Check out the latest Scam Alert!

Check out the latest Scam Alert!

by Danielle Thompson (May 2021)

SO, we have another release from the Lockdown restrictions on our lives and the scammers keep working away..In the past few days I have had at least 10 phishing phone calls from all sorts of phone numbers telling me that my internet connection will be closed. SCAM!! Never respond to these calls.

CTSI (Chartered Trading Standards Institute) has received evidence of texts to members of the public which purport to be from the online payment platform PayPal. The texts mimic official messages informing the recipient that someone has logged into their account. They then ask the recipient to tap a link to a bogus website which requests login details, supposedly for verification and “(to) secure your PayPal account”. This information is then sent to scammers, who may gain access to the PayPal account. Use of online payments such as PayPal has risen as part of the boom in online shopping during the COVID-19 lockdown. This text scam is the latest in a long line of similarly themed scam texts, including bogus supermarket delivery texts, fake bank security messages, and phoney Royal Mail shipping fee texts. If you get a text like this, you must contact PayPal directly to verify that the message is genuine and if it isn’t you need to forward scam texts to 7726, a free reporting service run by Ofcom. Everyone should report scams such as this so that the authorities can get a complete picture of the scale of this scam attack.

If you’ve received a pre-recorded message or phone call claiming your National Insurance number has been compromised, you can safely ignore it. It’s a scam. Fraudsters appear to be continuing to use the hook of National Insurance numbers as a means to exploit personal information from victims – the scam appears to have now moved to phishing emails. Remember, you can visit Gov.uk which offers contact numbers and web chat support if you have concerns regarding your National Insurance number.

If you receive a text claiming to be from your bank informing you of suspicious activity on your account, this is probably a scam. Take Five minutes, then contact your bank directly using the number on the back of your debit/credit card to check that this is a genuine request, then report the scam text to 7726.

Next week, we start Citizens Advice national Scam Awareness Week, and I plan to give you more helpful advice to keep out of the scammers’ clutches.

Lastly, I am proud to inform you that Iam now a Scam Marshall for National Trading Standards Scams Team!

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 0800 144 8 444. Their website address is – www.citizensadvicelancashirewest.org.uk

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