Check out this week's Scam Alert!

Check out this week's Scam Alert!

by Danielle Thompson (July 2021)

The weekend sunshine has been very enjoyable and it’s good to see Southport busy again. Unfortunately the fine weather also encourages the door-knockers offering all sorts of services for cash. Please be very careful if one of them knocks on your door and think twice before you agree to any “deals” offered by a stranger.

This week I have some news from National Trading Standards about a British Gas scam. Apparently fake emails purporting to be from British Gas are being posted by scammers. These state that the recipient is due a refund because of overpayment, and there is a link to a phishing website asking for personal and financial information. Action Fraud, which has received hundreds of reports about these fake emails, has released an example of the message. It says “ hello, British Gas wants to inform you that you are eligible for a payment refund of £594. Our records indicate that you have paid more than you should have for your British Gas Service from 2017-2019, and because of this we have decided to refund you the total amount which you have overpaid”. There is then a link in the email which leads to phishing websites designed to steal personal and financial information.

If you receive, or have received, a suspicious mail like this, please forward it to Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) via report@phishing.gov.uk.

In the last few weeks, I have mentioned Covid-19 vaccine scams and, just to remind you, the vaccine is free, so if you see an NHS website asking for bank details, or someone comes to the door offering to administer the vaccine unannounced, then it’s a scam. A scam alert this week also tells us to look out for an NHS Covid vaccine passport that’s doing the rounds. It may look like a link to a genuine website, but it’s a slick phishing website designed to steal your personal and financial details. The message says “ NHS: You are eligible for a Covid Pass proving you have been vaccinated against COVID-19. You can apply for this here: https: nhs.pass-application.com This website has been checked and blocked as potentially dangerous, so if you get this message, do NOT click on the link, but report it to Action Fraud.

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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