Check out the latest Scam Alert!

Check out the latest Scam Alert!

by Danielle Thompson (September 2020)

This week, REAL news about the extension of driving licence automatic renewal when licences expire between 1st February and 31st December 2020. The original extension was for 31st August, but will now run until 31st December. Drivers have no need to renew until they receive a reminder before the 31st December. And now, also about driving licences, a short version of a story about scammers on social media who are faking driving licence applications and selling them without driving tests for £600. The scammers claim to have inside access to driving test centres which allows them to book and pass practical driving tests without drivers being present. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency - responsible for driving tests - said it’s not possible and this is a money-making scam. The scammers promise to supply their victims with a plastic licence card and test certificate to their home address, and will also send a (fake) image of what appears to be their updated driving licence status as shown on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's (DVLA) "view your licence" webpage. This driving status image reads "full driving licence", which suggests they are on the DVLA database as registered to drive – but they have not taken and passed a driving test. These images are fraudulent mock-ups of the DVLA's "view your licence" webpage and the licence numbers issued to clients are not on the agency's database.

Also on DVLA scams, one of our local residents contacted us at Citizens Advice about an email claiming to be from DVLA saying it needed to update her personal details, including bank information. You should NEVER respond to phishing emails and texts such as this. Instead they should be forwarded to Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): report@phishing.gov.uk "

Coronavirus crisis scamming continues and National Trading Standards ask that we publicise their warning that further exploitation is on the way.

7 scams to watch out for in the coming weeks:

Price gouging - traders over-inflating products likely to be in high demand, such as Cover-19 testing kits

Online fraud - websites, mobile apps and social media selling counterfeit products because shoppers are buying online rather than in shops

Copycat websites - where criminals pose as people delivering legitimate government initiatives, such as energy saving schemes for the home

Claims of miracle cures - including fake coronavirus treatments or quick turnaround tests

Misrepresented home viewings - as online property viewings are now more common, buyers or renters not getting the true picture of a home

Fake refund websites - offering "assistance" in claiming refunds. In fact this is advice that charities offer for free!

Targeting the vulnerable - as coronavirus restrictions lead to more isolation and loneliness, criminals are targeting the already vulnerable with schemes like romance scams

Remember, you can contact our Citizens Advice scam advisers who will let you know what to do next and give you support on the issues you might be facing. Just call Citizens Advice Scams helpline on 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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