THIS week, I have some news from National Trading Standards Team. Their monthly newsletter reports that the DVLA has received over 800 reports of an unofficial rip-off service offering driving licence renewal services for 70 plussers. In fact, this can be done for free using DVLA’s official Gov.uk website.
DVLA never asks for a reply to emails or text messages. If you are ever asked for payment details, or to log in to your account, it’s a scam. If you get any suspicious emails, report them using firstname.lastname@example.org, or if it’s a text message, forward that to 7726.
Next, a scam email is doing the rounds claiming to offer a £90 ‘promo reward’ from Currys in return for completing a survey. The scam involves an unsolicited Currys branded email asking people to click through to a ‘marketing survey’ in return for the reward. However, links in the email lead to malicious websites designed to steal your personal info.
There’s no shortage of things to click online – quizzes, “free” offers and other click baits. Avoid the temptation! These can often be a way of getting personal information from you. This especially goes for emails you receive.
Always be extra careful about clicking on links – as this could be part of a phishing scam.
If you receive a suspicious email, forward it to the National Cyber Security Centre email@example.com,
Finally, hackers are still trying to get access to WhatsApp accounts after stealing the identities of their victims’ contacts. Here’s how it works and what to watch out for.
First, you’ll receive an unexpected but genuine text message from WhatsApp containing a verification code. This is usually triggered when logging into the app for the first time, when you’ve been logged out, or if you’re trying to log into WhatsApp from a new device.
But in the case of this scam, fraudsters have entered your number into WhatsApp themselves to try to get access to your account, triggering the verification code text.
Next, one of your WhatsApp contacts will message you via the app, usually with a story to try to persuade you to give them the verification code you’ve just received. They might say they’ve accidentally entered your number by mistake, for example.
Because the message seems to be from a relative or friend, a lot of people have been tricked into passing on the verification code, which then allows fraudsters to take over their accounts.
So, how to keep your WhatsApp account safe:
Don’t share your login details or verification code with anybody. Not even your closest family or trusted friends.
Set up two-step verification to secure your account.
Be wary of WhatsApp messages requesting money, even if they come from your contacts. If you’re not sure, give the friend a quick call to check.
As always, if you think you may have given sensitive details, such as payment information, to fraudsters, let your bank know what’s happened immediately.
If you are scammed online, you can contact Citizens Advice over the phone (Mon — Fri 9am to 5pm) on 0808 250 5050, or via webchat, or use the online helper tool to identify whether something is a scam at 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 line0800 144 8 444. Their website address is – www.citizensadvicelancashirewest.org.uk