SCAMS: Awareness Update

Did you know that July was Citizens Advice Scams Awareness Month? Well, just because we’re now into August, it doesn’t mean that scams will stop, so here’s a bit more info from their SAFER project on scams and how to avoide becomeing a victim of one:

The SAFER Project has been urging residents to stay #scamaware by spreading the word about scams and exposing the tactics of fraudsters to protect others.

National research by Citizens Advice found that scammers are using a variety of tactics to get people to part with their cash. On average people are losing £2,500 across all types of scams.

Take a stand against scams:

  • Say NO to uninvited callers and don’t feel pressured into making a decision.
  • Be wise to rogue traders. Research the credentials of the company to make sure they’re not bogus.
  • Be wise to postal scams. No genuine company will ask to send money to claim a prize.
  • Talk to someone you trust if you’re suspicious and report a scam to help expose the criminals.
  • Anyone can be a victim. Report it and get the right support via 0113 393 9910
    – safer@wyjs.org.uk
    –  www.facebook.com/SAFERProject
    http://www.twitter.com/wytradstandards

Case Study – Mrs B: Doorstep Crime Victim

The SAFER Project visited Mrs B to provide one to one advice and a SAFER toolkit as she was a repeat victim of doorstep crime, being targeted by rogue traders and bogus callers.

On the visit, Mrs B admitted that she isn’t confident enough to say ‘no’ on the doorstep. Alternative solutions were given and Mrs B was shown how to correctly check the identity of callers using the SAFER notepad. With help from her social worker, password systems with utility providers were also set up to reduce the risk of bogus callers talking their way into her home.

This, along with her SAFER door hanger as a visual reminder, Mrs B felt much better about dealing with doorstep callers. Just days after, another rogue trader knocked on the door asking for £60 for potential building work. This time, however, we were happy to find out that Mrs B had the gumption to send them packing!

Bogus HMRC Scams

Bogus HMRC texts / emails are currently in circulation. Remember: HMRC (and indeed all banks and other reputable financial institutions) will never text or email to tell you about a tax/money issue or ask for personal / bank details.

Fraudsters are impersonating Trading Standards and Citizens Advice offering benefits / debt advice. Remember: the SAFER Advice Worker is Anjie Cawthra and her phone number is 0113 3939807.

Other bogus calls mention that older people are being forced to sell their homes in order to fund their care, and may offer a free appointment for legal advice. Remember: research any cold callers before giving any information.

Scam prize draw texts / emails are also on the increase. Remember: do not reply or click on any links. Instead, report spam text messages to your service provider by forwarding them to ‘7726’. Report scam emails to Action

Fraud by forwarding them to

NFIBPhishing@city-of- london.pnn.police.uk.

Distraction Burglary Warning

During the warmer months, we are more likely to open windows and doors to let some fresh air in. Unfortunately, a nice breeze might not be all we are letting in as burglars take advantage of the situation.

Remember to stay cool (and hydrated!) during the summer, but be careful not to leave open doors / windows unattended, locking them on an evening before going to bed. Stay vigilant as a criminal could be in and out in the time it takes to nip upstairs for that extra fan…!

There are a range of low-cost handy home safety gadgets available to help prevent sneak-ins, including door wedge alarms, window alarms and pretend CCTV cameras.

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