Tuesday, 16 July 2013

WAR Police Warn of Telephone Scam That Could Cost You Thousands

Warwickshire Police has re-issued a warning about a telephone scam, which has already resulted in several people having several thousands of pounds withdrawn from their bank accounts.

The advice to anyone being contacted by telephone to advise of problems with direct debit payments is to end the call and contact your bank yourself to check whether there are any problems with bank payments.

The scam was first reported to Warwickshire Police in Kenilworth a few weeks ago when one elderly man found £13,800 had been withdrawn from his account.

WAR Trading Standards Update to 16th July

20130716 Bogus Callers Stratford

Warwickshire Trading Standards is warning householders in the Stratford area to beware of unexpected doorstep visits from people claiming to be from the ‘Council’.

A man and a woman approached the home of an elderly resident claiming to be from/work for the ‘council’, saying they were calling to ‘help’ residents with their disabilities. The callers did not offer or provide any identification and did not give their names. The resident declined their offer.

Trading Standards believe this was probably either some sort of distraction burglary attempt or an attempt by an unscrupulous disability aids firm to try and sell their wares door to door by pretending to represent a council official.

Do not buy goods or services from doorstep sellers. Report suspicious callers to the Police or to Trading Standards Service.

12/07/2013 Intrusive ‘Warwickshire’ Survey
Warwickshire Trading Standards Service has received a number of complaints from consumers who received unexpected phone calls from someone claiming to be calling on behalf of Warwickshire County Council or District Council.

The caller has been trying to ask personal questions (including height and weight) and shopping habits etc. Trading Standards are unaware of any local council surveying residents in this way and suspect this is more likely to be an unscrupulous marketing company collecting data which they can then sell. Personal data is very valuable and has a high value to businesses wanting to send junk mail etc.

Never give any personal or financial information to anyone who calls you unexpectedly.

12/07/2013 ‘Safety’ Hard Sell
Warwickshire residents are warned to beware of cold callers offering ‘safety’ equipment after Trading Standards received a complaint from a 90 year old South Warwickshire resident. The caller had used hard sell tactics to try and encourage the resident to agree to a visit from a sales rep.

12/07/2013 Rogue Trader Doorstep Warnings
Warwickshire Trading Standards has received a number of complaints about rogue door to door traders:

Nuneaton: A resident reported paying £3750 in cash to have her driveway jet washed and some pointing done, (very poorly). The rogue traders left a large amount of rubble on her property and took her to the bank to withdraw the money.

Whitnash: Beware of rogue traders operating door to door in the Whitnash area offering to ‘steam clean’ driveways.

Kineton: Rogue traders are operating door to door in the Kineton area. One resident was quoted £1900 to clean his driveway! The rogue traders drove a white van and were extremely persistent.

Rogue Trader Advice from Warwickshire Trading Standards

Recent scams reported to Warwickshire Trading Standards Service

02/07/2013 Local Businesses Warned of ‘Fire Safety’ Checks
Warwickshire Trading Standards are warning local businesses to beware of unexpected visits from people claiming to be carrying out ‘official’ or ‘statutory’ fire safety checks or falsely claiming they have on-going service contracts. Several Warwickshire businesses have complained about these tactics, employed by unscrupulous traders seeking to sell fire safety equipment, fire and burglar alarms and first aid kits. For genuine and unbiased fire safety advice visit: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/businessfiresafety

02/07/2013 Phone Call Holiday Scam Warning
A Spanish based rogue timeshare company is phoning Warwickshire consumers claiming they have been specially ‘picked’ and offered a ‘cut-price’ holiday. One very elderly resident was offered a two week luxury villa holiday and two weeks on a cruise for £650 following an unexpected phone call. The resident paid but then found the Spanish trader was making it impossible to book by claiming the individual was ‘too old’ or did not have enough money.

In reality, these ‘free’ or ‘cheap’ holiday offers are only made to get people to attend timeshare presentations abroad. But these rogue businesses only wish to attract people who are young enough that once they are pressured in to buying a timeshare will be paying for it for many years! More information in timeshare and holiday clubs visit: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandardsleaflets

02/07/2013 ‘Cash’ Offers!
A Nuneaton resident reported to Warwickshire Trading Standards receiving an unexpected phone call from someone who offered the resident £2139 if they first purchased £500 worth of vouchers! This may either have been a straight forward scam or someone offering money off vouchers. In a similar case a Binley Woods resident was called unexpectedly and offered a £20 petrol voucher. The resident had to pay £1 postage and was asked for their card details!

Never give out your debit or credit card details to unexpected callers, either on the phone or at the door!

02/07/2013 Finance ‘Overpayment’ Scam
A Warwick consumer contacted the Trading Standards Service after he had received a phone call from someone claiming he had ‘overpaid’ on a finance agreement. The consumer did not even have a finance agreement! These are scam calls from call centres looking for people who may be owed compensation for PPI. Remember, you do not need to pay a claims management company to obtain compensation you may be owed!

02/07/2013 Bogus Police Calls
A Kenilworth resident received an unexpected phone call from someone falsely claiming to be from Warwickshire Police, asking him to contribute to a road traffic incident. When the resident queried the caller, the caller was very abusive!

02/07/2013 Scam PPI Claimback
A Bagington resident contacted Warwickshire Trading Standards after receiving a phone call from some who claimed the resident would receive £2300 in PPI compensation, if they first paid £540 up front in vouchers!

02/07/2013 Be Careful With Your Pension!
Unscrupulous traders are cold calling Warwickshire residents offering to ‘sort out’ their pensions. One Leamington Spa resident reported being told that if he put all his pension in to one pot he would receive £1000 as a ‘reward’. Be extremely careful before you consider moving your pension. Take appropriate financial advice. Never accept goods or services from unexpected callers!

02/07/2013 iTunes and Tesco Phishing Scams
A consumer reported to Warwickshire Trading Standards receiving an unusual email falsely purporting to be from ITunes and claiming that the recipient’s ITunes account had been frozen. The phishing email asked that the recipient log in to his account by following a link in the email.

A similar email that is also being received by Warwickshire consumers claims they have been successfully chosen to receive £500 of Tesco vouchers. Again they are asked to follow a link in the email to provide their personal information before receiving their bogus reward.

Never follow links in suspicious emails or provide personal or financial information via them. Phishing emails are designed to steal your money and enable computer viruses to access your PC. Delete them instead!

02/07/2013 Door to Door Gold and Jewellery Buyers
Warwickshire Trading Standards is warning consumers to be wary of unexpected calls from door to door gold and jewellery buyers after complaints from Bedworth residents. Trading Standards Officers believe that some may be linked to door to door rogue traders.

Never accept offers to buy your gold or jewellery from the first person who comes to your door. If you have items to sell, get a range of offers from high street buyers. Don't sell to unxpected callers, you might get a very poor and uncompetitive price for your items!

02/07/2013 Home Insulation Warning
Atherstone residents reported to Warwickshire Trading Standards receiving unexpected doorstep visits from traders offering home insulation. The residents were told that the traders had been sent by the council and were offering ‘free’ or ‘grant paid’ insulation. This was untrue. One resident who signed up and later cancelled also found she had unwittingly agreed to change her energy supplier at the same time!

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

Monday, 8 July 2013

WAR - Superfast Broadband Events

An event will be held at Stratford on Avon District Council, Elizabeth House, Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon  CV37 6HX on Tuesday 16th July, doors open at 6.30 pm for a 7.00 pm start.

For other dates and venues follow the link below.

Leigh Hunt, WCC who has been heading up the project, will be in attendance along with representatives from BT.  There will be a short presentation followed by an opportunity to answer any questions and gain more insight into the project.  More information can also be found on the website http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk/

Monday, 1 July 2013

NAT - Free trees for communities – deadline 13th September 2013

The Woodland Trust have 4000 free tree packs to give away to school, community and youth groups this autumn.  Bring your community together to do something good for your neighbourhood by applying before 13 September 2013 for the chance to receive a free tree pack to plant in November 2013.  Each pack is worth £30, £105 or £420. All you need to do is find a suitable site and supply the volunteer planters and tree protection.

NAT - The Little Book of BIG Scams

The Little Book of BIG Scams: a comprehensive guide to fraud prevention

The Metropolitan Police Service brings you 'The Little Book of BIG Scams'. It is a comprehensive guide on fraud prevention, explaining some of the most common scams in existence, ranging from the simple to the sophisticated, providing essential advice to reduce the chances of you being parted from your money.

The guide was launched by the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) alongside Esther Rantzen and Gary Fitzgerald, (CEO of Action on Elder Abuse).

MPS Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe said:
"My officers have seen the devastating effects scams can have on people and their families. This comprehensive guide will go a long way in helping to reduce the number of victims of fraud and will undoubtedly make it harder for the scammers of this world to succeed. There are a number of people out there intent on conning people out of their hard earned money, so I urge people to take caution when confronted with what appears to be a deal of a lifetime, remember if it seems too good to be true, it probably is."

A PDF-version of 'The Little Book of Big Scams' from the Met Police is available here

From http://www.crp-news.com

NAT - Can you spot a dud note?

Take A Closer Look: a guide to checking banknotes

And easy-to-follow guide (both leaflet and video versions available) has been developed by the Bank of England to help cash users identify genuine Bank of England banknotes. Counterfeit notes are rare - but the Bank of England advises us all to remain vigilant at all times.

Most of us use banknotes every day without a second thought. But how often do you look at them closely? And could you really spot the genuine article?
The Bank of England has published a downloadable printed guide and a short video to help everyone guard against counterfeit currency. 

The leaflet can be downloaded here and the video can be viewed here

From http://www.crp-news.com