Check out the latest Scam Alert!

Check out the latest Scam Alert!

by Danielle Thompson (July 2020)

The weather is still very confusing for a British sumer, I feel. Last Saturday was wet and miserable most of the day and in the afternoon I received a call from an unknown number on my mobile phone. When I later tried to call back I was told that this was not a recognised number. The area code was shown as 01255 (which is for Clacton-on Sea), but the main number was not a BT landline number, because it started with 0 and had 6 digits instead of the normal 5.Then I had a phishing text message telling me that my (non-existent) Paypal Account’s terms and conditions were changing, and to click on the link. “No way, Pedro”, I said to myself.

I was sorry to read on the Champion’s Facebook page that two thieves, pretending to be police officers, recently gained entry into the home of a woman in her 90s and stole cash from the pensioner. Merseyside Police, who have described it as a “despicable offence”, are searching for two men after they targeted the elderly woman on Sunday, July 19 at her home. A police spokes-person asked people to take a few minutes to ensure to check on any elderly neighbours,family and friends.

Back to some scam stories and I want to tell you about a couple of currently running scams: First, watch out for scams involving the MoneySuperMarket brand. MoneySuperMarket report that they have been made aware of a number of ways in which fraudsters are trying to use the MoneySuperMarket brand name to trick unwitting consumers into handing over money – or their financial details.  Recently, this has involved calls and emails to consumers claiming to be from MoneySuperMarket in which the caller claims to be working with a well-known bank and asks for money to be transferred to fake accounts. MoneySuperMarket will never ask you to transfer money to another account. Here is what to look out for – and the steps you can take to avoid falling victim.

When searching for a financial institution like MoneySuperMarket, take the time to look for the official website

Don’t automatically log on to the first website you find in a search engine. Check that it’s the real deal

Keep an eye out for warning signs that a site may be fake – such as bad grammar or spelling

Note that if something you’re being offered sounds too good to be true, it probably is So, what can you do to protect yourself? MoneySuperMarket tips are:

Don’t engage in communication with fraudsters. Instead, call the police and report it

Never give debit or credit card numbers, Pins, or other personal information in response to a cold caller, unsolicited email, text or online request

Never reply to a suspicious email, clink on links, open attachments or ring a number within the message if you don’t know exactly where it came from

Change your passwords frequently

Keep on top of security updates

Be wary before using public wi-fi, as you risk exposing your personal information to criminals

When shopping online, always look for ‘secure transaction’ symbols – the web address should start ‘https’ and there should be a padlock in the browser window

Keep a close eye on your bank and card statements, and if you see any suspicious transactions, contact your provider immediately

If you think someone is impersonating MoneySuperMarket, then you should contact their customer services team at https://www.moneysupermarket.com/contact-us/.

All the above tips and suggestions can be used for any approaches to you from other potential web fraudsters.

Finally, if you believe you’ve fallen for a scam, contact your bank immediately on a number you know to be correct, such as the one listed on your statement, their website or on the back of your credit or debit card, and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040

If you or someone you know is struggling to pay bills or outstanding debts, Citizens Advice may be able to help. 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. 9.30 to 4.30 Mon to Fri

The debt number is 0151 318 6407. 9.30 to 4.30 Mon to Fri. Our local website address is- www.https://seftoncab.org.uk/

Citizens Advice Lancashire telephone is available between 9 - 5 M to F.& 9.00am and 1.00pm Saturdays on Adviceline 0344 245 1 294 and Help to Claim line

0800 144 8 444. Their website address is – www.citizensadvicelancashire.org.uk

 

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