There are many different types of scams out there and this briefing paper cannot encapsulate all of them, but it's aim is to inform you about how you can reduce your risk to getting scammed.
The Annual Fraud Indicator estimates fraud losses to the UK at around £190 billion every year, with the private sector businesses hit hardest losing around £140 billion. The public sector may be losing more than £43 billion and individuals losing around £7 billion.
There seem to be more and more attempts at scams these days so it pays to be vigilant when answering the phone, responding to emails and even answering your own front door! There are several sources of advice and Age UK appear to have a good page with advice on many different types of scam. Citizens Advice also have some good information. Click the following images to take you to their pages.
A current local scam is regarding TV License renewal and reads as follows:-
We are sorry to let you know that the TV License could not be automatically renewed.
Something's gone wrong with your payments As we couldn't take the latest payment from your bank account, this amount will also need to be paid when you set up your new Direct Debit.
Setup Direct Debit Now (Link deactivated)
Remember, if you don't keep up with your payments, we may be forced to cancel your license or pass your details to a debt collection agency. To change your payment method, have a look at all your options. So, all you need to do is make sure there's enough money in your account. Or , if you prefer to pay the missed amount now, you can sign in online and pay using your debit or credit card. While you're signed in, please make sure we have your correct bank details. Regards, TV Licensing
Amazon Scam Alert
The scam, which we first reported on in October 2019, involves victims receiving an automated call, informing them that they have been charged for an Amazon Prime subscription.
They are subsequently instructed to ‘press 1’ to cancel the transaction. When they do this, they are directed to a fraudster posing as an Amazon customer service representative.
The fraudster advises the victim that the subscription was purchased fraudulently and that remote access to their computer is required in order to fix a security flaw that will prevent it from reoccurring.
The victim is asked to download a remote access application, often the ‘Team Viewer’ app, which grants the fraudster access to the victim’s computer.
The Team Viewer software is then misused by the criminal to capture sensitive personal and financial information from the victim’s computer.
Other variants of the crime involve fraudsters stating that the recipient is eligible for a refund for an unauthorised transaction on their Amazon account.
WHAT TO DO
Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.
Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information. It’s easy to feel embarrassed when faced with unexpected or complex conversations. But it’s okay to stop the discussion if you do not feel in control of it.
Never install any software or visit a website as a result of a cold call. Unsolicited requests for remote access to your computer should always raise a red flag.
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is the UK’s only official ‘Do Not Call’ register for landlines and Mobile numbers. It allows people and businesses to opt out of unsolicited live sales and marketing calls.
It’s free and quick to register a telephone number - click here. Doing so will reduce the amount of unwanted sales and marketing calls you receive. There is also a register for businesses, the Corporate Telephone Preference Service.
If a number is registered with the TPS/CTPS, organisations are legally required – by the Privacy and Electronic (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 – to refrain from calling it. In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office enforces the law and has power to fine firms that break it.
Organisations are required to screen against TPS/CTPS at least once every 28 days,
You can report fraud or cybercrime to Action Fraud any time of the day or night using our online reporting tool. Reporting online is quick and easy. The tool will guide you through simple questions to identify what has happened and our advisors are available twenty four hours to give you help and advice if you need it.
A message from TVBC
We have been made aware of a telephone scam:
Residents have been receiving phone calls from people claiming to be Test Valley Borough Council, advising there has been a computer error and they are due a refund on their council tax. This is not TVBC.
Residents are being asked for their name and address for a cheque to be sent. This is then followed up by a phone call claiming to be from the residents’ bank and they will ask the resident to confirm their banking details.
We would like to remind residents to not hand over any personal information to any incoming calls. Always contact your bank directly if you are concerned. For more information on keeping your personal information safe visit: www.testvalley.gov.uk and
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