Insulation Related Scams on the Rise
Warwickshire residents are warned to be wary of unexpected phone calls from traders claiming that their home insulation is ‘degrading’ or that their cavity wall insulation was incorrectly fitted and is failing. The callers may also claim that they are part of a special Government operated scheme to carry out home checks or that the cost of replacing or repairing the home insulation will be covered by a Government grant.
These approaches are sometimes made to gain access to an individual’s home to carry out home maintenance that may be unnecessary and could be costly for the homeowner.
It’s difficult to tell a good trader from a rogue on the doorstep or over the phone.
Householders are advised to visit the UK Government website Simply Energy Advice for information and advice on all aspects of insulating your home and on your eligibility for grants and other support, visit: https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/ or freephone 0800 444202 to speak to a trained advisor.
Bogus Amazon and Amazon Prime Phone Calls
Scammers are cold calling Warwickshire residents falsely claiming to be calling from Amazon or Amazon Prime. The fraudsters make numerous different claims in order to trick people in to sending money. These include:
- Claiming that Amazon have mistakenly debited an individual’s bank account and requesting they (the individual) pay £75 before the money can be returned.
- Recorded messages stating that a £79.99 Amazon Prime subscription will be automatically renewed unless the caller presses 1 on their phone. Once the scammer can speak directly to the victim, they will attempt to obtain personal and financial information and money from the victim.
The fraudsters may already know the name, address and telephone numbers of the people they are trying to scam to make them sound more plausible.
Amazon advise consumers to put the phone down on these sorts of phone calls immediately and not to reveal any personal information.
Amazon will never ask you to make a payment outside of its website (e.g. via bank transfer, e-mailing credit card details, sharing gift card details over the phone, etc.) or ask you for remote access to your computer. Amazon will never ask for payment or offer you a refund you do not expect.
Businesses Targeted by ‘Internet Connection Drop’ Scam
Warwickshire businesses, including staff working from home, are warned to beware of bogus phone calls from scammers falsely claiming that the business is experiencing an ‘internet connection drop’ and requesting remote access to staff computers to fix the problem. These sorts of scams enable fraudsters to take control of computers in order to introduce computer viruses and steal usernames, passwords and sensitive data.
Copycat Websites Spring Up to Scam Consumers
Consumers are warned to beware of copycat websites that look like genuine Government websites set up to administer applications for passports and driving licences etc. One Warwickshire consumer lost money after booking their Theory test through a copycat website. Copycat websites typically charge higher fees for processing or renewing official documents than the genuine website, in some cases charging for items that are free.
- More advice from WHICH on copycat websites: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-to-spot-a-copycat-website
- Copycat website warning video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCfOQC7ONSI
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