Check out the latest Scam Alert!

Check out the latest Scam Alert!

by John Trotter (March 2022)

ONE of my local resident friends received a phone call “from Amazon* last week saying “there is a £700 suspicious sale in your account and we have stopped it. Press 1 to know more”. She did not press 1, but later tried to call back on the number, after a 10 minute wait, but the call-back failed, which was a clue that this had been a phishing call.

This seems to link with a new series of fake Amazon emails claiming that recipient’s account had been ‘locked’. They look genuine enough to deceive you if you don’t take a moment to assess it. The layout is slick – the branding looks genuine and the message is clear: “Act now or all your ‘pending orders’ will be cancelled.” It even adds a sense of panic by claiming that ‘the billing information you provided did not match the information on file’ with the card issuer: There is then a link marked in red verify account, telling the recipient that verification must be completed within 24 hours and, during this time, access to the account and all pending orders will be cancelled. Remember: 7726 to report calls like this.

7726 is a number used by most of the major mobile phone companies to allow their customers to report unwanted texts or mobile calls.

There is also a rash of text scams, impersonating energy companies saying that “your energy supply has switched to a new provider, and you should set up a new direct debit”. So DO NOT ever click on a link in texts. Instead forward email to

I have heard from National Trading Standards (NTS) that people in the UK are being targeted with a new type of postal scam. This comes via a letter posted to the intended victims, instead of the usual email phishing message. This scams tactic is intended to instil a sense of fear, worry and anxiety by stating that the recipient’s computer has been used to access highly illegal content. The letter claims to be from the Department of Justice in the UK and is, at first glance, a very official looking letter. The letter states that the recipient needs to pay a large amount of money (the example we have seen stated £580) within 10 working days by going to a website to record payment details. It states that by taking this action no proceedings will be instituted against the recipient, but failure to comply will lead to legal action. It also states that, if found guilty of non-payment, the recipient can be

• Sentenced to up to 10 years in prison

• Deported from the UK by the Home Office

• You will no longer be a British resident.

The letter contains personal information such as recipient’s address and telephone number. This is a scam which looks very authentic but does contain some spelling mistakes. Please help raise awareness of this scam by talking to friends, family and neighbours and reporting any instances you might see to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Finally, a short reminder to everyone planning to book a getaway to sunnier climes this summer. If possible, always use a credit card for £100-£30,000 purchases to receive protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

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. 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

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