Last week, Sir Ron Watson urged readers of Champion to beware of phone scam callers, and gave some very useful advice on how we should protect ourselves from landline scam calling. This week I have been warned that we should be equally vigilant about calls to our mobile phones from “matching” mobile phone numbers.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) is telling us to be vigilant of scam calls that appear to be coming from numbers similar to our own. Commonly, the first seven digits (07nnnnn) match the victim’s own number. The calls impersonate well-known government organisations, or law enforcement agencies, and will ask the recipient of the call to “press 1” in order to speak with an advisor or police officer about unpaid fines or police warrants.
Victims have also reported receiving calls and messages like this via widely-used messaging apps, such as WhatsApp.
To Protect yourself, here’s what you need consider and what action to take:
Government and law enforcement agencies will not notify you about unpaid fines or outstanding police warrants by calling or texting you. Do not respond to any calls or texts you receive about these.
Always take a moment to stop and think before parting with money or your personal information: this could prevent you from falling victim to fraud. Remember, it’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
If you receive a suspicious text message, you can report it by forwarding the message to 7726. It’s free of charge.
Suspicious telephone/mobile calls can be reported to Action Fraud via their website: actionfraud.police.uk/report-phishing
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