Bogus Live Streaming Websites Warning
Following the COVID-19 related closure of music and entertainment venues, many artists turned to live streaming, performing live or streaming recorded material. But warn Trading Standards criminals have been setting up bogus social media pages to promote scam live streams designed to steal personal information through a bogus registration process. Scammers have also targeted genuine live streams to direct people away to bogus donation pages. Streaming platforms such as Netflix and Spotify have also been targeted by criminals who send out phishing scam emails to get users to reveal personal or financial information or make payments.
Zoom Users Targeted by Criminals
Users of the popular video conferencing service Zoom have been targeted by fraudsters, Trading Standards is warning. Bogus Zoom emails inform the recipient that a ‘Zoom voicemail’ has been received. They are then directed to phone a premium rate number to hear it, costing a reported £6! Other bogus email messages include fake Zoom conference call invitations that direct recipients to copycat login pages from which usernames and passwords can be stolen.
Bogus Food Parcel Scam
Warwickshire residents have reported receiving suspicious and unexpected phone calls from people claiming to be from ‘the Council’ offering COVID-19 food parcels before asking for personal information including names, work/business information and dates of birth!
HMRC Tax Fraud Scam
More Warwickshire residents are reporting being the targets of the HMRC tax scam. The latest scam involves residents receiving a recorded message stating that they are being investigated by HMRC for tax fraud and directing them to press 1 to speak to an official to resolve the matter!
Bogus Bank SMS Messages
Warwickshire residents and businesses who bank online and receive SMS (text) messages from their banks are warned to beware of bogus SMS (text) messages that may appear amongst genuine messages in their SMS feeds. These bogus messages usually state that a new payment has been made or direct debit or standing order set up via their banking app. The message goes on to say that if the bank customer was not responsible for the payment or new instruction, they should report it. They are then directed to follow a link in the text message to a fake or copycat version of their bank’s genuine website and login with their username and password. The scammers then steal this information.
Advice from Warwickshire Trading Standards
- NEVER reveal personal or financial information to cold callers on the phone or the doorstep
- Whether you are visiting an entertainment website, shopping, banking or accessing Government information or making benefit applications etc. online, ALWAYS visit the website by typing the web address into your Internet browser or use the genuine App. NEVER follow a link in an email or text message, even if it appears genuine
- Report all scams and obtain help and advice by phoning the Citizens Advice Consumer Service, tel: 0808 223 1133
- Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards for more help and advice