Warwickshire Trading Standards Scams Alerts

Warwickshire Trading Standards Scams Alerts

Scam Publication Warning to Businesses, Schools, and other Organisations

Businesses, schools, and other organisations are being cold called and offered advertising space in bogus anti-bullying, drugs, and safety related publications.

The callers sometimes claim they are working with the Police, Fire Service, or other Government services and that the publications will be distributed to schools.

 In reality, these bogus publications are not being produced with the agreement of any Government service and have little or no circulation, meaning that the advertising is worthless. The fraudsters use cleverly worded sales pitches to trick owners and employees in to agreeing to buy advertising space when they would otherwise not have done so. In some cases, fraudsters cold call and claim the business/organisation has already agreed to pay for advertising, even when they have not. These callers can be very persistent and threatening.

 Never agree to buy advertising from a cold caller. Do not even ask to see example copies of the publication or request further information. Some scam publishers will treat any such request as an agreement to buy.

 Scam publishers also threaten legal action if their 'customers' don't pay up.

 Business owners and organisation heads are advised to alert their staff to this scam.

 More information: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/a-z-of-fraud/charitable-publication-scams

 Scam Cavity Wall Upgrade

Warwickshire residents have reported receiving unexpected phone calls from traders, claiming that their cavity wall insulation has degraded and will require upgrading. The callers usually offer free surveys. Residents who initially agree to a survey and then later change their minds have reported not being able to contact the trader.

 You can’t tell a good trader from a bad one on the doorstep or over the phone. Trading Standards advises that you should never agree to purchase goods or services from cold callers.

 For more advice about home improvements, including Trading Standards approved traders, visit our website: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/consumeradvice

For advice on energy saving, visit: https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/

 National Insurance Number Scam

Several Warwickshire residents have reported receiving bogus phone calls relating to National Insurance (NI) Numbers. The calls range from being told that their NI number has been ‘compromised’ to being informed that their NI number has been used in a ‘suspicious’ way and must now be cancelled.

Action Fraud has reported receiving over 1000 reports of NI related scam phone calls. The scammers may be attempting to obtain personal and financial information on the pretence of arranging the deliver of a new NI card. Do not reveal any personal or financial information to cold callers. Always put the phone down.

 Appliance Insurance Scam

If you insure your household appliances annually against breakdown, then beware of a scam that is currently circulating. Fraudsters are cold calling Warwickshire residents claiming to be well known insurers and stating either that the appliance cover has lapsed or that it would be cheaper to make a one-off payment than to pay monthly. The fraudsters then take the payments over the phone before disappearing with the money.

Never buy goods or services from cold callers.

 Bogus Investment Opportunities

Fraudsters are emailing and cold calling Warwickshire residents claiming to be established and well-known investment companies. The fraudsters then offer the opportunity to invest in a bond before disappearing with the money. The Financial Conduct Authority recently issued a warning about cloned investment firms. Find out more here: https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart/how-avoid-investment-scams

 Local Council Repairs Cold Calls

Warwickshire residents have reported receiving unexpected phone calls from individuals claiming to be from the ‘local council housing repairs department’. These bogus callers appear to want to arrange home repairs to council properties. These phone calls are not being made by genuine councils. Residents are urged to put the phone down.

 To make a consumer complaint or for consumer help and advice, please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

For more consumer help and advice, including details of our approved trader scheme, please visit the Warwickshire Trading Standards website: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards

Sign up for regular scam alerts to your email inbox: https://mailchi.mp/warwickshire/scamawareness

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