Warwickshire car dealer Connan
Alexander Harvey has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and a
mechanic he used, Amit Mistry to six months, following a successful
prosecution by Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service.
Trading Standards yesterday visited garage forecourts across
Warwickshire with an expert vehicle examiner to check used cars for
sale on garage forecourts. The vehicles were given a mechanical
examination and mileages, service histories and MOT information was
checked. Vehicle advertisements were also checked for accuracy. This is
part of the work Warwickshire Trading Standards carries out to protect
used car buyers and help businesses to comply with the law.
have received reports that nationally, some UK businesses have received
extortion demands via email from a group calling themselves ‘RepKiller
Team’. The emails demand payment of between £300 – £500 in Bitcoins by a
certain date and time. If the demand is not met, the group threaten to
launch a cyber attack against the business and its reputation by
automating hundreds of negative reviews on-line. The demand states that
once their actions have started, they cannot be undone.
businesses are warned to beware of unexpected letters asking them to
confirm their business details. The letters give the impression that the
recipient had done business with the sender of the letter in the past.
in the small print at the bottom of the letter is a statement that the
recipient confirming their details is agreeing to pay 1200 Euros!
residents with genuine home emergency cover and related insurance
policies are warned to beware of bogus companies acting fraudulently.
Warwickshire consumer was cold called by a rogue business who told her
that they had taken over the company she had her policy with. She was
them asked to set up a new quarterly direct debit. She only realised
something was wrong when she phoned the company she was originally with
who informed her that they were still trading!
NEVER provide your bank details to cold callers, even if you think the phone call is genuine!
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau’s (NFIB) Proactive Intelligence Team is warning people to beware of
fraudsters that turn up on your doorstep and ask for your signature.
The Proactive Intelligence Team debriefs convicted offenders to identify emerging fraud trends and have found that
your signature is one part of a puzzle that the fraudsters are putting together. Your signature could be the final piece
- once they get hold of it they can drain your bank account or commit identity crime.
A convicted fraudster who was recently interviewed said: “If we want to get someone’s signature it’s really easy. All
we do is put on a fluorescent coat or vest, knock on the door and ask the person to sign for a letter or a flyer”.
“They don’t need signing for but nobody ever questions why and we don’t hang around for a chat! Once we have the
signature we can make changes on their bank accounts and authorise fraudulent money transfers.”
How to Protect Yourself
Not expecting a delivery? Be suspicious.
Question what you are signing for and look for official identification. If you do sign, just print your name.
your bank and financial statements carefully and report anything
suspicious to the bank or financial service provider concerned.
Criminals commit different frauds depending on the type of the personal information they manage to steal. Your
identity is a precious commodity; you should take every precaution to ensure that it isn’t abused or stolen.
Convicted fraudster ordered to pay £350,000. Convicted
Warwickshire fraudster Andrew Stephen Harris has been ordered to pay
£350,000 following a Proceeds of Crime hearing brought by Warwickshire
County Council’s Trading Standards Service.
residents are warned to beware of traders selling potentially dangerous
mattresses door to door. The traders usually claim that the mattresses
are liquidated stock from a company that has gone out of business. One
consumer was offered a mattress which the trader had claimed originally
cost £2000, for £250!
Standards suspect that these are in fact very cheap imported
mattresses that may not meet UK fire safety standards, may contain no
fire retardant components at all and could be highly flammable.
are strongly urged not to buy from the door. Purchase mattresses and
other upholstered furniture etc. from local reputable businesses with
reputations to maintain.
We have become aware of a fraud targeting elderly and vulnerable people in Warwickshire.
older people have received unexpected telephone calls from a caller who
falsely claims to be from their GP surgery, asking to arrange a home
visit appointment to discuss the person's mobility needs. During the
visit, the older person is persuaded to buy mobility aids which are
either unnecessary or inappropriate and always expensive.
NEVER buy goods or services following unsolicited visits or phone calls.
is unlikely that your GP surgery would genuinely make an approach like
this. However, if you do receive a phone call from someone claiming to
be from your GP surgery, if you think the caller is genuine, ask to
phone them back on the publicly listed GP surgery telephone number.
Fraud are reporting an increase in complaints from consumers who
received an official looking email to say that their parcel has
been seized by HMRC at point of entry to the UK.
email falsely claims to have been sent by Royal Mail. It contains a
link to a document which installs malware onto the user’s computer,
designed to obtain account information, passwords and email addresses.
NEVER click on or open attachments in unsolicited or suspicious looking emails. ALWAYS keep you computer systems updated and ensure you have appropriate anti-virus software on your computer or device.
residents are warned to beware of spoof text messages which falsely
purport to come from their bank or a Government department or service.
use specialist software to change the caller ID, making a genuine
telephone number appear on the recipients mobile phone, even though the
text is being sent by criminals.
bogus texts often claim that there has been suspicious activity on the
recipient's account or that their account details need to be ‘updated’
or ‘verified’. Consumers may then be directed to bogus websites where
personal or financial information, passwords and other data is stolen or
asked to text back account details and passwords!
If you are ever asked to contact your bank or a Government departments via text or email, NEVERfollow a link in a text message or email or text back directly. ALWAYS access bank and Government Services using publicly listed telephone numbers and web addresses.
websites, bogus versions of genuine Government websites that were
leading some consumers to pay more for services that would typically
cost less or be entirely free (passport, driving license, EHIC etc.)
appear to have turned to new tactics to target residents!
Following enforcement action, arrests and
cooperation with the large internet search engine websites, these
copycat websites are appearing less and less in Internet searches and
this appears to have led some copycat website owners to target residents
directly via the post.
Warwickshire resident reported receiving a letter that looked like it
could have been sent from the County Council requesting that he renew
his Blue Badge at a cost of £49. The letter directed him to a copycat
website. The genuine cost of Blue Badge renewal is only £10.
lists, with the names and addresses of people who have purchased
disability/mobility related products in the past are easily purchased,
so it would not be difficult for someone to target residents who are
likely to possess a Blue Badge.