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Warwickshire Trading Standards latest scams, rogue traders and frauds alert

Beware Messages from Hacked Emails

Received an unusual email from someone you know? It may be because their email account has been hacked. Fraudster are taking control of Warwickshire residents email accounts to send bogus emails. The email usually asks the recipient to buy gift cards/vouchers (Amazon, Google or iTunes) for a present for a friend of the email sender. The email usually states that the sender can’t buy the vouchers themselves because they are ‘travelling’. Because the emails come from hacked accounts, people are more easily tricked in to believing they are genuine and some people have lost money this way. When the vouchers or gift cards are purchased, the fraudster asks the buyer to email them the voucher numbers, after which they can be used (the fraudster does not need the physical card).

Similar scams are also perpetrated via hacked social media accounts.

Which have recently issued an alert: https://conversation.which.co.uk/scams/amazon-hacked-email-gift-card-covid-scam/

 

National Insurance Scam

Warwickshire residents continue to receive very convincing recorded telephone messages from scammers claiming that fraudulent activity has been detected with regards to their National Insurance number. The message goes on to say that their NI number will be suspended and their assets seized if they don’t stay on the line and press a key to speak to someone. Those who do are sometimes convinced to hand over money to ‘sort the problem out’!

 

Bogus Netflix Email

If you subscribe to a subscription service like Netflix, beware of bogus emails stating that your account will be cancelled because of an outstanding invoice. The scam emails usually direct recipients (via links) to bogus websites where user names, passwords and other personal and financial information can be stolen.

Many of these emails carry the branding of the company they purport to come from.

If you are concerned, log in to your account via the secure web browser or app. Never do so via a link in an email.

 

You’ve Missed a Parcel!

With so many of us now ordering goods online due to COVID, fraudsters have been seeking to take advantage. Most recently Warwickshire consumers have reported receiving bogus Hermes text messages stating that they missed a parcel delivery and directing them via a link in the text to a website to reschedule the delivery. These links can take people to malicious websites where personal and financial information can be stolen. You may also be asked to pay a fee for your ‘missing parcel’ to be delivered!

 

Businesses Warned to Beware of Bogus COVID Roadmap Guidance

Some businesses have reported receiving bogus letters that claim to come from ‘Covid Task Force, part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)’. The letters claim that it is a legal requirement for air purifiers to be installed as part of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown. The letter includes an offer to sell such purifiers to the recipient with a request for company details.

The letter requests that an order form be completed and returned in the envelope provided and that a member of the Taskforce will be in contact and pressure to comply is added in stating failure to purchase the device could lead to fines of up to £5,000

However, these letters are entirely false. There is no legal requirement for businesses to install such purifiers.

Businesses are urged to raise awareness of the scam.

Businesses should only access advice from trusted sources, such as https://www.gov.uk/

Published: 30th April 2021