Community Safety, News

Latest Scam Alerts and Warnings from Warwickshire Trading Standards

16/01/2017 ‘Migrant Helpline’ exposing computer users to Ramnit malware

Scammers are reported to be sending out bogus emails that purport to come from a genuine charity called Migrant Helpline, to trick computer users in to downloading Ramnit, a type of malware designed to steal personal and corporate banking details.
The email address sending most of the bogus emails is noreply@yeshivadonations.com, but this may change. The email itself it titled ‘Thank you for choosing to donate to Migrant helpline’ and makes reference to a donation of
196.  It invites recipients who wish to query the donation (because they haven’t made one) to click on a link in the email. At this point the malware is downloaded on to the recipient’s computer.
This fraud is in no way related to the genuine charity.

This and many other phishing emails are being sent out with the sole purpose of encouraging users to click on a link, leading to a malware download.

Beware of any unusual emails you might receive and delete them without opening them, clicking on any link they might contain or downloading any attachments.

Even emails that appear to come from businesses or people you know or trust should be treated with caution. The email addresses of your family and friends or businesses you trade with could have been spoofed (or forged)!

If you receive an email from a business you buy goods or services from or a bank or utility company, never follow any links in their emails. Instead, always visit the company’s website by typing their web address into your browser.

When choosing a web mail account (such as gmail or Hotmail) make sure it offers spam/junk mail filtering and keep this feature turned on.
Most internet security packages also include spam/junk mail blocking. Ensure that the one you use is up to date and switched on.

13/01/2017 More threatening ‘HMRC’ scam phone calls!

Warwickshire consumers are continuing to report threatening bogus phone calls from scammers claiming to be HMRC.
The recorded phone calls falsely claim that HMRC have filed a lawsuit against them and request that they press 1 to speak to a call handler or the Police.

People who have responded have reported being asked for their National Insurance Number and other personal details, suggesting that this is an organised attempt to steal personal and financial information for the purposes of identity theft and other criminal activity.
This phone scam, along with a number of others appear to be use phone numbers beginning with the Manchester prefix 0161.
Residents are advised to put the phone down immediately on receiving a call of this nature. Never follow any instructions given or reveal any personal or financial information.

10/01/2016 Bogus PPI claim scams

Warwickshire residents are warned to beware of scam phone calls from people arranging delivery of bogus PPI awards.
A Warwick district resident reported receiving a telephone call from someone who claimed to be arranging the couriering of a £3750 PPI award payment to his home.

The resident was asked to hand over a fee of £375 in iTunes vouchers when the courier arrived. The caller knew both the resident’s name and address.

This scam can involve the handing over of forged or stolen cheques in return for the iTunes voucher. In many cases, the courier may simply just try to obtain the voucher’s serial number and not hand over anything.
The perpetrators of the scam only need the voucher serial number to redeem it, they don’t need the physical card. Therefore, the serial number can be passed on to criminal gangs operating abroad.
The phone calls are often made from call centres in the Far East, even though the callers use English sounding names.
Never pay for any goods or services using iTunes vouchers.

06/01/2017 Fake Amazon email warning
Action Fraud has received several reports from victims who have been sent convincing looking emails claiming to be from Amazon.

The spoofed emails from “service@amazon.co.uk” claim recipients have made an order online and mimic an automatic customer email notification.

The scam email claims recipients have ordered an expensive vintage chandelier. Other reported examples include: Bose stereos, iPhone’s and luxury watches.

The emails cleverly state that if recipients haven’t authorised the transaction they can click on the help centre link to receive a full refund. The link leads to an authentic-looking website, which asks victims to confirm their name, address, and bank card information.
Amazon says that suspicious e-mails will often contain:

  • Links to websites that look like Amazon.co.uk, but aren’t Amazon.co.uk.
  • Attachments or prompts to install software on your computer.
  • Typos or grammatical errors.
  • Forged (or spoofed) e-mail addresses to make it look like the e-mail is coming from Amazon.co.uk.

Amazon will never ask for personal information to be supplied by e-mail.
You can read more about identifying suspicious emails claiming to be from Amazon by visiting https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201489210

05/01/2017 Boiler calls warning
Warwickshire residents are warned to beware of persistent and unwanted phone calls from people claiming to be offering free boilers for householders on benefits.

Consumers are warned that these calls may be being made by people who actually want to sell you overpriced boiler cover or a boiler at a ‘discount’ which may not save you money at all!

Never agree to purchase goods or services from cold callers, or arrange for those callers to visit your home. It can be hard to tell a good trader from a bad one on the doorstep! If you are looking for a new boiler, consider using local businesses and where possible go on recommendation.

Some householders on certain benefits may qualify for free boiler grants funded by energy companies as part of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). To find out if you can benefit from ECO funding, please contact the Energy Saving Advice Service (0300 123 1234)

Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.