Check out the latest Scam Alert!

Check out the latest Scam Alert!

by Danielle Thompson (May 2020)

We are in Week 10 of lockdown, but a warm Bank Holiday Monday has been a real treat.

I am still home-working, as are many of our Sefton Citizens Advice advisors who are providing advice by telephone to our residents. I continue to hear about text scams and phishing stories from friends and contacts.

Last week one of my advisor colleagues, also called John, received a scam text about a TV Licence refund. This is the exact wording of the message.:

“You have an overpayment refund of 275.43 GBP from 2015-2018. If you have not submitted your claim yet, you can do so by visiting tvlicensing.refundl.com.”

When we checked the link ourselves, we were notified that this account is suspended, so at least anyone now clicking on the link should be protected.

Our message is to be very careful when you get unexpected texts from unknown sources offering repayments by clicking a link - Think before you click!

This is a similar scam text to those offering tax repayments and pretending to be from HMRC. If you receive a text or email claiming to be from HMRC and you are suspicious, you can forward it to HMRC phishing team at phishing@hmrc.gov.uk.

On another tack, you probably read about Easy Jet admitting to a ‘highly sophisticated cyber-attack’ which affected nine million customers. It said email addresses and travel details had been stolen and that 2,208 customers had also had their credit card details ‘accessed.’

The National Cyber Security Council has informed Action Fraud of the cyber breach affecting Easy Jet customers. At this time, anyone who believes that they have been a victim of fraud as a result of a data breach, is advised to report this to Action Fraud via the online reporting tool, or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Here is what to do if you think you have been affected:

- Phishing – Criminals may use your personal details to target you with convincing emails, texts and calls. Be suspicious of unsolicited requests for your personal or financial details. If you receive an email which you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): report@phishing.gov.uk.

- Financial details – If your financial data was compromised, be vigilant against any unusual activity in your bank accounts, or suspicious phone calls and emails asking for further information. If you notice any unauthorised transactions, notify your bank or card company immediately.  

- Passwords –Customers should ensure their passwords are secure. If you have been affected, you may want to consider changing your passwords for key accounts, such as banking. See Cyber Aware's advice on creating a good password that you can remember, or read the NCSC’s blog post for help on using a password manager.

- Report -https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/get-help-with-online-scams/

Remember: secure websites ALWAYS start with https://

Citizens Advice Sefton telephone service is available:

Help To Claim advice line number for help claiming Universal credit is 0800 144 8444 (8am to 6pm, Mon to Fri)

For general advice 0344 493 0012 (9.30am to 4.30pm, Mon to Fri)

The debt number is 0151 318 6407 (9.30am to 4.30pm, Mon to Fri).

Citizens Advice Lancashire telephone is available from 9am-1pm on Adviceline 0344 245 1 294 and Help to Claim line 0800144 8 444. Their website address is citizensadvicelancashire.org.uk and now also includes a new email referral service, Refernet, which allows them to direct you to the best support agency for your enquiry.

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