After a poor weekend weather-wise, let’s hope that June returns to warm and sunny days. I am still home-working, as are many of our Sefton Citizens Advice advisors who are providing advice by telephone to our residents.
I heard last week of a Face Book post by a lady who is part of the “be Kind” group. She has scaffolding up at her house at the moment and received a phone call from an unknown person (luckily she made a note of the (Southport) number calling). The caller said he was calling about her roofing work. She replied that she is not having roofing work done and as there was no response from the caller she put the phone down. She did not tell the caller that the work being done was on her windows. Anyone getting a similar call from an unknown person is advised to notify the police. Our advice about when and how to call the police is.
Contact the police immediately by calling 101 if:
the scammer is in your area
you've transferred money to the scammer in the last 24 hours
If you feel threatened or unsafe call 999.
There have also been reports of particularly nasty scams where criminals are taking advantage of older people by knocking on their doors. One scam has the criminals offering to take the person’s temperature – thus allowing them into the house, where that person can be robbed or worse.
Now here’s a quick reminder about Coronavirus scams currently active. It's important you're aware of the many new scams around at the moment because of coronavirus. Scams to look out for include:
advertising face masks or medical equipment at high prices
emails or texts pretending to be from the government
emails offering life insurance against coronavirus
people knocking at your door and asking for money for charity
If you see emails or texts about coronavirus from someone you don't know, or from an unusual email address, don't click on any links or buy anything.
Don't give money or personal details to anyone you don't know or trust - for example someone who knocks on the door and offers to help. Our message as always is
“don’t be rushed, don’t be hushed and trust your gut feeling”. If in doubt, talk to your friends and family about any scam worries you may have before you act further.
If you think that you have been scammed, write down the details of the scam. This will help you remember all the important information when you report it.
Make sure you include:
who you've been in contact with – write down names, numbers and addresses if you have them
why you're suspicious
what information you've shared – for example, passwords, PINs, or bank details
whether you've paid any money
how you've paid – for example, credit card or bank transfer
Then call our helpline
Citizens Advice National consumer helpline: 0808 223 1133
Textphone: 18001 0808 223 1133
Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Lines are closed on bank holidays.
To contact a Welsh-speaking adviser: 0808 223 1144
Textphone to contact a Welsh-speaking adviser: 18001 0808 223 1144
An adviser will answer your call as soon as possible, usually within a few minutes. Once you're speaking to an adviser your call should take an average of 8 to 10 minutes.
Calls from mobiles and landlines are free.
Next time I will update you about our Citizens Advice Scam Awareness Fortnight. Stay safe.