Scam Warnings during Lock Down
Driveway Rogue Trader Warning
COVID-19 and the lock-down regulations has not prevented rogue traders operating across the County, Warwickshire Trading Standards are warning. Warwickshire Police recently warned that rogue traders offering ‘driveway washing and resurfacing’ were operating door to door in Kenilworth.
Rogue traders typically charge hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds for poor, overpriced and often unnecessary work.
Rogue traders offering driveway washing and resurfacing may charge hundreds of pounds more than it costs to even buy a pressure washer and claim they are using special products to kill and prevent the regrowth of weeds, when in reality the special products are just sand and water! Resurfacing may just mean spreading a very thin layer of tarmac and chippings/gravel on the driveway that soon cracks leaving weeds to grow through.
Trading Standards advise residents not to buy goods or services from unexpected doorstep sellers.
Don’t get caught out. Rogue traders like to make you think that they are genuine and local. They may use a bogus address to make them appear local and may use local phone numbers or freephone numbers connected to untraceable mobile phones. Some even use glossy flyers and websites featuring stolen pictures of work carried out by genuine traders. They may claim to be working on a neighbour’s property and might offer significant ‘discounts’ for OAPs.
1) Do not buy goods or services from unexpected doorstep callers
2) If you need work carried out on your property, seek advice and recommendations from family and friends
3) Get at least three quotes from reputable traders with verifiable addresses
4) Consider using a Trading Standards approved and verified trader, visit: https://www.warwickshire.gov.
5) Report suspicious doorstep visits or any type of scam to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133. Citizens Advice can provide telephone support and advice. They will also alert Warwickshire Trading Standards Service who can provide additional advice
6) Trading Standards consumer advice and latest scams/rogue trader alerts: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/
Link to news item: https://www.warwickshire.gov.
New Phishing Scam Reporting Tool Launched
The National Cyber Security Centre has announced the launch of a central email address which can be used to report phishing email scams.
Phishing email scams have been around for a very long time, but the fraudsters who send them often use current events such as COVID-19 to make them appear genuine.
Latest phishing COVID-19 phishing scams include:
• Emails that encourage recipients to provide their bank details in order to receive coronavirus related Government payments, including scam HMRC job retention emails
• Emails designed to look like they have been sent from the NHS or other Government bodies. These emails might falsely claim to link to a list of coronavirus cases in your area
• Emails that offer purported medical advice, tests or treatments to help protect you against the coronavirus.
• Emails targeted at businesses and specifically those working from home. These scam emails may appear to come from the company IT department or personnel department and contain fake policy document attachments which the recipient is asked to download and read
• Scammers are also seeking to exploit the increasing use of online communication platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft teams by sending out phishing emails carrying these platforms names.
Phishing emails sent by scammers will typically contain links to scam websites or virus laden attachments. Following links in suspicious emails or opening or downloading attachments may increase the recipient’s exposure to malicious websites, computer viruses, spamware and ransomware.
Report/forward phishing email scams to firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Cyber Security Centre say:
If we discover activity that we believe is malicious, we may:
• seek to block the address the email came from, so it can no longer send emails
• work with hosting companies to remove links to malicious websites
• raise awareness of commonly reported suspicious emails and methods used (via partners).
Whilst the NCSC is unable to inform people reporting phishing emails, of the outcome of its review, it has confirmed that it does act upon every message received.
If you require telephone advice or support in relation to scams, please phone the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.
They will also alert Warwickshire Trading Standards Service who can provide additional advice.
Once you have forwarded the suspicious email, delete it.
Keep up to date on the latest scams: https://www.warwickshire.gov.
See also: https://safeinwarwickshire.