Check out the latest Scam Alert!

Check out the latest Scam Alert!

by Danielle Thompson (September 2021)

I want to start this week with a warning that fake PayPal emails claiming that your account has been ‘restricted’ continue to arrive for many of us. Please remember that you can help everyone by forwarding any emails that you consider to be suspicious to report@phishing.gov.uk

Changes in travel rules etc. are encouraging a boost in holiday bookings and we have to beware of scams relating to Covid-19 booster jabs. Remember that the NHS will never ask for payment or bank details, will never arrive unannounced at your front door to administer the vaccine, nor will you be asked to share personal documents. I mention this because some people are receiving fake text messages claiming they’ve been in contact with someone who’s tested positive for COVID-19. We’ve been made aware of a fake SMS text that links to a made-up coronavirus contact tracing service. If you follow the link, the site asks for your personal details. Please remember that there’s only one official contact tracing service you can trust, and that’s the one being run by the NHS in England. Its web address is https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk

If you’re in the habit of ordering stuff online, you're probably no stranger to a "Your parcel has been delivered" text. That's why they're such a good way for scammers to hook in unsuspecting people. Three in five of us have received fake delivery company texts over the past year, according to new figures from consumer group, Which?. The messages often contain a link to a scam website. There are things you can do to make sure you're not one of the unlucky scam victims. Quite simply, do not click links in texts. The best thing you can do is to actually look at the URL within the text message. If the domain name (that's the bit just before .co.uk or .com) doesn't match the business it says it is, that's a pretty clear sign that the text is not legitimate. But that can be quite fiddly to spot, and the best way to stay safe is still to ignore any links in texts and contact the business directly yourself. If you do get one of these texts, you can help to protect others by reporting it.

You can do this by forwarding the text to 7726, to the network operator. Why 7726, you ask? That’s because these are the digits on a telephone keypad that spell out the word ‘spam.’

Finally, if you’ve already clicked on the link and paid the scammer, you can report it immediately to your bank, and you may get your money back. The best thing to do is speak to your bank at once. If that doesn't work, try making a complaint to the bank. Failing that, the Financial Ombudsman Service might be able to help. You can find them at https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/, or call Citizens Advice freephone line 0808 278 7841 for general advice.

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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