Check out the latest Scam Alert!

Check out the latest Scam Alert!

by Danielle Thompson (November 2021)

THIS week, I have news for teachers and youth group leaders. Friends Against Scams has redesigned its training for 8-14 year olds, and you can request the pack via the website link at

I am sure that you will agree that keeping our younger residents in the picture about scam awareness is exceedingly important.

Now a warning about the latest phishing with fakeMcAfee and Norton Antivirus emails. Believe it or not, I had one of these over the weekend and I blocked the sender and reported it to These fake emails are currently circulating posing as McAfee and Norton Antivirus informing people that their subscriptions are at an end and need renewing. The emails ask you to click through on links in order to ‘renew the subscriptions’. Some even attempt to trick you into contacting the scammers using the link at the bottom of the email, saying that this will take you to “our billing department”. But of course the link is false. Just report the emails to

Next, some more warnings about another couple of phishing scams currently doing the rounds. The first is a fake Sainsbury’s marketing survey email. This promises £90 for taking part in a marketing survey. Sainsbury’s has confirmed that such an email promising £90 for taking part in a ‘marketing survey’ has nothing to do with them, and the site it takes you to has nothing to do with the supermarket. The survey, and its offers of free ‘rewards’ are fake and are aimed at encouraging you to part with sensitive personal information.

Phishing attempts like this are becoming more sophisticated: fraudsters impersonating these companies know that simply posing as a well-known brand may not be enough to get someone to part with sensitive information, so they are using ever more inventive tactics to gain your trust.

Also, I hear that emails promising Primark gift card ‘rewards’ have been circulating, but they’re fake and absolutely nothing to do with the retailer. As is often the case, the email promises big rewards – in this case as much as £1,384 – in return for doing very little. But clicking on fake emails like these is only likely to send you on to potentially dangerous websites that could compromise your personal information and/or bank details.

Finally, one of our local businessmen has contacted The Champion about a business rates scam that is doing the rounds in England and Wales - and appears to have arrived in Sefton. I am looking into this and hope to let you have more information in the next column.

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.

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 –

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