This spring week, I want to start with some good news from Sefton Citizens Advice. Money Advice Mondays are back! Our debt advice service drop-in face-to –face sessions have been unavailable for some months now, but we are excited to let everyone know that we can now offer advice by video-call. The service will be available on Mondays from 10.00am-12pm. For information you should check out our “How We Can Help” page on our website www.seftoncab.org.uk.
Now, a story about a fraudulent phishing e-maiI, claiming to be from Dyson, that is going the rounds. It pushes recipients to respond quickly by saying “Hurry! Last chance to claim your prize!”. It then continues to say that recipients have been selected to participate in the loyalty program(note spelling) and to click on a link to “spin the prize wheel to see which prize can be claimed. Today is your lucky day! Hurry, this giveaway ends soon!”
When contacted by Which, a spokesperson for Dyson said:
“At Dyson privacy is engineered into everything that we do and we take security and our owners’ data extremely seriously. We are investigating this fraudulent email and are implementing various measures to mitigate this happening in the future”
Dyson does not currently operate a loyalty program in the UK – it would not send emails regarding one and would never send an email that contains links to claim prizes or receive a voucher. Anyone receiving a phishing email like this should report it to Action Fraud and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) on firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, this week The national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime and ABTA, The Travel Association, are reminding the public to think twice before handing over their money and personal information when booking holidays this year. In previous years, criminals have targeted unsuspecting holidaymakers booking airline tickets, holiday accommodation and religious pilgrimages. Holiday fraud can vary from fake accommodation listings advertising hotels, and self-catering properties that simply don’t exist, to “too good to be true” offers with flights being particularly targeted. Criminals can approach you over the phone, via text, email and social media, offering incredibly cheap deals to tempt you into booking a holiday with them. In reality, the holiday you’ve booked, or parts of it, doesn’t exist at all.
Tops tip to avoid falling victim to holiday fraud are:
Stay safe online: check the web address is legitimate and has not been altered by slight changes to a domain name – such as going from .co.uk to .org.
Look for the logo: check whether the company is an ABTA Member. Look for the ABTA logo on the company's website. If you have any doubts, you can verify membership of ABTA online on their If you're booking a flight and want more information about ATOL protection, or would like to check whether a company is an ATOL holder, visit the CAA website.
Pay safe: wherever possible, pay by credit card and be wary about paying directly into a private individual’s bank account.
For a full list of tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud, please visit https://www.abta.com/tips-and-advice/planning-and-booking-a-holiday/how-avoid-travel-related-fraud.
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 . 0808 278 7841 (freephone) Mon – Fri 9.30am – 4.30pm and text relay for people with hearing impairment: Text relay: 03444 111 445 for people with hearing impairment .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