Police Connect message – SCAM ALERTS

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be from Citizens Advice

Police are warning about telephone cold calls claiming to be from Citizens Advice.  This follows a report from a Norfolk resident who received a cold call claiming to be from the ‘Citizens Advice Debt Service’ during which the cold caller attempted to engage with the call recipient about ‘debts’
Citizens Advice advise that they do not cold call or authorise others to cold call on their behalf.  If you receive one of these calls do not give or confirm any personal information. Hang up and report the call to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06

Scam Alert – Text messages claiming to be from ‘DVLA’ stating you have a ‘vehicle tax refund’

Police are warning about text messages circulating claiming to be from ‘DVLA’ stating ‘you have a vehicle tax refund’ from ‘an overpayment’, the text goes on to offers a link to ‘process your refund’.

These text messages are FAKE. DVLA do not send text messages or emails about vehicle tax refunds. It is also likely that there will be a several versions of this message circulating quoting different amounts.

If you receive this or a similar text message delete it.

Scam Alert – Facebook messages claiming to be from a friend asking if you could ‘receive a payment’ via PayPal 

Police are warning Facebook users about scam messages asking to use your PayPal account to ‘receive a payment’.

These messages come from a Facebook friend’s account but are actually sent by Fraudsters who have hacked the friend’s Facebook account and changed their password and phone number.

The fraudsters then message the hacked victims’ friends to ask them to receive payments through PayPal for various reasons. They often also ask for their phone number, so they can communicate through WhatsApp.

The fraudsters then convince the victim to receive funds into their PayPal account and transfer them into a bank account of the Fraudsters choice.

Having received the transfer a chargeback is then initiated through PayPal, leaving the PayPal account holder out of pocket.

If you receive a suspicious message from a friend on Facebook, contact them directly via other means to check the message is genuine.

You can find out more about keeping your Facebook account secure, including activating login alerts and two-factor authorisation on the Facebook website.

Information Alert – Changes to pension cold calls regulations as of  week commencing (9 January), companies that make unsolicited phone calls to people about their pensions will be liable to enforcement action, including fines of up to £500,000.

The ban has been introduced in a bid to prevent people falling victim to cold calling scams that can lead to them losing their life savings.

As many as eight scam calls take place every second – or a massive 250,000,000 calls a year – according to research from the Money Advice Service.

Victims of pension scams can lose their life savings and be left facing retirement with limited income. According to the Financial Conduct Authority, pension fraudsters stole on average £91,000 per victim in 2018.

If you receive a cold call about your pension, get any information you can, such as the company name or phone number, and report it to the Information Commissioner’s Office via their website or on 0303 123 1113.

If you have been a victim of this type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling them on 0300 123 2040 or by using their online fraud reporting tool.

Cold Calling Alert – Doorstep cold caller enquiring about ‘insulation’

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving a report of a doorstep cold caller in the Mulbarton area.

A resident received a doorstep cold call from a man who claimed he was ‘representing the local authority’ and they were ‘inspecting homes for fibreglass insulation’. The cold caller then offered to ‘conduct an insulation survey’. The resident declined the offer and reported the cold call to us.

We advise to be very wary of claims made by doorstep cold callers and never give access to your property, agree to services, buy items or for return visits if approached in this manner.

Impartial advice on energy saving and accessing grant schemes is available from the Energy Saving Trust.

Anyone concerned about doorstep cold calling in Norfolk can contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline via their online reporting form or by telephone on 03454 04 05 06.