Trading Standards

Active Local Scams

Please be particularly vigilant at the moment, scammers are taking advantage of our vulnerability due to the Coronavirus and will try any method to con us out of our money, stay safe.

Scams aren’t just aimed at individuals these criminals will target whoever they feel is vulnerable and right now that is all of us so please be wary when receiving emails, texts and messages – remember genuine organisations will never ask you to click on links in messages or ask for your bank details.

The following list provides details of the active scams encountered by the Trading Standards services on the Isle of Wight:
Web page updated 1 July 2020 

Coronavirus Text

Trading Standards have been contacted by a resident who is shielding and  has received a text on her phone, she is concerned that she might be missing out on valuable information - It says

 

Important Coronavirus update in your area  and asks you to click on a link – Don Not click on the link and Delete this message straight away it is a SCAM

Stay Safe

HMRC Text Scam

Trading Standards have received reports of a scam text and are warning Island residents to look out for it. This scam text claims to be from the HMRC and says that a tax rebate has been issued to your for an over payment in the year 19/20 and asks you to click on a link to proceed – This is a scam. The HMRC will never contact you in this way.

Coronavirus Shielding Scam

Trading Standards have had a report of a particularly worrying scam caller purporting to be from the shielding team. Across the country shielding teams are working to support our most vulnerable residents at this challenging time and it seems as though the scammers are now taking advantage of these care calls to their own ends.

The caller doesn’t give a name and says he’s from the shielding team before asking about the kind of IT equipment the resident has, this is not the purpose of a shielding care call and if you receive a call like this that you are suspicious of please hang up. You can check with the Councils Shielding Helpline on 01983 823600 if you are concerned about any call that you receive. If it is a genuine care call nobody will mind and we will be grateful that you took the time to check.

If you know of somebody who is shielding please share this message with them to keep them safe from scams.

Internet Provider Scam

Trading Standards have received reports of another scam phone call that appears to be targeting us at the moment. This is an automated call that starts off by saying “you have missed a call from your internet service provider” they will then go on to tell you that your internet service is about to be cut off unless you make a payment immediately.

This is a scam, your internet provider would never contact you in this way – hang up immediately!

Coronavirus  (COVID-19) Scam

Trading Standards would like to warn and reassure Island residents about the latest COVID-19 scam that is hitting the Island. The scammers have wasted no time in adapting their message to tie in with the launch of the NHS COVID-19 testing app that is being trialled here on the Island.

If you get a text message telling you that you have been in contact with somebody who has tested positive and telling you to click on a link delete it immediately, this is not how the app works. If you have the app and have been in contact with somebody who has tested positive the App will “ping” and you will get a screen with lots of links and advice as to what you should do.

We suspect that people who don’t have the app may still get the text – ask yourself how would anyone know who you had been near? This is a scam and you must treat it as such.

BT Emails Scam

Following on from the BT scam letter that we warned you about, we have had reports of scam emails from BT, asking you to click on a link to log into your account and update your details. As always – never click on links in emails, legitimate organisations will never contact you in this way.

IW Council Tax department - Phone Call Scam

Please also be wary of phone calls purporting to be from the IW Council Tax department. A resident received a call on Sunday telling they that they owed £29, the Council Tax department does not work on Sundays and would not contact you in this way.

Pet Scam

Trading Standards are warning Island residents to be really cautious if looking for a new pet at the minute. While we are spending more time at home currently you might decide to take this time to introduce a new four legged friend to the family however please be careful. Scammers are exploiting this opportunity to con us out of thousands of pounds through fake online adverts for pets. Google searches for “buy a puppy” soared by 120% in the month after lockdown and “adopt a puppy” saw a rise of 133% in online searches.

Reports of animal scams tripled in April to 524 across the UK and has seen 669 people lose a total of £282,686 after paying for pets they had seen advertised online but never received, and these are just the cases that have been reported to Action Fraud.

In some cases, fraudsters are using the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions not only to exploit victims for an initial payment, but to con them out of additional money by asking for the cost of insurance, vaccinations and delivery.

BT letter Scam

Trading Standards are advising residents to look out for fake BT letters claiming that payments are overdue and advising you to call an 0800 number to make the payment immediately to avoid incurring charges. This is a SCAM. If you google the phone number you can see reviews from others who have also received this letter.

Shred this letter straight away – Do not call the number

Pop up Advertising

Trading Standards are warning residents when on social media or the internet to be very careful of “pop up” advertising. These tend to be “too good to be true” offers, free trial products that you will receive but they will then continue to debit your account monthly for large sums of money. One Island resident reported that she clicked on one of these adverts for a new face cream and received her trial sample but was devastated to realise later that her account had been debited a further two times for the sum of £199.

Please do not click on pop-up adverts and if you do look very closely at the small print and perhaps google the company and any reviews as very often victims will put their comments online. Be very careful about who you give your bank details to – check them out before giving over any information.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is!

IW Council Tax department - Email Scam

Trading Standards are warning residents to be wary of emails received purporting to be from Council Tax. The message says that there has been a reduction in your council tax and you are entitled to a refund and asks you to click on a link to action the refund. This is a SCAM

  1. The Isle of Wight Council will never contact you in this way,
  2. Never click on links in messages – delete the message straight away

 

British Gas Scam

Trading Standards are warning all residents to be aware that British Gas have reported scam emails being sent to residents in their name. The email states that your bill is overdue and still needs paying and looks very authentic with the British Gas logo and reference numbers. If you receive one of these emails do not click on the link to pay this is a SCAM.

Remember never click on links in emails or texts and legitimate organisations will never ask you for your banking details in this way

If you receive this email delete it immediately. If you are a British Gas customer and are unsure if it is genuine please contact British Gas using contact details you have found yourself.

Further information on how to stay safe

For more information on how to stay safe from scams go to www.iwasp.org.uk or visit https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/ to watch a short scam awareness video

Government Support Scam

Trading Standards and the Revenues department are warning businesses to be careful when applying for Government support due to Coronavirus. We have had reports that companies are offering their services but are charging £99 to apply on your behalf.

This is a free to claim service and you can do this yourselves with relative ease. Please go to Application for support for business affected by COVID-19 where you can log in and claim for free.

School parents Scam

School parents are being warned about a coronavirus scam asking for bank details in order to fund their children with free school meals. The email states: As schools will be closing, if you’re entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we’ll make sure you’re supported’.

View further information provided by the Government, relating to free school meals during the coronavirus .

HMRC Scam

The Friends Against Scams Facebook page is warning against another scam allegedly to come from the HMRC. It states that "you have been recorded leaving your house on 3 occasions and a fine of £35 has been added to your gov.uk account. It then gives you a link to click on whilst kindly reiterating the message Protect the NHS - save lives. This makes the scam particularly believable and might encourage people to believe its validity. This is a SCAM - do not click on any links in text messages.

In times of crisis when fear of the unknown is heightened, people – particularly the vulnerable, become more susceptible to trickery. Unfortunately, there are plenty of malicious individuals out there who are willing to leverage the situation in order to make a quick buck.

The government are relying on emails and text messages as communication channels and we are already seeing scams circulating which have untrustworthy links in them. Many have seen text messages which look like they come from GOV.UK and suggest that some kind of financial support package is available. They require your bank details and provide a link for you to click on. These texts are scams and should be deleted immediately. Remember, if the link does not end in “gov.uk” or “nhs.net”, it is not legitimate.

It hasn’t taken long for the scammers to try to cash in on the fear and concern surrounding the Coronavirus. Cyber criminals are targeting individuals as well as industries – In common with most other crisis situations, criminals are using emails, text messages, social media posts, online advertisements and phone calls to defraud their unsuspecting victims.

 

  1. Click here for a cure – emails are being sent purporting to be from a doctor claiming to have details about a vaccine being covered up by the UK and Chinese Governments. You will be taken to a fake web page where your details will be harvested. Never click on links in emails.

  2. COVID-19 Tax Refund Email – this has links to access a refund and you will be asked to put in all of your financial information. The HMRC will never advise you of a tax refund in this way. NEVER click on links in emails.

  3. Fake Online Advertisements – these include, protective masks, sanitising gel, vaccines (these do not currently exist) and appeals from fake charities

  4. Criminals are also knocking on doors selling Coronavirus tests. These are fake and wont tell you anything. We haven’t had any reports yet on the Island but please be aware anyone acting legitimately would not be going door to door trying to get you to part with money.

 

Don't get tempted into ordering any of these items – it is unlikely that you will receive your product and your money will be gone.

Don't believe everything you read – for accurate and up to date information use reliable and official sources such as the Government Official website GOV.UK and the NHS website 

 

In these worrying times look after your money and look after yourselves.

Trading Standards are warning residents to watch out for the following scams that have been reported to them this week.

Trading Standards are warning Island residents to be vigilant when dealing with phone calls. We have received reports that scammers are using an 01983 number which may lead residents to believe that the caller is local and therefore genuine. This particular call stated that there was a problem with the residents computer and they tried to encourage her to access her computer and press certain buttons. Please remember nobody will call you to tell you there is a problem with your computer – this is a scam.

Other concerned residents have reported scam texts from the bank – the bank will never contact you in this way

We have also had reports of energy companies knocking doors to persuade you to change your supplier. Trading Standards advice is never trade on the doorstep for anything

Be wary of unsolicited calls around insulation and solar panels. Do not accept visits from anyone claiming to be able to improve your property in this way. If you are concerned about your home insulation, please contact the Footprint Trust on 01983 822282. They will provide trusted advice.

 

  • Repeated calls claiming to be from your internet provider telling you that your internet will be cut off if you don’t press a number to continue the call – hang up straight away.

  • Test messages from a company called Wapstar telling you to press a link to access winnings it comes through with no number just Free Message– delete this message straight away.

  • A phone call claiming that the residents council tax banding was wrong and they were due a £3000 refund and there would be a £150 admin fee to process the claim but this could be claimed back later – hang up straight away – Council Tax will never contact you in this way and you should never pay money to receive winnings or refunds.

Remember any call/message or email out of the blue is likely to be a scam do not respond.

 

People’s Postcode Lottery scam

Trading Standards are warning residents to be aware of a scam letter purporting to come from the People’s Postcode Lottery. The letter looks very official and tells you that you have won hundreds of thousands of pounds in the Postcode Lottery.

Even if you have entered the postcode lottery please be wary as at the end of the letter it requests a “processing fee”. This is a big indicator that this is in fact a scam and not genuine.

Two rules to remember

  • If you haven’t bought a ticket you can’t win
  • You should never have to send money to receive your winnings

If you are unsure please find your own contact details for the postcode lottery (not those given on the letter) and contact them yourself.

Council Tax Scam

Please be aware of a scam email that has been received by an Island resident. Due to its appearance it  looks very genuine with the HMRC logo and a link to a Government looking web site. The email states that you have made an overpayment in your council tax and you are due a refund, it directs you to click on a link where you will be asked to complete a form which requests your bank details and card details. This is a scam.

Your Council Tax payment is made to the Isle of Wight Council and not a Government website, the council will never contact you in this way. If you receive this email delete it straight away – do not click on any links and under no circumstances should you give out your bank account or card details in this way.

TV Warranty Scam

“Residents are receiving cold calls offering to renew their TV warranties from a number identified as 01903 924518. Some of the residents they are calling have old televisions or no television at all so we would like to remind residents that if they don’t know the number that is calling them not to answer it and any unsolicited or uninvited contact is likely to be a scam so hang up straight away.”

Face Book Scam

Trading Standards are advising users of Face Book to be wary of requests of money from “friends”. Scammers are hacking unused and current Face Book accounts and messaging all of the friends on the account with a believable story asking for money in an emergency. This scam will involve payment through Pay Pal and if you are the victim of one of these scams you won't be able to get your money back.

If you receive a request for financial help in this way contact your friend via text or phone to check if this is valid. We would also suggest that you report it online on the Action Fraud website.

Please be wary of unsolicited requests for money or bank details from anyone – they are likely to be scams”

TV Licensing Scam

Trading Standards have been advised of a scam email that has been received by Island residents, allegedly from the TV Licensing department. The email is entitled “Your Direct Debit payment request was declined by your bank” and the content of the email is as follows

 

Oops! Something went wrong.

We're sorry to let you know that the TVLicense could not be automatically renewed.



Renew your licence before it expires on 24 January 2019 to remain legally licensed.



Your TVLicence number is ………………..



If you don't keep up with your payments, we may be forced to cancel your licence or pass your details to a debt collection agency.

 

 

Please do not reply to this email as this address is not manned and cannot receive any replies.

437526134

 

If you receive this email delete it immediately and do not click on the link – it is a scam. No legitimate company will ever contact you in this way.

Police Email Scam

Police are warning motorists about a new scam which claims that the driver has received a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) for a speeding violation. Police are urging drivers not to click on an email that is being sent to them which could put them at risk. The email contains a ‘Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP)’ which alleges that police are taking action against an offence. It comes with Great Manchester Police branding and logos, bogus PTN numbers and other details that look official. However, GMP tweeted that drivers should delete it immediately, “Fixed penalty notice, please don't click any links and delete. “It's a scam. We issue NIPs by post to DVLA registered address, not to emails”. While the scam has some spelling and formatting errors, if you scanned across it you could feel at risk and threatened by it.

If you receive it you should delete it immediately as the DVLA will not email you an NIP and will instead send it by post.

Fortnite

Action Fraud has seen reports, made mainly by parents on behalf of their children, of fraudsters who are taking advantage of Fortnite gamers. In most reports, the gamer has seen an advert on a social media channel which claims that by following a web link and entering some information, they will receive free Vbucks (currency for the game). Fraudsters will ask the victim for information about their account which will then allow them to log in and create fraudulent charges. 

Fraudsters are targeting victims in many other ways. These include asking for people’s phone numbers in return for Vbucks to then sign the victim up to a premium rate subscription service, selling access to other people’s Fortnite accounts, and offering VBucks for free then actually charging for it.

Costa

A new scam, which is currently doing the rounds on WhatsApp, offers users a £75 voucher in celebration of Costa Coffee's 50th birthday. Costa Coffee was founded in 1971, making it only 47 years old!

The message requests customers to complete a survey and is NOT genuine. Trading Standards recommends that you are very careful about who you give your personal and banking details to.

One for All Card

Residents have been receiving repeat calls from people claiming to be from the Ministry of Justice or a ‘claims advisory service’,  urging them to pay money to a ‘one for all card’ from the post office as a  handling fee. Once paid, the caller says they will then release the money the resident is supposedly owed from a bank (in this case, Nationwide). 

The caller is then calling back to check the card has been purchased before they say that they are sending their solicitor to the house to do the exchange of the ‘one for all’ card  for the money owed to the resident. The scammer already has the address and number and the resident believes he may be using the UK phone book to have this information.

This is a SCAM – NO company would ever contact you in this way and would NEVER ask you to purchase something in return for releasing cash you are supposedly owed.

Do NOT give your personal details out over the phone and always check the number that is calling you – if you don’t recognise it – DON’T pick it up.

British Gas refund emails.

We’ve had an increase in reports about fake British Gas emails claiming to offer refunds. The links provided in the emails lead to genuine-looking British Gas phishing websites that are designed to steal the usernames and passwords for British Gas accounts.



Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.



For more information on how to stay secure online, visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk 



Courier Fraud

Fraudsters are contacting victims by telephone and purporting to be a police officer or bank official. To substantiate this claim, the caller might be able to confirm some easily obtainable basic details about the victim such as their full name and address. They may also offer a telephone number for the victim to call to check that they are genuine; this number is not genuine and simply redirects to the fraudster who pretends to be a different person. After some trust has been established, the fraudster will then, for example, suggest;

  • Some money has been removed from a victim’s bank account and staff at their local bank branch are responsible.
  • Suspects have already been arrested but the "police" need money for evidence.
  • A business such as a jewellers or currency exchange is operating fraudulently and they require assistance to help secure evidence.

Victims are then asked to cooperate in an investigation by attending their bank and withdrawing money, withdrawing foreign currency from an exchange or purchasing an expensive item to hand over to a courier for examination who will also be a fraudster. Again, to reassure the victim, a safe word might be communicated to the victim so the courier appears genuine.

At the time of handover, unsuspecting victims are promised the money they’ve handed over or spent will be reimbursed but in reality there is no further contact and the money is never seen again.

Argos

Watch out for fake Argos texts offering refunds. These fake text messages purport to be from Argos and claim that you're owed a refund. The link in the messages lead to phishing websites designed to steal your personal information as well as payment details. Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it's a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

TSB

Be wary of texts claiming to be from the TSB. The fraudsters are using specialist software to change the sender ID on the message so that it looks like it was from the bank. The message requests that the recipient clicks onto a website link that leads to a phishing website designed to steal online banking details. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

BT

Residents are receiving calls advising them that their internet is about to be disconnected and to press 1 to contact BT and 2 to disconnect immediately. This is a scam hang up straight away, companies will never contact you in this way.

Yodel

We have received reports from the police about a parcel delivery scam where fake emails have been received from Yodel.  

The emails try to convince the potential victim that they have missed a parcel delivery, and then prompt them to update their details, it appears to be an attempt to gain personal/banking information. If you are unsure about an email that you receive always contact the sender using contact details that you have obtained independently.

Conveyancing Scam

If you are in the process of buying a house be aware of this nasty scam that is currently destroying home buyers dreams. Scammers are hacking solicitors accounts and sending emails with fake bank account details on them so that when you transfer the deposit to your solicitor it goes straight to the scammers bank account. You can read about a recent case here which took place in London however we have also had reports of Island residents falling victim to this scam.

Inheritance Scam

We have recently been made a ware of various different inheritance scam letters that are being received by residents. These are from various different sources an countries but all share a very similar theme. the premise is that you are the only living relative of somebody who has died overseas and left a large inheritance. This letter will have been sent to thousands of other people all saying the same thing. If you engage with this scam you will be expected to send endless sums of money to release your inheritance - this will never happen.

Local Telephone Number

We are always advising residents to check the number that is calling them and if they don't recognise it don't answer it. we have been advised that scam calls have been received using and 01983 number - please be wary when answering calls from unknown callers.

BT

Please be wary of emails from BT advising that your payment has been declined. A member of Trading Standards staff has received one and on checking her account it is clear that this is a SCAM.

Moneyexpert.com

Please be wary of cold callers claiming to be from moneyexpert.com they are calling at doors wanting to check your details and potentially offer you a  better energy deal. These may be genuine however we don't recommend that you engage with callers on the doorstep in this way. If you wish to change provider we recommend that you carry out your own investigations. Please note this company is nothing to do with Moneysavingexpert.com

Telephone Preference Service

Please be aware of calls allegedly from the Telephone Preference Service. This is a free service that you can sign up to in order to block nuisance and scam calls. Scammers are now using this company as a way to con residents out of money.

Facebook account takeover, PayPal and WhatsApp fraud

We have received several reports from victims who have had their Facebook account hacked by cybercriminals who have then sent messages to their friends asking for a favour relating to PayPal. For further information on this scam please click on the following link: Action Fraud Police UK 

Southern Water

Please be aware that scammers are calling residents claiming to be debt collectors acting on behalf of Southern Water saying that thousands of pounds are owed. - This is a scam If you receive a call like this do not make any payments - just hang up

HMRC

A member of our staff has received an email from HMRC saying that they are eligible to receive a refund directly to their debit or credit card. This is a scam, if you receive an email like this delete it straight away, do not click on any links and under no circumstances give your card details out. 

Imperial Telecom

We have had reports from residents saying that they have received calls from a company called Imperial Telecom. They are telling residents that they have taken over BT bill payments and can even save them money!

They are trying to obtain residents bank details to set up a direct debit – This is a scam!

If you receive a call from this company please hang up straight away, no legitimate company would contact you in this way to advise you of changes to your payments and would never ask for bank details over the phone.

Call back scam

One of our members of staff has been receiving calls on their mobile claiming to be from Tunisia (Code +216). They called back but nothing happens - This is a call back scam and you are charged extortionate amounts of money whilst your "call is being put through" Ignore this call it is a SCAM 

Respectable Island business - victims of similar scams

We have received a call from a respectable Island business who wanted to share their story to prevent others from becoming victims of similar scams.

Its important to remember that these criminals are incredibly sophisticated and prepared to put a huge amount of effort into conning people out of their money. Its not just people that get scammed businesses can also fall victim.

“Around 2014 first contact came from a lady offering us some advertising space in a Drugs Awareness Booklet to be distributed in Island High Schools at a cost of £199, as we like to support local charities we agreed to advertise in one issue. There was no mention of any further payments.

Shortly after sample of the brochure was sent to us in the post, no doubt to further convince us of this being legitimate.

A few months after we were contacted again and informed that we were, in fact, committed to a year of payments and needed to pay again of which we argued and categorically said no.

We received calls every few months from then chasing the money. Each time the call was made by women and each time we said no and requested paper work to back this up but they kept saying it was a verbal agreement recorded on the phone.

Onto September 2017 and I received a call from a Man calling himself Mark Taylor on a mobile number.

He said he was a high court bailiff working on behalf of an advertising company who were chasing the money we owed them for the verbal agreement to advertise for a year in the Drugs Awareness Booklet. He said he had a High Court Writ.

He said his bailiffs were 40 minutes away and would be arriving on site to collect payment. If they arrived on site we would incur an additional £1000 charge.

When we questioned why we did not receive CCJs or any other paperwork he said that the advertising company said we did and it was our word against theirs.

He went from nasty to nice even suggesting if we pay the money we stood a good chance of appealing it in court. He was very believable and despite previous doubts we believed that the bailiffs would shortly be with us.

He then suggested he could potentially make a deal with the company and said he would call us back. He called back and offered us a deal where we pay a reduced amount and he would tell his bailiffs not to come. There was also a promise of the paperwork being sent by recorded delivery to arrive the next day.

This went on for some time he kept calling back, every time he was stressing how the bailiffs were getting closer putting more and more pressure on us to pay. He was so convincing.

Unfortunately we paid.

Since this has happened we have done some research and found out that this is definitely a scam and some people have been tricked into signing up for regular monthly payments of £199.

We just want to let people know that these type of things happen and not to be bullied into giving money to these criminals” 

HMRC

Residents are being contacted by phone and told that they are being investigated by HMRC and that they owe money. If they do not pay they will be arrested. Some residents are being told to buy I-Tunes vouchers (£1000's at a time) others are being told to press buttons on their phone to take them through to make the payment.  Both are scams! The HMRC would never contact you in this way. If you should receive a call like this hang up straight away.

I-Tunes Gift Cards

The following story happened to somebody on the mainland just this month - it is a scam!

The victim received a telephone call from a man she did not know. The man told her to buy £400 of ITunes gift cards from a particular store. He had already called the store to make sure they had the gift cards and told them to reserve them and he would send a family member to collect them. The scammer said to the victim that she was entitled to compensation of £800 and to claim that money she had to buy the ITunes vouchers. He said they would call later to get the codes and then they would send the money to her bank account. The scammer booked a taxi which collected her and took her to the store. She had to pay for the taxi too.

The staff at the store became suspicious when the victim spoke to them in the store and called police. An investigation has now been launched. They became suspicious when she produced a note stating that she needed to buy ITunes vouchers for her personal use. The lady stated that she didn’t know what an ITunes voucher was and seemed confused about the circumstances.

Telephone Preference Service

We have had reports that people are receiving high volumes of nuisance/scam calls in quick succession from various different sources offering services or products. A short time later someone purporting to be from the Telephone Preference Service will then call and offer to stop nuisance calls for a fee. This is a Scam. The Telephone Preference Service will never contact anyone to do this and certainly not take any bank or card details.

If you wish to sign up to the Telephone Preference Service use the details on our Protecting Yourself, Family and Friends page.

Microsoft Scam Calls

The Microsoft Scam calls tyipcally consist of the scammers usually declaring that they have detected a fault with their victim's PC and trick them into giving them remote access to it. Once they have remote access they then often install images that appear to show the computer is infected or install malware themselves.

Finally, they demand a fee to fix the issue or otherwise convince the victim to share their bank account details.

Sometimes the victim is then contacted again at a later date from someone else claiming to work for the same service, who says they are due a refund. If the victim hands over their bank details again, further money is taken from their account.

Please note: Microsoft will never contact you to provide support, any contact must be initiated by you.

If you get a call do not give them permission for remote access, just put the phone down.

Some good news is that arrests have recently been made in the UK and the report into this can be read on the BBC website by clicking here.

Council Tax Refund

Island residents have been targeted by a phone scam claiming to be able to reduce your Council Tax banding. For an initial fee of £55 the Company offer to see if they could arrange for your Council Tax banding to be lowered. They then arrange for a direct debit for his new reduced Council Tax to be taken monthly.

If you wish to check your Council Tax banding then this can be done for free through the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) website, click here to visit the website.

TV Licensing Refund

This scam involves the victim receiving an email detailing a fake TV license refund they are due and getting the victim to click a link titled 'refund me now'

Do not respond to this email or click the link it is a scam. Just delete the email.

The following is a copy of an email received recently by an Island resident

Do not respond to this email if you receive one it is a scam!

TV Licensing refund of 82.50 GBP - Still Pending



After the last annual calculation we have determined that you are eligible to receive a TV Licensing refund of

82.50 GBP. Due to invalid account details records, we were unable to credit your account.



Please submit the TV Licensing refund request and allow us 5-10 working days for the amount to be credited

to your account.



Click "Refund Me Now" and follow the steps in order to have us process your request.



Please double check your info before submitting to avoid any delays.



NOTE: For security reasons, we will record your IP Address, the date and time. Deliberate wrong inputs are

criminally pursued.





Refund Me Now ? (Link deactivated  - Do Not click this link in the email, it is a scam!)





Best regards,



TV Licensing Refunds

 

Amazon

Even the Trading Standards department doesn't escape scam emails! the following was received in our inbox recently.

The following is a copy of an email received recently IWC Trading Standards department

Do not respond to this email if you receive one it is a scam!

 

Dear Customer,

We detected irregular activity on your Amazon.co.uk Account

Click on the link below to Confirm Your Identity using our secure server:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/css/homepage.html/ref=nav_youraccount_ya (Do not click this link!)

Amazon.co.uk Customer Service

For advice on what to do if you receive an email like this from Amazon click here to visit the Amazon Help & Customer Service. Amazon take Phishing and Spoofing attempts on their customers very seriously and would like customers report it to them.

Pets for sale

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud have recently noticed a rise in the reporting of pets, and in particular puppies and kittens, being advertised for sale via popular online auction websites. The fraudsters will place an advert of the pet for sale, often claiming that the pet is currently held somewhere less accessible or overseas.

Upon agreement of a sale, the suspect will usually request an advance payment by money transfer or bank transfer. However, the pet does not materialise and the fraudster will subsequently ask for further advanced payments for courier charges, shipping fees and additional transportation costs. Even if further payments are made, the pet will still not materialise as it is likely to not exist.

Tips to staying safe when purchasing pets:

  • Stay within auction guidelines.
  • Be cautious if the seller initially requests payment via one method, but later claims that due to ‘issues with their account’ they will need to take the payment via an alternative method such as a bank transfer.
  • Consider conducting research on other information provided by the seller, for example a mobile phone number or email address used by the seller could alert you to any negative information associated with the number/email address online. 
  • Request details of the courier company being used and consider researching it.
  • Agree a suitable time to meet face-to-face to agree the purchase and to collect the pet. If the seller is reluctant to meet then it could be an indication that the pet does not exist.
  • A genuine seller should be keen to ensure that the pet is going to a caring and loving new home. If the seller does not express any interest in you and the pet’s new home, be wary.
  • If you think the purchase price is too good to be true then it probably is, especially if the pet is advertised as a pure-breed.
  • Do not be afraid to request copies of the pet’s inoculation history, breed paperwork and certification prior to agreeing a sale. If the seller is reluctant or unable to provide this information it could be an indication that either the pet does not exist or the pet has been illegally bred e.g. it originates from a ‘puppy farm’. A ‘puppy farm’ is a commercial dog breeding enterprise where the sole aim is to maximise profit for the least investment. Commercial dog breeders must be registered with their local authority and undergo regular inspections to ensure that the puppies are bred responsibly and are in turn fit and healthy. Illegally farmed puppies will often be kept in inadequate conditions and are more likely to suffer from ailments and illnesses associated with irresponsible breeding.
  • When thinking of buying a pet, consider buying them in person from rescue centres or from reputable breeders.

 

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting the website: www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.