Recent Scams Reported to Warwickshire Trading Standards Service
Our PCSO, Jane Coaley, forwarded the following details of scams reported to Warwickshire Trading Standards. Watch out for anything that sounds like one of these:
02/07/2013 Local Businesses Warned of ‘Fire Safety’ Checks
Warwickshire Trading Standards are warning local businesses to beware of unexpected visits from people claiming to be carrying out ‘official’ or ‘statutory’ fire safety checks or falsely claiming they have on-going service contracts. Several Warwickshire businesses have complained about these tactics, employed by unscrupulous traders seeking to sell fire safety equipment, fire and burglar alarms and first aid kits.
For genuine and unbiased fire safety advice visit: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/businessfiresafety
02/07/2013 Phone Call Holiday Scam Warning
A Spanish based rogue timeshare company is phoning Warwickshire consumers claiming they have been specially ‘picked’ and offered a ‘cut-price’ holiday. One very elderly resident was offered a two week luxury villa holiday and two weeks on a cruise for £650 following an unexpected phone call. The resident paid but then found the Spanish trader was making it impossible to book by claiming the individual was ‘too old’ or did not have enough money.
There are reputable companies but, in reality, these ‘free’ or ‘cheap’ holiday offers are often only made to get people to attend timeshare presentations abroad. But these rogue businesses only wish to attract people who are young enough that once they are pressured in to buying a timeshare will be paying for it for many years! More information in timeshare and holiday clubs visit: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandardsleaflets or for specific details on timeshare contracts (applies only to contracts signed under UK law) see here: opens in a new windowTime Share Agreements.
02/07/2013 ‘Cash’ Offers!
A Nuneaton resident reported to Warwickshire Trading Standards receiving an unexpected phone call from someone who offered the resident £2139 if they first purchased £500 worth of vouchers! This may either have been a straight forward scam or someone offering money off vouchers. In a similar case a Binley Woods resident was called unexpectedly and offered a £20 petrol voucher. The resident had to pay £1 postage and was asked for their card details!
Never give out your debit or credit card details to unexpected callers, either on the phone or at the door!
02/07/2013 Finance ‘Overpayment’ Scam
A Warwick consumer contacted the Trading Standards Service after he had received a phone call from someone claiming he had ‘overpaid’ on a finance agreement. The consumer did not even have a finance agreement! These are scam calls from call centres looking for people who may be owed compensation for PPI.
Remember, you do not need to pay a claims management company to obtain compensation you may be owed!
02/07/2013 Bogus Police Calls
A Kenilworth resident received an unexpected phone call from someone falsely claiming to be from Warwickshire Police, asking him to contribute to a road traffic incident. When the resident queried the caller, the caller was very abusive!
02/07/2013 Scam PPI Claimback
A Bagington resident contacted Warwickshire Trading Standards after receiving a phone call from some who claimed the resident would receive £2300 in PPI compensation, if they first paid £540 up front in vouchers!
02/07/2013 Be Careful With Your Pension!
Unscrupulous traders are cold calling Warwickshire residents offering to ‘sort out’ their pensions. One Leamington Spa resident reported being told that if he put all his pension in to one pot he would receive £1000 as a ‘reward’. Be extremely careful before you consider moving your pension.
Take appropriate financial advice. Never accept goods or services from unexpected callers!
02/07/2013 iTunes and Tesco Phishing Scams
A consumer reported to Warwickshire Trading Standards receiving an unusual email falsely purporting to be from ITunes and claiming that the recipient’s ITunes account had been frozen. The phishing email asked that the recipient log in to his account by following a link in the email.
A similar email that is also being received by Warwickshire consumers claims they have been successfully chosen to receive £500 of Tesco vouchers. Again they are asked to follow a link in the email to provide their personal information before receiving their bogus reward.
Never follow links in suspicious emails or provide personal or financial information via them. Phishing emails are designed to steal your money and enable computer viruses to access your PC. Delete them instead!
02/07/2013 Door to Door Gold and Jewellery Buyers
Warwickshire Trading Standards is warning consumers to be wary of unexpected calls from door to door gold and jewellery buyers after complaints from Bedworth residents. Trading Standards Officers believe that some may be linked to door to door rogue traders.
Never accept offers to buy your gold or jewellery from the first person who comes to your door. If you have items to sell, get a range of offers from high street buyers. Don’t sell to unexpected callers, you might get a very poor and uncompetitive price for your items!
02/07/2013 Home Insulation Warning
Atherstone residents reported to Warwickshire Trading Standards receiving unexpected doorstep visits from traders offering home insulation. The residents were told that the traders had been sent by the council and were offering ‘free’ or ‘grant paid’ insulation. This was untrue. One resident who signed up and later cancelled also found she had unwittingly agreed to change her energy supplier at the same time!