Action Fraud has
been receiving reports of an advanced fee fraud whereby suspects phone a
member of the public and claim to be calling on behalf of the UK (or
British) Government Grant Department.
go on to state that the individual has won a Good Citizen Award – of
typically £8,000 – and that the grant can be released for a fee (of
very few members of the public have lost any money as a result of this
scam but have reported to Action Fraud in order to help build a picture
of this fraud and protect others from falling victim to it.
is no genuine ‘Good Citizen Award’ scheme in the UK that operates by
cold calling “winners” and asking for an upfront fee to release a grant.
you receive a call that claims to represent such a scheme, it is a
scam. End the phone call – do not give out any personal or financial
are reportedly setting up high specification websites advertising
various electrical goods and domestic appliances. The goods are
advertised at below market value and in reality do not exist. The
website will state you can pay via card; however when the purchaser goes
to pay, this option is not available and the payment must be made via
fraudster entices the purchaser and reassures them it is a legitimate
purchase by using the widely recognised Trusted Shop Trustmark. They
then use the Trustmark fraudulently and provide a link on the bogus
electrical website to another bogus website (which purports to be
Trusted Shops). This website shows a fake certificate purporting to be
from Trusted Shops and provides thousands of reviews for the bogus
electrical website. These reviews are all fraudulent. The website has
not been certified by Trusted Shops and therefore the purchaser is not
covered by the Trusted Shop money-back guarantee.
the authenticity of the website before making any purchases. Conduct a
‘Whois’ search on the website which will identify when the website has
been created- Be wary of newly formed domains. You can conduct this
search using this website
on-line research in relation to the website, company name and the
business address provided to identify any poor feedback or possible
Check the Trusted Shops Facebook page where
warnings about websites using their Trustmark are published. If you are
in doubt about the legitimacy of a Trustmark then you can contact
Trusted Shops on 0203 364 5906 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
They will confirm whether they have certified that website.
made via bank transfer are not protected should you not receive the
item. Therefore always try to make the payment via PayPal or a credit
card where you have some payment cover should you not receive your
If the item advertised seems too good to be true, then it probably is.