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Check out the latest Scam Alert!

Check out the latest Scam Alert!

by Danielle Thompson (November 2020)

I hope you are all keeping well.  Previously I have told you to watch for Amazon Prime scam phone calls. Well, today here is a new warning from Action Fraud for people selling items online to be on the lookout for criminals sending fake PayPal emails.

 Between January 2020 and September 2020, 21,349 crime reports were made to Action Fraud about fake PayPal emails. Victims reported losing a total of £7,891,077.44 during this time. Those targeted included people selling jewellery, furniture and electronics via online marketplaces. Reports of fake PayPal emails to Action Fraud made up a third of all reports of online shopping and auction fraud during this period. The emails trick victims into believing that they have received payment for the items they’re selling on the platform. Typically, after receiving these emails, victims will ship the item to the criminal, leaving themselves with no payment for the item which by then is also no longer in their possession. So, if you’re selling items on an online marketplace, be aware of the warning signs that your buyer is a scammer. Don’t be persuaded into sending anything until you can verify receipt of payment. Lastly, a genuine PayPal email will address you by your first and last name, or your business name, and will never ask you for your full password, bank account, or credit card details in a message.

Again, some Amazon Prime scamming. Iin addition to the never-ending scam calling, we have a new warning not to fall prey to fraudsters who are targeting Amazon Prime customers, many of whom became members for the first time during the Covid-19 crisis. Security experts say fraudsters have been phoning people claiming to be calling from “Amazon Prime security”, saying their Amazon account had been compromised in California and that a series of payments had been made from their account. Having gained the person’s trust, the fraudster instructed them to download TeamViewer, a brand of remote access software, which is used to access the victim’s online bank account. While this is by no means a new fraud, scammers are thought to have taken advantage of the fact that many households have signed up to Amazon Prime since the pandemic hit.

Finally, this week a local resident has told me about a delivery scam, where a company phones to say there is a parcel for you and within an hour a driver arrives with a basket of flowers and a bottle of wine and says a card from sender will follow. Driver needs £3.40 to prove delivery to sender and produces a hand-held card reader as he cannot accept cash. When victim puts the card in and pins this, a receipt for £3.40 is given, and a couple of days later the victim’s account is cleaned out. So beware of unexpected deliveries.

Next week, Citizens Advice is running National Consumers Week with hints about online shopping during Black Friday and the run-up to Christmas, and I hope to be able to help you have a safe Christmas shopping time. So, until next week, Stay Safe and well!

You can get advice on all types of scams from a Citizens Advice 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.

Meanwhile, 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

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