Tuesday, 11 June 2013

WAR - Trading Standards Update 11th June

11/06/2013 Carbon Off-Set Scam
A Warwickshire consumer reported to Trading Standards receiving cold-calls from someone claiming the consumer had previously verbally agreed to buy carbon off-sets and demanding to be paid. The caller threatened to credit ‘black-list’ the consumer!  The caller wanted to be paid in Euros but to an American bank. Carbon offset schemes allow individuals and companies to invest in environmental projects around the world in order to balance out their own carbon footprints.

Never provide your personal or financial information to unexpected callers and if you receive threatening phone calls, contact the Police.

11/06/2013 Bulkington and Anstey Loan Scam
A Bulkington resident reported to Trading Standards being offered a loan over the phone. The caller asked the consumer to pay £110 in Ukash vouchers as a first payment which the consumer paid. The caller then asked for a further £250 in Ukash vouchers for ‘security’ reasons’. The consumer paid again. At this stage he had still not received his loan. The caller then phoned back and asked for a further £300 in Ukash vouchers for ‘insurance’. At this point the consumer became suspicious and no further money was paid (the ‘loan’ was never provided).

In a similar case an Anstey resident was also offered a loan and was sent some terms and conditions by email. They were asked for an advanced payment of £195. Again, the caller did not provide the loan!

Fraudsters offer loans to vulnerable people, often approaching them by email or telephone. The fraudsters ask for money in advance of the release of the non-existent loan and will keep asking for more money until the consumer realises they are being scammed.

They often ask for the money to be sent in the form of Ukash vouchers or by Western Union transfer, two ways money can be transferred easily and with little traceability. Ukash and Western Union are both legitimate companies and warn of these sorts of scams themselves.

Never respond to these ‘loan’ offers. If you need help with money issues visit: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/familyfinancialhelp

11/06/2013 Tarmac Gang Warning Leamington Spa
Leamington Spa residents need to be aware of a tarmac gang operating in the area warn Warwickshire Trading Standards. Two men in a white flatbed open truck are reported to door knocking offering to tarmac driveways.

Never accept offers of services from unexpected callers. For more information on tarmac gangs visit: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams

11/06/2013 ‘Solicitor’ Cold Call
A South Warwickshire resident reported receiving an odd and unexpected phone call from someone with a foreign accent telling them they had been named in a court case and were asked to provide details of their solicitor! Never provide any personal or financial information to unexpected callers.

11/06/2013 Phone Bill Scam
A Nuneaton resident reported to Warwickshire Trading Standards receiving an unexpected phone call from someone who claimed that the consumer’s phone bill had not been taken and requested their sort code and bank account number. The caller said the consumer would be ‘cut-off’ if the consumer did not provide their details!

The consumer then received another unexpected phone call from someone claiming to be calling from the consumer’s bank requesting his phone banking PIN number.

The consumer did not provide any information on either case. If you receive a phone call from an organisation you think is genuine, phone them back on a publically listed telephone number.

11/06/2013 Model Agency Concern
A Nuneaton resident reported to Warwickshire Trading Standards that she was approached on Facebook by a ‘modelling agency’ who asked her to send semi-naked and then naked photos in return for paid work. The consumer sent a number of photos and was then asked for more. The trader would not provide their address to the consumer and then stopped answering her emails. No money was paid or work agreed. More information on model agency frauds: www.actionfraud.police.uk/fraudsters-using-social-media-to-pose-as-model-agents-mar13

11/06/2013 HMRC Scam
Do not respond to emails that purport to come from HMRC. These are scams! HMRC will not contact you unexpectedly in this way warn Warwickshire Trading Standards. Any unexpected emails that you receive to tell you that you have been awarded a rebate will have been sent by fraudsters.

Never click on any link in unexpected emails. The fraudulent email will take you to a copy of the genuine HMRC web page where your personal or financial information will be stolen. The emails use a number of email addresses that resemble the genuine HMRC email address including hmrc@gov.uk (this is a bogus email). Other bogus emails: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/security/examples.htm

Please feel free to cascade this information to whomever you feel appropriate (including using the information in your newsletters/websites etc.). 
If you have any information you wish to provide to Warwickshire Trading Standards Service, either for our information, or to appear in future email alerts, please email me.
For more information on scams, visit: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams
Follow us on twitter: www.twitter.com/warkstss
Simon Cripwell
Trading Standards Officer
Warwickshire Trading Standards Service
Warwickshire County Council
Old Budbrooke Road Warwick CV35 7DP
Tel: 01926 414039
Mob: 07771 975570
Follow us on twitter: www.twitter.com/warkstss
My normal working days are Monday to Thursday

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