Over the past few days, I have seen a number of articles from the BBC and Friends Against Scams about “number spoofing”, which is the name given to changing caller identity systems on our telephones. Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulator, is warning the public not to trust caller ID on their phones as it tries to help stop people becoming victims of fraud. In an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Moneybox Huw Saunders, a director at Ofcom, said that caller ID should not be used as a means of verifying a caller's identification. Fraudsters are increasingly changing their caller ID to disguise their identity, known as number spoofing.
Mr Saunders said "This problem is global in its scope". It will apparently take another 4 years before the latest system called VOIP is fully installed, and then a patch can be added to stop this number spoofing. So for now, I would like to give you the following Citizens Advice guidance about protecting ourselves and our friends and neighbours from online and phone scams.
Do you recognise the individual or organisation? Can you confirm their identity? If they say they are calling from a trusted source, such as a bank, contact your bank yourself immediately to confirm their identity.
You’ve been asked to hand over money or personal information? Don’t give out pins or passwords or seemingly random information, and never send money to someone you don’t know or trust.
It seems to be too good to be true? “Get rich quick” often means “lose money fast”
You’ve been asked to pay in an unusual way?Such as crypto currency or online vouchers? IT MIGHT BE A SCAM, so contact Citizens Advice Scams Action Service at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/reporting-a-scam/.
Finally this week, a warning about “Flubot” malware. This comes with scam package delivery messages and affects android devices. These messages have been found to contain a dodgy link to download an app that can infect your phone with malware. The malware can harvest passwords and other personal information, it also accesses contacts to send out further messages. So, always be wary of unsolicited texts, and think twice before you click on a link. If you think you've received a genuine delivery message, but you’re not certain, then contact the delivery company’s official customer service helpline to verify the message.
If you've received a similar message and you think it’s a scam, you can simply delete it. If you'd like to report it, you can do so by forwarding the message to 7726 - a free reporting service provided by phone operators.
Money Advice Mondays are back! Sefton Citizens Advice debt advice service drop-in face-to –face sessions are now, offering 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.
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 on 0800 144 8 444. Their website address is – www.citizensadvicelancashirewest.org.uk