Check out this week's Scam Alert

Check out this week's Scam Alert

by Tom Martin (March 2021)

Census Day has come and gone. Hope everyone enjoyed that! Scam phone calls continue, of course. Lots of calls about our internet/broadband service which include callers claiming to be from BT. Our advice is “always hang-up, NEVER press 1 to talk to caller.

Now, this week I want draw your attention to a report from Action Fraud about fake NETFLIX emails on the rounds. The emails state that the recipient needs to “finish signing up” using the link provided before they can start watching .The link in the emails leads to genuine-looking phishing websites that are designed to steal Netflix login details, as well as personal and financial information. 

And the scams are getting more sophisticated and more threatening. 

One currently doing the rounds, purporting to be from the National Crime Agency, claims there is a warrant out for your arrest for "serious offences".

Another common claim is that National Insurance numbers have been stolen, which might seem plausible given the number of data thefts.

And any request to immediately send money to the tax office should ring alarm bells.

Increasingly the calls are coming through to people's mobile phones, often appearing as a UK number to add another layer of legitimacy.

The top three problems that Trading Standards have identified are:

people selling insurance for white goods, offering cover for fridges, freezers and washing machines

impersonation callers claiming to be from the NHS, BT, Amazon or utility firms

offers of domestic home repairs such as boiler services and drainage

Some of these are defined as nuisance calls because they are actually selling something - albeit something you probably do not need. Others are out-and-out scams.

Where possible, report any suspicious call to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or via their website

Once again, Royal Mail Parcel scams are on the rise. The message claims to be from Royal Mail. It says “Your package has a £2.99 shipping fee” and, if you do not pay, the package will be returned. The link takes you to a website that looks real. You think that you are paying £2.99, but in fact your bank account will be emptied. Royal Mail say “This isn’t one of our messages. We’ll only send SMS notifications where the sender has requested this and uses a product that offers this service. If a fee is due on an item we’d leave a grey card to confirm this, we wouldn’t send a text.”

Finally, our general advice in these troubling times is to stay safe. Protect your personal information. So, never send sensitive, personal information, security details or credit card numbers by email. Never click on a link in an email if you are unsure about it, especially if it asks for personal financial information. This might be an attempt to install malware on to your computer.

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.

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 –

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