Sunday, 6 March 2016

@WAR - Warwickshire Trading Standards alerts



Please feel free to cascade this information to whomever you feel appropriate (including using the information in your newsletters/websites etc.).

04/03/2016 12 Month jail sentence for car clocking car dealer

By Simon Cripwell on Mar 04, 2016 02:18 pm
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.


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03/03/2016 Trading Standards visit forecourts to carry out used car checks

By Simon Cripwell on Mar 03, 2016 10:08 am
Warwickshire 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.

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03/03/2016 Businesses targeted by on-line extortion demand

By Simon Cripwell on Mar 03, 2016 09:50 am
We 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 affected are advised to:
  • Make a report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via the on-line reporting tool.
  • Do not pay the demand
  • Retain the original emails (with headers)
  • Maintain a timeline of the attack, recording all times, type and content of the contact

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01/03/3016 Business small print warning

By Simon Cripwell on Mar 01, 2016 01:25 pm
Warwickshire 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.
However, 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!

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01/03/2016 Home emergency cover warning

By Simon Cripwell on Mar 01, 2016 01:15 pm
Warwickshire residents with genuine home emergency cover and related insurance policies are warned to beware of bogus companies acting fraudulently.
One 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!

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Recent Articles:


19/02/2016 Fraudster ‘harvesting’ signatures warning

  • By Simon Cripwell on Feb 19, 2016 02:32 pm
    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.
    • Check 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.

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19/02/2016 Convicted fraudster ordered to pay £350,000

17/02/2016 Dangerous mattress warning

  • By Simon Cripwell on Feb 17, 2016 11:47 am
    Warwickshire 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!
    Trading 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.
    Residents are strongly urged not to buy from the door. Purchase mattresses and other upholstered furniture etc. from local reputable businesses with reputations to maintain.

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16/02/2016 ‘GP’ mobility aids phone scam

  • By Simon Cripwell on Feb 16, 2016 09:20 am
    We have become aware of a fraud targeting elderly and vulnerable people in Warwickshire.
    Some 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.
    It 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.

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Recent Articles:

10/02/2016 Like brushing your teeth with bleach!

By Simon Cripwell on Feb 10, 2016 01:28 pm
Over 15,000 teeth whitening products, some containing extremely high levels of hydrogen peroxide (bleach) have been seized by Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service. Find out more.

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09/02/2016 Your parcel has been seized scam

By Simon Cripwell on Feb 09, 2016 01:08 pm
Action 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.
The 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.

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09/02/2016 Text scam warning

By Simon Cripwell on Feb 09, 2016 12:55 pm
Warwickshire residents are warned to beware of spoof text messages which falsely purport to come from their bank or a Government department or service.
Fraudsters 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.
These 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, NEVER follow 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.

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27/01/2016 Copycat websites now turn to letters – warning

By Simon Cripwell on Jan 27, 2016 02:30 pm
Copycat 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.
One 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.
Marketing 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.

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Recent Articles:

21/01/2016 For a safer home, register your appliances now
21/01/2016 PayPal friends and family warning
20/01/2016 Blue badge renewal copycats
20/01/2016 Gumtree cheque fraud warning
18/01/2016 Get Safe Online launch new phishing scams awareness campaign

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