|Scam Alert – Messages claiming to be from ‘TV Licencing’
We have received more reports from Norfolk residents about emails and text messages claiming to be from TV Licencing. Often these state that ‘Your TV Licence will expire’ and then offering a link to ‘Please Set up a new Direct Debit Now’.
These emails are not from TV Licencing and anyone following the link will be taken to a genuine looking fake version of the TV Licencing website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details. It is likely that many versions of this email will be circulating using a range of different ‘expire’ dates.
Action Fraud report that they have received more than 5,000 reports to them regarding this type of message. They offer the following advice:
Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.
For more information about how to stay safe online, visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk.
You can report suspicious messages to Action Fraud using their online form or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.
Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold caller in the Norwich area claiming to be ‘surveying about telephone cold calls’
We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving a report of a doorstep cold caller in the Norwich area.
In the incident a resident received a doorstep cold call from a man who claimed he was ‘surveying about telephone cold calls’ and during the conversation also stated he was ‘working on behalf of Trading Standards’. The man was carrying a clip board and left the area after a neighbour intervened and told him to leave the area.
Be very wary of claims made by doorstep cold callers. Please be aware Norfolk Trading Standards do not cold call at properties to undertake surveys and we don’t authorise anyone else to do this on our behalf.
Anyone concerned about doorstep cold calling 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.
Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from HMRC
We have received more reports from Norfolk residents about telephone cold calls claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Most of these cold calls claim to be in connection to non-payment of tax or other duty stating that the call recipient is liable to prosecution or other legal proceedings, such as repossession of belongings, to settle the outstanding balance. The cold caller will then say that to avoid action the debt can be settled immediately by bank transfer or by iTunes gift cards.
Often, the period for which the tax is allegedly due will be a significant number of years back making it harder for the call recipient to be sure or be able to verify any claims.
If the call recipient refuses to comply or is hesitant further threats of ‘immediate arrest’, ‘court appearances’, ‘bailiffs attending your home’ and ‘stopping pensions or benefits’ will be made by the cold caller.
Where payments are made the cold callers then sever all contact.
We always advise to be very wary of any approach made by a telephone cold call. If you receive this type of call our advice is do not interact with the call and hang up.
Action Fraud has issued the following advice regarding these cold calls:
It is vital that the public exercise caution when receiving messages or telephone calls of this nature:
- Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information. Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and contact details), it doesn’t mean they are genuine. Instead, contact the company or organisation directly using trusted methods such as a known email address or phone number.
- Listen to your instincts. If something feels wrong, then it is usually right to question it. No genuine organisation will ask you to pay taxes, bills or fees using iTunes Gift Cards, or any other type of voucher.
- Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.Scam Alert – WhatsApp Gold These messages are a scam and there is no genuine ‘WhatsApp Gold’. Anyone clicking on the link will be taken to a site which will attempt to infect their device with malware.If you ever receive a message claiming you can upgrade or install additional features to WhatsApp by clicking on a link ignore the message and delete it.We have received more reports about telephone cold calls claiming to be from BT Openreach.
- Recent reported calls have included several claims including:
- Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from BT Openreach
- Any update to the genuine WhatsApp will take place through the app itself.
- WhatsApp users need to be aware of a number of messages circulating again claiming to be offering access to ‘WhatsApp Gold’. These messages often claim that this download offers several enhancements over the existing WhatsApp along with a link to ‘sign up’.
- If you receive a call, text or email of this nature report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. If you have received handed a call, text or email of this nature and have handed over money or voucher details report it to Norfolk Constabulary on 101.
- Your service is about to be ‘suspended’
- Your broadband will be ‘disconnected within 24 hours’
- They have ‘detected issues with your broadband’
- They are calling about ‘poor performance with your broadband’
- That your router has been ‘hacked’
- 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 connected to 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