Wasn’t it a great weekend to be alive in Sefton?
I would like to begin by giving you all some SMS scam tips as we are all making full use these days of mobile phones and tablets. Only give your personal information to services you consent to and expect contact from. Always contact your bank or other financial services organisation directly, not through a third party. Don’t allow remote access to your computer following a cold call or a random text message. Finally, remember that banks and police will NEVER ask you to move money to a “safe account”.
Now, I have heard from National Trading Standards, who have appointed me as a Scam Marshal, that I need to make everyone aware that the criminals have been using the Covid-19 pandemic to solicit financial “donations” by impersonating legitimate charities. Here is some key advice for us all from Age UK about suspicious zscfundraising emails or text messages. Be very wary of unsolicited communications from a charity or any organisation with which you have had no previous contact. Always think about whether you have donated in the past. Some scammers try to trick us by thanking us for a donation we have never made. Never click on any links in the message, or open any attachments to the suspicious email, text or social media message. Also do not reply to these messages by saying no, because any reply will allow the scammers to come back to you with different methods of getting at your personal data. If you are asked to donate via your mobile, please be aware that texts from charities are always sent from numbers between 70000 to 70999. So, first confirm that the charity is genuine by visiting their official website and confirming their phone number and any email address shown there. It is important to always check the email address shown on the message. While scam emails may look legitimate, they will often come from a generic address – such as Gmail or Hotmail – rather than a company-specific domain name (an Amazon email will come from an address ending in ‘@amazon.co.uk’, for example).
Finally, Citizens Advice has a very useful website for help in dealing with scams. Just check the link https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/check-if-something-might-be-a-scam/
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