I hope that everyone enjoyed this difficult Christmas time. We did, despite the power outage in PR8 on Christmas Day morning that led to a late Christmas dinner! Let’s hope that 2021 is much better. First of all, another quick reminder to everyone, "DON'T DEAL WITH COLD CALLERS!" That way you’ll all stay safe. If you get a call from someone claiming to be your bank or the police and they ask you to transfer money to another account, HANG UP. It’s not your bank or the police calling you, it’s a scammer.
This week I would like to highlight a Coronavirus scam warning brought to my notice by Neighbourhood Watch. Telephone scammer calls claiming to be calling from Test and Trace and saying the recipient needs to take a test for Covid-19 as they may have been in contact with an infected person. The caller then asks for an address to send the kit to and also bank details so the cost of the test can be taken. Genuine tests are free and this is a scam. Never give your bank details to a caller. There are also new mobile phone applications that claim to give you updates on the virus but instead lock your phone and demand a ransom. Fraudsters are sending scam messages claiming you are being fined for leaving the house. Criminals are able to use spoofing technology to send texts and emails impersonating organisations that you know and trust. Remember, anyone who receives an unexpected text or email asking for personal or financial details should not click on the links or attachments, nor respond to any messages that ask for your personal or financial details. The Government has only sent one text message to the public regarding new rules about staying at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Any others claiming to be from UK Government are false.
Action Fraud has seen a surge in reports relating to fake emails and texts purporting to be from DPD. The messages claim that DPD was “unable to deliver your parcel today” and provide instructions on how the recipient can arrange another delivery. The links in the emails and texts lead to fake websites that are designed to steal money, as well as personal and financial information. If you have received an email which you’re unsure about, you can report it by forwarding it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can report suspicious text messages by forwarding them to 7726.
Finally, a note about the availability of our services until New Year’s Day has passed. Citizens Advice Adviceline-0808 278 7841 (freephone) is available on 29th and 30th from 9.00am to 5.00pm and 31st from 9.00am to 1.00pm, and then is closed 1st -3rd January. Sefton debt adviceline 0151 318 6407 and Debt Whats App 07984 127134 are closed 24th December-3rd January, so call the National line above.
Help to Claim (Universal Credit) 0800 1448444 is open 29th,30th and 31st 8.00am-6.00pm and then closed 1st -3rd January.
From January 4 2021, a return to normal telephone services. 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