Check out the latest Scam Alert!

Check out the latest Scam Alert!

by John Trotter (May 2022)

THIS week, BBC1 returned in mornings with a new series of Rip-Off Britain, and the first show on Monday, May 2 featured Southport, so I hope you will be able to have a look on Catchup!

This week’s advice starts with looking at how to protect ourselves from the scammers when booking tickets for festivals, gigs and sporting events, including world cup tickets for this summer. If you are thinking of booking tickets for any of these events soon, only buy tickets from the venue’s box office, official promoters or agents, or via a well-known and reputable ticket site. Don’t be tempted by people selling tickets online/ social media. To avoid the pain and disappointment of ticket fraud, book your world cup tickets only through the official @FIFA World Cup website whose link is

Now, a new (to me) scam has been reported by Which and is entitled wallpaperya. It’s a texting scam and The Wallpaper Ya or WallpaperYa text message below, which claims recipients are subscribed for £50/week, is the start of the scam. The aim of the scam text is to trick and frighten potential victims into clicking the link in it. The link goes to a phishing website that steals account credentials, personal, and financial information. So, we ask that if you receive a text that reads “Thanks [your name is show], you are subscribed to WallpaperYa for £50/week. To cancel, here:”. If you get this text message, don’t click on the link which takes you to a website where personal and financial information will be stolen from you. Don’t be tempted to respond to the scammer’s request to cancel this subscription. The scammer is hoping to shock you into taking action straight away, without stopping to think whether the link is dangerous.
Instead, forward the text to 7726 and block the sender.

Now a warning about scams that have started recently re Covid testing. With recent changes to the Covid testing rules, fraudsters are impersonating the NHS in a series of constantly evolving scam text messages, according to Which. From April, the majority of people living in England need to pay for lateral flow tests, unless you meet certain criteria. Unsurprisingly, scammers are taking the opportunity to capitalise on the Covid testing changes, sending text messages asking you to order a test and pay a delivery fee. Recent messages seen say you need to order a Covid test It includes a dodgy link to a fake NHS website You’re asked to pay a delivery fee of around £1-£2 The copycat NHS website looks seemingly legit, but we know that scammers can be skilled at copying the branding, style and format of genuine websites. However, the big giveaway is the web address itself, which isn’t the real NHS website.

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 line 0800 144 8 444. Their website address is –

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