Check out our latest Scam Alert column

Check out our latest Scam Alert column

by Danielle Thompson (September 2020)

AS autumn encourages the falling leaves and conker collecting, the scammers keep working away to rob us. Last week, a friend and colleague reported a scam phone call, purporting to be from HMRC, in which an automated voice told her that there was a fraud case in her name and that she was to Press 1 to provide the necessary information, or a warrant would be issued immediately for her arrest. Her phone showed caller number 020 367 45464. Fortunately my colleague did not respond and the issue is being reported to Action Fraud. So, if you get a call like this, ignore it. HMRC will not make calls like these and they do not send emails or texts about tax debt issues.

In May, I gave a warning about a Morrisons Vouchers scam, and this week I have to warn our ASDA shoppers about emails offering a chance to win a £1,000 gift card.

Police have issued an urgent warning to ASDA shoppers about these fraudulent emails offering them a chance to win a £1,000 gift card.

Dozens of ASDA customers have reported receiving convincing emails promising prizes in return for filling out a short form. But police are warning customers not to trust them.

Action Fraud tweeted: "We have received over 97 reports about these fake emails offering the chance to win a £1,000 gift card.

"If you have been sent an email which you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): report@phishing.gov.uk "

It's not the first time this summer that ASDA customers  have been targeted with fake Facebook competitions, as well as dodgy Whatsapp messages, all promising shoppers rewards.

Cyber expert Andy Heather, from anti-fraud website Centrify, said: "With the majority of people still working from home or on furlough due to the Covid-19 crisis, we’re seeing a sharp rise in online scams offering everything from gift cards to discounts on everyday essentials.

Remember, you can contact our Citizens Advice scam advisers if you:

Think you might have found an online scam

Need advice about scams

Want to report an online scam

We'll let you know what to do next and give you support on the issues you might be facing. Just call Citizens Advice Scams helpline

You can get advice from a Scams Action adviser by calling 0808 250 5050.

The service is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. We're closed on bank holidays.

Calls are free from mobiles and landlines.

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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