Young Investors Targeted by Bitcoin Scams
Young Warwickshire residents have reported being scammed after signing up to ‘invest’ with bogus cryptocurrency trading firms, either online or over the phone.
The fraudsters promote their bogus firms on popular social media platforms. Young investors are offered the opportunity to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and are sometimes even given login details to the bogus platform on which they are given the impression that their cryptocurrencies are appreciating in value.
In reality, the fraudsters simply steal their clients’ money. No cryptocurrencies are ever purchased and when the clients attempt to withdraw their money, they are usually told they cannot do so unless they send more money to the firm!
In this way people are further scammed.
Warwickshire residents have reported losing thousands to this scam.
Beware Bogus ‘OFGEM’ Emails Offering Energy Grants
Warwickshire residents have reported receiving bogus OFGEM emails relating to the £400 energy bill discount some people will receive this coming Autumn. The bogus emails ask residents to provide their personal and financial information to ‘apply’ for the grant. The Government has stated that consumers will see an automatic deduction to their bills and have warned that no household should be asked for bank details at any point. Scammers will use every opportunity to steal personal and financial information, including the cost of living crisis.
Information on energy bill discounts: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/400-energy-bills-discount-to-support-households-this-winter
Beware Bank Transfer Scam Sellers Warned
Many people selling goods online prefer to make the exchange face to face, but this doesn’t mean you can’t be scammed. Sellers have reported providing their bank details to the buyer and watching funds appear to disappear from the buyer’s bank account. However, the money never arrives in the seller’s account!
If you are selling an item you may wish to consider only accepting cash.
Beware Counterfeit Flight Tickets
A number of Warwickshire residents have recently reported buying flight tickets which then turned out to be counterfeit, some losing more than £1000.
Scammers set themselves up as ‘flight specialists’ offering discounted tickets on major airlines. The scammers sell their fake tickets online and use accommodation addresses to make their business seem genuine. Consumers buy these fake tickets (usually sent as e-tickets), but don’t realise they have been scammed until they contact the airline, at which point they are told that the tickets are not on their (the airlines) systems. At this point the scammers stop answering their phones and disappear.
Consumers should beware of ‘too good to be true’ flight offers and look closely at the businesses they are buying these tickets from before they send any money. Consumers may also wish to consider using a credit card when buying tickets to give themselves additional protection if something goes wrong.
More Reports of ‘Copycat’ DVLA Websites
More Warwickshire residents have reported visiting ‘copycat’ DVLA websites to apply for or renew their driving licences. These websites charge consumers more than the official website and in some cases may take money and deliver nothing at all.
Consumers wishing to apply for or renew any Government related document are advised to start their search on the official GOV.UK government website: https://www.gov.uk/
More about copycat websites: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCfOQC7ONSI
Scam Victims Targeted by Bogus ‘Trading Standards’ Letters
Victims of scams are being targeted by fake letters that falsely claim to have been sent by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), the professional body that represent Trading Standards Officers.
The letters claim that following a CTSI investigation, money or goods (for example wine), that victims lost in the original scams have been recovered. Victims are urged to phone CTSI on a telephone number of the letter to arrange for their goods or money to be returned to them. It’s at this point that the scammers ask for more money to facilitate the ’recovery’. Instead of receiving their goods or money, the scam victims simply lose out a second time!
If you receive an unusual letter, always contact the business or organisation by using a publicly listed phone number, not one printed on the letter.
Bogus Bank Stronger Authentication Emails
Warwickshire residents are warned to beware of scam bank emails. The emails are made to appear genuine and mention new rules which have been introduced to make customer authentication stronger to counter online fraud. The requirements for banks to perform additional checks when consumers make payments to confirm their identity are real, but these emails are not.
If you ever receive an email from your bank, never click on a link in the email, you could be sent to a bogus website. These links are often disguised, for example as ‘check my details and settings’ buttons.
Always access online banking using your bank’s app or by visiting their website (type their address into a web browser).