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#datingscams | Warning and advice issued following increase in scams across borough during Coronavirus outbreak | romancescams | #scams


People in Gedling borough are being warned to be on the alert after a rise in cases of scams and fraud across the area since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Nottinghamshire County Council Trading Standards in association with Nottingham City Council Trading Standards, Nottinghamshire Police and Victim Care have joined forces to produce the following advice they hope will help people being scammed or falling for fraud.

A council spokesman said: “Scams affect the lives of people across Nottinghamshire, they come in many forms and it is impossible to know about all of them. Recent evidence shows that both young and old are victims, but some people are more vulnerable due to their circumstances ie they live alone, isolated from family.

“One of the main messages we want to get across is there is no need to feel ashamed, there are agencies that can provide help and advice in the aftermath of a scam.”

Phone Scams

People are particularly vulnerable to phone scams currently due to Covid-19, as people are spending more time at home and are more isolated.

The type of phone scams that Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottingham City Trading Standards have received information about recently, include:

  • White goods insurance policy – a person gets a phone call, offering them a white goods insurance policy, often on automatic renewals. We are aware of several people, where they have ended up with multiple policies and families have raised the alarm when looking at bank statements. Once a consumer agrees, they often get repeated approaches by phone and their details often get shared.
  • Nutritional supplements – a person gets a phone call and the caller claims that nutritional supplements would help them with their joints and health in general. The supplements are extremely overpriced and often cost hundreds of pounds. In addition, in the past it has been found that they have not been made to the same standard of those available from the pharmacy for example. 
  • Amazon scams – a person gets a telephone call stating that their amazon account is about to expire or is out of date –the call encourages the consumer to ‘press one and give updated bank details.
  • HMRC scam – a person receives a telephone call stating that HMRC is filing a lawsuit against you, and to press one to speak to a caseworker to make a payment or a call stating that you have not been paying enough tax and you need to make a payment

Trading Standards have issued the following advice to help you avoid falling victim to a phone scam…

  • Don’t be afraid to hang up and never give your bank details or your personal information.
  • Verify any unexpected contact is genuine by using a known number or email address to contact organisations directly – is this caller who they say they are? After hanging up, wait five minutes and make sure you can hear a dial tone before making any other calls, or use your mobile. NEVER allow an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer or device.
  • Contact your landline provider to see if they offer a call blocker service. Alternatively, there are phones available on the high street with inbuilt call blockers. Ensure you shop around, when you are able to do so.
  • If you are a carer or have an older relative, please be on the lookout for any signs that they have been scammed. Each situation is different but typical signs could include; receiving lots of unwanted calls, unusual transactions on bank statements, becoming unwilling to go out (just in case they miss the next phone call telling them what they have won), having no money to buy food / pay bills.
  • Promote Take 5  and Friends Against Scams

Report scams to Trading Standards and obtain advice by completing an online form or by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 or report to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040. 

Doorstep crime 

Doorstep crime often includes poor quality work and high-pressure sales, often targeting the elderly and more vulnerable members of our community, although anyone can become a victim of this type of crime as sophisticated methods are often used.

Rogue traders can demand large amounts of money by threats and intimidation sometimes without even doing any work. They’ll usually want cash and may even offer to drive you to the bank to get it.

People can become victims of doorstep crime, as a result of people calling at their home and leafleting. Trading Standards have also received complaints from consumers, after they have uploaded their details onto a trader matching site.

Trading Standards have issued the following advice to help you avoid falling victim to a phone scam…

  • If you are considering having work done then ask friends and family for recommendations or search for a Trading Standards approved trader on the Buy with Confidence website
  • Don’t answer the door if you are not expecting a caller, if the person needs to contact you urgently, they will put a note through your door or have your contact details and be able to contact you via other means.
  • If you are expecting a caller, use a window or door viewer to see who the caller is and check the identity of the caller. Ensure you check their identification. 
  • Promote Take 5 and the Nominated Neighbour Scheme
  • Report doorstep crime to Trading Standards and obtain advice by completing an online form or by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 or report to Action Fraud online  or by calling 0300 123 2040. 

Romance Scams

Locally, between March and November, Victim Care have received 31 requests to support residents who have been the victim of a Romance Scam.

Protect yourself

  • Avoid giving away too many personal details when dating online. Revealing your full name, date of birth and home address may lead to your identity being stolen.
  • Never send or receive money or give away your bank details to someone you’ve only met online, no matter how much you trust them or believe their story.
  • Pick a reputable dating website and use the site’s messaging service. Fraudsters want to quickly switch to social media or texting so there’s no evidence of them asking you for money.

Spot the signs

  • You’ve struck up a relationship with someone online; they’re asking a lot of personal questions about you, but they’re not interested in telling you much about themselves.
  • They invent a reason to ask for your help, using the emotional attachment you’ve built with them. Your relationship with them may often depend on you sending money.
  • Their pictures are too perfect – they may have been stolen from an actor or model. Reverse image search can find photos that have been taken from somewhere else.

Report Romance scams to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Covid-19 Scams

Here’s a list of the latest Covid scams doing the rounds. Make sure you don’t get caught out…

  • Pets- Nottinghamshire Police has received a number of reports of individuals buying pets online. Scammers will ask for a deposit to secure the pet but advise you cannot visit the pet yet due to lockdown, they will then either block you & keep your money, or ask for further money for things such as injections or neutering.
  • Door knocking – Action Fraud has received reports of individuals targeting the elderly & vulnerable by offering to do shopping. The individual then takes the victims cash / bank card and never returns.
  • Fake websites – Action Fraud has received reports of individuals going online to order items such as face masks & hand sanitiser. The victim pays for these items & they never arrive.
  • Phishing emails / texts – There have been many reports of fake emails / texts. Report phishing emails to the National Cyber Security Centre by forwarding them to – [email protected]
  • Test & Trace scams – NHS Test and Trace will never ask you for financial details, PINs or passwords. They will also never visit your home. Contact tracers will never:
    • Ask you to dial a premium rate number.
    • Ask you to make any form of payment or for any bank account details.
    • Ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts.
    • Ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone.
    • Ask you to purchase a product.
    • Ask you to download any software to your device or ask you to hand over control of your PC or device.
    • Ask you to access any website that does not belong to the Government or NHS.

Trading Standards has issued the following advice to help prevent people falling for Covid scams…

  • Verify any unexpected contact is genuine by using a known number or email address to contact organisations directly – is this caller who they say they are? After hanging up, wait five minutes and make sure you can hear a dial tone before making any other calls, or use your mobile. NEVER allow an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer or devices.
  • Use someone you know and trust for shopping / other essentials. Don’t hand money over to someone on the doorstep. If you live in Nottinghamshire and you need help with getting essential items eg. Picking up prescriptions or groceries then please visit the Nottinghamshire Coronavirus Community Support Hub or if you do not have access to the internet call 0300 500 8080  or if you reside in Nottingham City please call the Customer Hub on 0115 915 5555.
  • Pick strong passwords – choose Three Random Words with a mixture of upper/lower case, numbers and special characters. Do not use the same password across sites. Enable Two Factor Authentication (2FA) on your accounts and devices that offer it, this provides a second layer of security.
  • Report Covid-19 scams to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040 or report to Trading Standards and obtain advice by completing an online form or by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.



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