A wet and windy week and, as we continue to be locked away, it looks like the scammers will be hoping for a “field day”. At home we have had a number of phishing phone calls since the end of September, and in the past week I have had reports from friends and colleagues of several recurring scams and phishing attempts aimed at emptying pockets.
First I need to tell you about a phishing call to a local resident that was made last Saturday evening. The caller claimed to be from Citizens Advice and said his name was Aaron and began by asking for information about her energy suppliers and the number of people in the house, before requesting personal financial information. At this stage the resident put the phone down. Citizens Advice wants to make it very clear that calls like these are NEVER made, except when we need to call back to a registered client, and our advisors would not make such calls outside of normal Monday to Friday working hours, unless previously agreed with the client.
Another resident reported a phishing call from someone with a non-English accent claiming to be from Microsoft and asking for access to her computer. Again this is a scam, and I thank both of these residents for calling us to give this information. Also, there seems to be an early charge towards Christmas Shopping, much of which will be done online due to Coronavirus, giving fraudsters lots of opportunities for scams and fraud. For the past 2 or 3 years Action Fraud has been warning us about the PDS (Postal Delivery Service) fraud in which a card is posted through your door from this “Company” saying they were unable to deliver a parcel, and that you need to call 0906 611911 (which is a VERY premium number). If you ring this number you will hear a recorded message that you have been billed for £315 for the call! So, Stop, Challenge and Protect yourself is our advice.
Finally today I read about an Amazon gift card scam in which an email asked recipients to buy an Amazon gift card for a birthday gift because the sender of the email was unable to buy it online. Amazon says that there are a number of similar scams, and they advise us not to respond to these requests. If you are duped, report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 and if you’re an account holder with Amazon, you should contact their customer service.
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 West telephone is available between 9.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday, & 9.00am and 1.00pm Saturdays on Adviceline 0344 245 1294 and Help to Claim line
0800 144 8 444. Their website address is – www.citizensadvicelancashirewest.org.uk