SAFER – Avoiding the latest scams

SAFER is run by West Yorkshire Trading Standards and publishes up to date advice on avoiding scams.

Tel: 0113 393 9910

The latest from them includes the following:

Stop Loan Sharks: Stop Loan Sharks is an organisation that investigates, prosecutes and put loan sharks in prison. They are the only organisation in England who have the power to stop loan sharks and illegal money lenders. Since 2004, they have helped over 25,000 people safely away from loan sharks. You can call the team on 0300 555 2222 to report a potential loan shark. The hotline is available 24/7. You do not have to give your name if you don’t feel safe to do so.

Dating/Romance Scams: Avoid giving away too many personal details when dating online. Revealing your full name, date of birth and home address may lead to your identity being stolen. Never send or receive money or give away your bank details to someone you’ve only met online, no matter how much you trust them or believe their story. Pick a reputable dating website and use the site’s messaging service. Although its important to realise that scammers may also be on legitimate dating sites. You can check if images have been stolen from an actor or model by using the ‘Reverse Image’ search on google, this can find photos that have been taken from somewhere else.

Computer Virus Scam to gain remote access to your computer: The scammer may try to talk you into buying unnecessary software to ‘fix’ the computer, or they may ask you for your personal details and bank details. They will be very persistent and may become abusive if you don’t do what they ask. By requesting remote access to your computer, the scammer may be able to scan your files for personal information/ bank account details. Alternatively by giving remote access, scammers may put a virus onto your computer effectively holding it ‘ransom’ until you pay to unlock it.

Fake Email Voucher Scam: Don’t assume an email is from the company who they say they are from. Check the sender’s email address. They may use an address that looks similar to the brand they’re impersonating. Never click the link on the email attachment, and do not enter your personal details via the link. Scammers are Phishing for information.

NatWest Text Scam: Fraudsters are using software that appears as if it’s come from NatWest, adding it to any existing message threads on the recipient’s phone. If you already bank with NatWest and had a legitimate message from them in the past this could easily catch you out. It seems to be targeting individuals regardless of whether they are customers of NatWest or not.