Bogus Highways Department Workmen Warning!
Schools, churches, pubs, social clubs, business premises and other buildings with private car parks are being targeted by bogus ‘Highways Department workmen’.
The bogus workmen claim they have been renewing road markings before offering to use their leftover paint to repaint lines on the car parks. They will quote a very low price, usually a few hundred pounds, but after the work is completed will demand thousands!
The bogus workmen are reported to be making unexpected phone calls to the owners/operators of buildings with car parks across the County. They may claim to be Council Highways or Traffic Management staff.
Warwickshire County Council Highways staff or companies operating on behalf of the Council will never make offers of this sort.
Scam Phone Upgrade Call
A Warwickshire resident reported receiving a scam phone call from someone falsely claiming to represent Carphone Warehouse. The caller asked for personal information including occupation, date of birth and bank details before asking for an upfront payment of £53.00. No money was paid on this occasion.
Another resident reported a similar approach by someone pretending to be calling from EE offering a mobile upgrade.
NEVER provide personal or financial information cold callers.
Gumtree Car Seller Warning
A Warwickshire resident selling a vehicle on Gumtree reported an approach from a scammer. The scammer began by showing an interest in purchasing the vehicle before asking the seller to make an ‘agents fee’ payment of £650 direct in to a bank account for ‘security reasons’ before full payment for the vehicle could be made. The scammer was reported to have made a very convincing approach before they asked for the ‘agents fee’. They were also described as being extremely persistent.
If you are selling a vehicle on Gumtree or any other sales platform, never agree to send money in order to secure the sale.
Gumtree offers advice on safe buying and selling here: https://help.gumtree.com/s/safety
Residents are warned to beware of unexpected emails offering £1 raffle entry. A resident provided their bank details and paid the £1, before being informed that they had ‘won’. However, the ‘winner’ was then asked to send a further £5 to receive their prize. NEVER send money in order to receive a prize gift.
‘Win an iPhone’ Continuous Payment Scam
Beware of online surveys that are created simply to encourage consumers to unwittingly sign up to continuous payment authorities.
One Warwickshire resident reported completing an online survey in order to be entered in to a competition to win an iPhone. The resident paid a £1 fee to enter the competition using a debit card. However, by doing so the consumer unwittingly signed up to a £49.00 per month competition/games fee.
Be wary of any request to provide your debit or credit card details online, especially if it relates to entering a competition or paying postage and packaging to receive a ‘free gift’. You may have unwittingly signed up to some sort of monthly subscription!
More about continuous or recurring payment scams: https://www.getsafeonline.org/shopping-banking/subscription-traps/
Stopping a continuous or recurring payment: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/banking/stopping-a-future-payment-on-your-debit-or-credit-card/
Your Parcel is Awaiting Collection Scam
Several Warwickshire residents have reported receiving bogus text messages informing them that an item is awaiting their collection at a drop box. The item is often a high priced product such as an iPhone. A link is usually provided in the text message directing them to pay $1 shipping costs. However, this is really just an attempt by fraudsters to obtain financial information such as bank details and credit and debit card numbers. Residents have also reported receiving similar bogus Royal Mail text messages telling them that a parcel will be delivered to their home address and giving an approximate time. Again, a link is provided in the text to direct the recipient to the scammers.
Finally, a resident reported receiving a similar bogus Lidl text message, again directing the recipient to a link in the text message.
Never click on any suspicious links in emails or text messages and remember, scam text messages can also appear amongst genuine texts!
Solar Panel Maintenance Scam
Residents with solar panels are warned to beware of bogus phone calls and letters from unscrupulous traders offering ‘free’ solar panel checks. The traders usually claim they represent the original solar panel fitters, come to carry out a free check because the solar panels are more than five years old. Once there, they claim that to cover future maintenance a new payment will need to be made, usually of several thousand pounds. Once the money is paid, the trader then disappears.
Businesses Targeted by Scam Publishers
Warwickshire businesses are again being targeted by scam publishers who charge hundreds of pounds for advertisements in or sponsorship of, publications that have little or no circulation and in some cases are never published. The scammers often claim that the publication is a safety related magazine for schools and may state that they are working on behalf of a local authority, Fire Service or the Police. Businesses are advised to put the phone down on unexpected calls of this nature and not to ask to see examples of the publication. Some scammers may phone businesses already claiming that the company has agreed to advertise/sponsor in order to get a sale.