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Latest scam alerts from Warwickshire Trading Standards: publications scams, more bogus cold calls and text message scams

Warwickshire businesses targeted by publication scams

Businesses are cold called and offered advertising space in bogus anti-bullying, drugs (or similar) publications. The callers sometimes claim they are working with the Police, Fire Service or other Government services and that the publications will be distributed to schools. In reality, these bogus publications are not being produced with the agreement of any Government service and have little or no circulation, meaning that the advertising is worthless. The fraudsters use cleverly worded sales pitches to trick businesses in to agreeing to buy advertising space when they would otherwise not have done so. In some cases fraudsters cold call businesses and claim the business has already agreed to pay for advertising, even when they have not. These calls can be very threatening.

Business owners are advised to alert their staff to this scam. More information

Scam text message warning

Warwickshire Trading Standards are warning consumers to beware of scam text messages on their phones.

One resident reported receiving a text that stated that they had been sent a letter concerning a ‘personal issue’ and to click on the web link contained in the text for more information. The resident had received no such letter.

It is likely that had the text message recipient clicked on the link they would have been directed to a potentially harmful or dangerous web page containing malware. Viruses and spyware can attack your smartphone or tablet! More advice

Latest bogus phone call warnings

Fraudster are again targeting Warwickshire residents by phone.

A Warwickshire resident reported receiving a phone call from someone claiming to represent their credit card provider. The caller asked the resident to download an app on to their phone in order ‘fix’ problems with their credit card. It is presently unclear as to what this app is or what it would do, but the resident did not follow the caller’s advice and discontinued the call.

More scam recorded phone calls have been reported. A resident complained that they had received several recorded phone calls from someone claiming to work for HMRC and stating that a warrant had been issued for their arrest. The message directed the resident to phone a UK telephone number to discuss the issue with a ‘case handler’. Another recorded phone message stated that her internet would be shut down due to ‘illegal activity’.

A resident reported receiving a scam Virgin Media call. The caller claimed that there was a problem with the resident’s WiFi, that someone overseas was attempting to access the resident’s account and that the resident would be liable if their personal information was stolen as a result!

Other residents have reported receiving bogus phone calls claiming that they owe money and that bailiffs have been appointed and warrants will be issued for their arrest!

Warwickshire Trading Standards advises consumers not to engage in conversation with cold callers and to put the phone down. Do not attempt to contact these callers on the telephone numbers they provide, divulge any personal or financial information or follow any instructions they give or download any apps or other programs.

If you believe a phone call you receive is genuine, phone the company/organisation back on a publicly listed telephone number.

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