Trading Standards – November 2023

Consumer Alerts November 2023

Beware fraudsters impersonating a police officer.
Courier fraudsters have been reported operating across East Lancashire.  All victims have been phoned by someone impersonating a police officer from Lancashire Constabulary. The caller has given a false name and collar number before telling them that either their bank accounts are unsafe, they have been a victim of fraud, or they need you to assist them in an investigation.

They have then been asked to withdraw a substantial amount of cash, buy high value items such as Rolex watches or exchange the cash to Euros. They have been given a false one-time-password, and a ‘courier’, who is also a fraudster, has picked up the cash or items from their home address, or neutral location, like a car park.

Please remember the police, or your bank, will NEVER ask you to assist with an investigation over the phone, withdraw or transfer money or buy high value items. The Police, or your bank will also never send someone to collect cash, items, PINs, cards or cheque books from you, from any location.

If you have concerns or want to check if a police officer is genuine you can call 101.  Consider using a different telephone or mobile phone or wait 5 minutes and make sure the potential scam caller has terminated their call.

Further information can be found at www.lancashire.police.uk/news

Scam insulation telesales call
A Preston householder has reported receiving a telesales call where the caller claimed to be employed by the British Board of Agrément (BBA) asking if the householder was interested in saving energy. Services offered were spray foam inside your roof and a water repellent masonry cream.

The BBA are a construction industry approvals body and will never cold call.  Scammer callers can try and trick you by pretending they are from a reputable body.  Always do your own research when looking for trader or when looking at what insulation products may be suitable for you and your home.

Remember Cosy Homes in Lancashire (CHIL) can help you find out if any government grants or funding are available for a range of heating, insulation and low carbon renewable technologies,  www.chil.uk.com, Tel:03306 061488.

Trading Standards advice is to always say no to cold callers.  The Safetrader scheme can help you find a trader in our area, contact 0303 333 1111 or go to www.safetrader.org.uk

Vehicle tax email scam
A resident in the Lancaster area received an email stating the following: ‘Welcome, our records show that you are not up to date with your current vehicle tax. This is your last reminder from us. Your vehicle is not permitted to legally be on the road. Renew your vehicle tax now.  You must fill out the form below to be up to standard with the DVLA.’  The email invites you to click to ‘start now’.

This is a scam.  The only place to access official information on DVLA and its services is GOV.UK. The agency will never ask for bank details by email and will never send text messages about vehicle tax refunds.

Vehicle owners are also reminded to be aware of copycat websites or scam websites that advertise vehicle taxing services.  Always check you are on the genuine ‘.gov.uk’ website before providing any personal or banking information.

Scam emails can be reported via report@phishing.gov.uk. Suspicious text messages can be forwarded to 7726.

Contact the Trading Standards Service via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133

Further information about current scams can be found on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/StanleyDards/

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