legitimate company will ever ask you to use your own bank account to transfer their money. Don’t accept any job offers that ask you to do this.
  • Be wary of unsolicited emails or social media posts promising ways of earning easy money. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Don’t be afraid to question the legitimacy of any businesses that make you a job offer, especially if the recruitment procedure strays from the conventional.
  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

12/09/2016 Money mule warning to new and returning students was last updated on September 12, 2016.

09/09/2016 Art investment scam warning

A Warwickshire resident reported receiving an unexpected phone call from someone claiming to work for the investment arm of a well known insurance company.

The caller offered the resident an 'opportunity' to invest in a fund based on an artwork auction sale.

The caller claimed that an investment of £2000 would yield a profit of between £700 and £900 within a couple of months!

NEVER respond to cold calls offering investment opportunities, even if you believe the call is genuine and to your advantage, (in which case take appropriate independent financial advice before phoning the business back on a publicly listed telephone number).

NEVER reveal any personal or financial information to cold callers.

REMEMBER, art, land banks, rare earth metals, fine wine and similar investments are likely to be unregulated and potentially high risk investments. They may also be scams. If something goes wrong you could lose all you money!

The Financial Conduct Authority has a range of information in its website about common investment scams. It also has a list of firms to avoid.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

09/09/2016 Art investment scam warning was last updated on September 9, 2016.

09/09/2016 Warwickshire Ebay sellers targeted by fraudsters

Warwickshire Trading Standards has received a number of complaints from sellers on Ebay that they have become victims of fraud.

In one case an Ebay seller was advertising sports equipment. The equipment was purchased and paid for using PayPal. They were then collected in person by the buyer. Some time later the seller then received an email from PayPal stating that a chargeback was being made and the payment for the equipment was being removed from their (the sellers) account. The reason given by PayPal was that the buyer had claimed they had not received the goods, despite having collected them and telling the seller that he was happy with his purchase. To further cover his tracks, the purchaser had claimed that he was experiencing problems with his Paypal account.

This is an example of chargeback fraud. Fraudsters purchase goods on Ebay and other auction websites and pay using PayPal. As soon as they have received the goods they claim they were never sent and seek to get their money back via a Paypal chargeback, leaving the seller without his/her goods and payment.

Sellers can help protect themselves by shipping to a confirmed address using a trackable service.

Fraudsters will seek to target sellers who send their goods via untracked services or try to collect the goods in person.

Sellers are strongly advised to send high value items via recorded delivery. If the buyer is collecting the goods, consider asking for payment in cash on collection.

Sellers should also scrutinise the buyer's feedback carefully, to see if there is any previous evidence of chargeback activity, especially before sending high value items.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

09/09/2016 Warwickshire Ebay sellers targeted by fraudsters was last updated on September 9, 2016.

08/09/2016 Door to door rogue fish seller warning

Stratford upon Avon and South Warwickshire residents are warned to beware of rogue traders selling fish and shellfish door to door in the local area. Reports have been received that the sellers were using high pressure/aggressive selling techniques.

These are not local traders with regular rounds. These fish sellers load up often un-refrigerated vans with fish from ports many miles away before driving them to other areas to sell.

The experience of Trading Standards is that fish sold in this way by rogue doorstep sellers is often misdescribed (cheaper fish sold as more expensive species) overpriced and not properly weighed, leaving consumers to pay over the odds. The fish may not even be edible.

  • Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Website Facebook Twitter
  • Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
  • Please feel free to pass on or re-publish this email alert

08/09/2016 Door to door rogue fish seller warning was last updated on September 9, 2016.

05/09/2016 Student rental scam warning

Students looking for rental accommodation are warned to beware fraudulent landlords.

Fraudsters use a variety of websites to advertise available properties to rent, often at attractive rates and convenient locations. Adverts will seem genuine, accompanied by a number of photos and contact information to discuss your interest.

Due to demand, students will often agree to pay upfront fees to secure the property quickly, without viewing the property, only to discover that the fraudster posing as the landlord does not have ownership of the property, or often there are already tenants living there.

Protect Yourself

Only use reputable letting companies.

Do some online research such as using Google maps to check the property does exist.

Make an appointment to view the property in person.

Always view the property prior to paying any advance fees.

Look out for warning signs, such as landlords requesting a ‘holding deposit’ due to the property being in high demand.

A landlord will usually conduct some due diligence on any successful applicant. Be wary of handing over cash without the landlord requesting employment or character references.

05/09/2016 Student rental scam warning was last updated on September 5, 2016.

22/08/2016 Blue badge online application or renewal warning

Warwickshire residents wishing to apply for or renew their blue badges online are warned to beware of new copycat websites that have appeared on web searches. The websites may appear official, but they are not. Instead they take an additional fee for processing a blue badge application or renewal, making the process more expensive using the official website.

At least four Warwickshire residents have recently contacted the council to complain.

Warwickshire Trading Standards urge consumers to contact their consumer advice service, the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506 if they come across any copycat websites.

Trading Standards nationally are working with search engine providers to remove these links from their search results.

The official blue badge application or renewal webpage is located at GOV.UK

22/08/2016 Blue badge online application or renewal warning was last updated on August 23, 2016.

09/09/2016 Computer software scam

Consumers are being advised to carefully verify who they are purchasing software from online after a Warwickshire resident reported having over £4000 removed from their bank account by a US based trader they had purchased software from. The software, which was advertised as a genuine Microsoft security package did not even work!

There have been many reports of fraudsters selling bogus 'Microsoft' security software. The fraudsters may take more money than originally agreed or demand further payments to return the money taken (advanced fee fraud). Software downloaded from bogus sellers may also contain viruses and malware, putting you PC at risk.

Shopping safely and securely online (BBC)

09/09/2016 Computer software scam was last updated on August 9, 2016.

08/08/2016 Warwickshire small businesses warned about ‘fire magazine’

Warwickshire small businesses are warned to beware of bogus publishers after one local trader received a phone call from someone fraudulently claiming to be calling from the fire station. The caller claimed that he was selling advertising in a newsletter to be distributed to schools.

Bogus publishers sell advertising in publications that have little or no distribution, making the advert essentially worthless. They often trick traders in to agreeing to advertising and bombard them demands for payment if they then refuse to pay up. They may falsely claim to be calling on behalf of an emergency service.

NEVER maintain a conversation with bogus publishers. DO NOT ask for price lists or examples of the magazine. Bogus publishers use interest shown by a potential 'client' as agreement to pay. ALWAYS put the phone down.


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