New scam warning to Sefton residents
SEFTON residents are being urged to be on their guard against a new telephone scam involving imposters claiming to be from Citizens Advice Sefton.
The scammers offer bogus debt management plans, known as Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) in a bid to get victims to part with their money, but genuine Sefton Citizens Advice staff say they would never call people out of the blue offering such plans.
They are urging anyone who does receive such a call or text, to alert Action Fraud immediately on 0300 123 2040, or online at actionfraud.org.uk/reportfraud.
John Trotter from Sefton Citizens Advice told the Champion: “Recently a call was made from a mobile number to one of our money advisors on her own mobile phone while she was at work. As soon as it was clear that this was a scam call, the conversation was put on loud speaker for all colleagues to listen in.
“When the caller was asked which Citizens Advice he was calling from, he replied Manchester. He asked if our colleague had debt in excess of £6,000, and after some pushing for about 15 minutes, he offered to transfer the conversation to his manager at a legitimate debt advice charity but the call would then be passed on to another scammer to take further.
“Our advice is clear. Do not take calls like this at face value, come in for a free face to face session with genuine advice.”
John also passed on a warning about a Sky Broadband scam.
He added: “We were recently contacted by phone by a gentleman who had been telephone scammed. He was tricked as he has a Sky account and the caller said he had been overcharged for broadband services and was due a refund.
“They said they needed his bank account and scan of his passport and they took £6,000 from his account. We advised him to report this to Action Fraud, contact his bank’s fraud team and to notify passport office of this identity theft. He is keen that his story is told to help stop future scam frauds.
“Never give your bank details over the phone to a cold caller. Never tell someone your PIN number. Anyone with financial difficulties can contact our bureau for free, confidential, independent and expert advice to help solve debt problems.”
If any reader has a scam story that they would be willing to share with Sefton Citizens Advice researchers, contact John by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0344 493 0012.