Don’t fall foul of costly scams

Every year more than 3 million people in the UK fall victim to scams losing hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of their hard-earned pounds. Isn’t it time we started fighting back?

Well, you’re in luck – May is Scams Awareness Month, or SAM2014, a campaign set up by Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and Trading Standards to give people the information, skills and confidence to spot and stop scams.

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Beware the latest nuisance call rip-off… scammers pretending to be from the service that bans nuisance calls!

Households are being warned to watch out for a growing, sinister scam – fake calls purporting to be from the official service to protect against nuisance calls..

Scammers target households that are weary of endless nuisance phone calls to offer them a paid-for service that they claim will block cold callers.

However this service is already free of charge from the Telephone Preference Scheme (TPS).
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The top five scams to avoid revealed as fraudsters strike 600 times a day

The UK’s fraud prevention service is warning that crimes involving fraud continue to be a major problem despite tougher action.

Police crackdowns have led to an 11 per cent fall in fraud in 2013 compared with the year before, according to the fraud prevention service Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System. But there are still 600 frauds committed every day, half involving stolen identity.

As one scam is tackled, heartless criminals quickly come up with nasty new ways to part you from your cash.
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‘Microsoft support scam’ ringleader gets suspended jail sentence and fine

In the first such UK conviction, a Luton man has been ordered to pay compensation to victims of a scam that phoned victims to claim their PCs were infected with a virus.

A man who ran a “Microsoft support scam” which fooled people into paying for unneeded antivirus software that was free has been given a suspended jail sentence, and ordered to pay thousands of pounds in compensation and fines.

Fraud Warning – New Lottery Fraud

A new lottery fraud is being promoted by email – the perpetrators are attempting to take advantage of this years World Cup in Brazil to give the fraud a look of authenticity.  They are attempting to obtain personal details from the unsuspecting to use their stolen identities for the following:

•open bank accounts

•obtain credit cards, loans and state benefits

•order goods in your name

•take over your existing accounts

•take out mobile phone contracts

•obtain genuine documents such as passports and driving licences in your name.

The first you know of it may be when you receive bills or invoices for things you haven’t ordered, or when you receive letters from debt collectors for debts that aren’t yours.

A copy of the document is provided for your attention, if you receive this please do not respond and delete email immediately.

Fraudsters’ five most wanted items

Over 221,000 people fell victim to fraud last year, according to new figures from the CIFAS National Fraud Database.

While this marks an 11 per cent reduction on the remarkable levels witnessed the previous year, a closer look at the figures ‘completely dispels the idea that the tide has turned in the fight against fraud’, CIFAS warned.

It doesn’t take much to get hold of enough information to steal your identity.

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The dangerous new scam you need to know about: Conmen target bank customers calling from a phone number that mimics that of their bank

phone picture

Conmen are targeting bank customers with a terrifying telephone scam only previously seen in the U.S.

This latest deception is known as ‘number spoofing’ because crooks call customers using a phone number which mimics that of their bank.They do this using a device which can copy any number — even if the one they are calling from is entirely different.

So, when a victim receives a call on  their mobile, or home phone if they have one which has a screen showing  incoming call details, the number of their bank will flash up on the  display. 

Full Story >> The MailOnline

Britain’s most wanted fraudsters: The faces of our men suspected of operating ‘boiler-room’ fraud from Spain

Four men are wanted for scams against the British public from Spain Graham Hawrysh, 37, and Robert Douglas Lynch, 53 are suspected.  Jeffrey Gordon, 54, has links to Romania as well as Ireland and Colombia.  Tunch Kashif, 48, is said to have engaged in various investment frauds

Boiler Room fraud happens when investors are sold worthless shares

Full Story >> The MailOnline 




Pension liberation fraud

Project Bloom, a new multi-agency campaign, aims to help prevent a form of fraud in which members of the public are encouraged to access their pension before retirement, without being properly informed of the potentially severe tax consequences.

Click to see press releases from Project Bloom

Pension liberation refers to pension scheme members transferring their savings to an arrangement which allows access to funds before the age of 55.  While in rare cases – such as terminal illness – early access to funds is possible, for most people the likely result is a tax bill of more than half of the pension’s value.

When added to the fees charged by the companies offering the ‘service’, there may be little or none of the money left for retirement.

The perpetrators’ approach to pension scheme members is usually via unsolicited phone call or text message, with a pushy ‘advisor’ offering cash incentives, ‘loans’, a ‘savings advance’ or ‘cash back’ from the individual’s pension.

Five key tips

As well as providing information to pension professionals, the campaign offers five key tips to help members of the public avoid becoming victims:

  1. Never give out financial or personal information to a cold caller.
  2. Find out about the company’s background through information online. Any advisers should be registered with the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
  3. Ask for a statement showing how your pension will be paid at retirement, and question who will look after your money until then.
  4. Speak to an adviser that is not associated with the proposal you’ve received, for unbiased advice.
  5. Never be rushed into agreeing to a pension transfer.

The initiative is supported by The Pensions Regulator, HM Revenue & Customs, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), Serious Fraud Office and SOCA (the Serious Organised Crime Agency).

Full information can be found here:

If you think you have been a victim of this or another form of fraud, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or at Action Fraud.

Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre. It provides a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime. If you’ve been scammed, ripped off or conned, there is something you can do about it – get in touch with Action Fraud.