Due to the latest national lockdown we will be pausing the printing of our papers for a while. We will continue to bring you all the latest local news and more on our website and Facebook page. The Champion might not come through your door for a while, but we are still here for you. In the meantime, please stay home, stay safe, protect the NHS and take great care of each other. Best wishes from your Champion Team.
Check out this week's Scam Alert column

Check out this week's Scam Alert column

by Tom Martin (January 2021)

This week’s opening topic is about scams relating to upfront loan fees. My friends at Neighbourhood Watch give this warning. “Loan fee fraud occurs when people pay an upfront or advance fee for a loan they never receive. It’s an increasingly common scam which is being reported to the Financial Conduct Authority, with people losing £220 on average.

The good news is that you can protect yourself with this quick three-step check: • If you’re asked to pay an upfront fee, it could be a scam • If you’re asked to pay quickly, it could be a scam • If you’re asked to pay in an unusual way, such as vouchers or money transfer, it could be a scam. Always check that the provider is authorised by the FCA before you borrow. Visit the FCA’s Financial Services Register.”

Now during Covid lockdowns, there has been a huge demand for pets. Just a warning today about scams. Don't send a deposit for a pet to someone you've not met! Scammers are advertising pets online and advising you cannot see the pet yet due to Covid 19. Scammers will ask for a deposit to secure the pet, then block you. Why not try to rehome a dog or cat from your local RSPCA centre instead?

Yesterday I was told by a close relative that she had just received a phishing text claiming to be from Lloyds Bank and saying that here have been unusual transactions on her account and she needs to contact them by clicking on the link. Naturally, as a Scam Action Service supporter, she notified me instead, confirming that she does not even have an account with Lloyds Bank. Don’t forget, any phishing texts like this should be reported to Action Fraud. You can also report a text message that you aren’t quite sure about, especially when it asks you to "verify" your personal or financial details. Just forward any such suspicious text messages to 7726. #CyberProtect

Citizens Advice national scam services appreciate that, as coronavirus restrictions tighten across England and Wales, we’re all spending more time at home. This gives scammers the perfect opportunity to target people in new ways. So, here are tips for online shopping, to avoid scams. When shopping online make sure you stay safe and avoid scams. Before purchasing, make sure to do background research into the company and only pay using a credit or debit card or a third party application such as PayPal. Paying using these methods gives you extra protection if something goes wrong, but be careful when putting in your payment details online on any website and don’t submit if you’re unsure. As the roll-out of the coronavirus vaccine starts, our friends at Action Fraud are seeing reports of coronavirus vaccine scams. The coronavirus vaccine will only be available via the NHS and is free of charge.

Action Fraud have shared points to remember if you’ve received a text claiming to be from the NHS: the NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details, you will never be asked for your PIN or banking password. The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine, and the NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents, such as your passport, driving licence or pay slips.

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 – https://www.citizensadvicelancashirewest.org.uk

Search for news

Latest News