Recent Scams

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls about ‘your rent’ – 23 April 2020

We are highlighting a warning from the Broadland Housing group after one of their residents reported receiving a telephone cold call about their rent.

During the call the cold caller stated that the residents’ rent account was in arrears and that they needed to pay immediately. Fortunately, the resident questioned the cold caller about the claims and following unsatisfactory responses the resident ended the call and contacted Broadland Housing to report the call.

Our advice is always be very wary of claims made during a telephone cold call and never give or confirm any personal or financial details if approached in this manner. If you receive a call from someone you pay on a regular basis but cannot confirm if it is a genuine contact, hang up, wait five minutes or use another phone to contact the organisation on a number printed on official correspondence, a recent bill or from their website or app.

You can report suspicious cold calling to us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on their freephone number 0808 223 1133 or via their online reporting form.

News Alert – Public urged to flag coronavirus-related email scams as online security campaign launches – 22 April 2020

Cyber experts have launched measures to protect the UK from online harm as the country continues to rely more on technology while staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ, has launched the cross-governmental ‘Cyber Aware’ campaign, which offers actionable advice for people to protect passwords, accounts and devices.

As part of campaign, the organisation has published specific advice for personal and professional use of video conferencing services, with top tips on setting up your accounts, arranging a chat and protecting your device.

The NCSC has also today launched the pioneering ‘Suspicious Email Reporting Service’, which will make it easy for people to forward suspicious emails to the NCSC – including those claiming to offer services related to coronavirus.

This will build on the NCSC’s existing takedown services, which have already removed more than 2,000 online scams related to coronavirus in the last month, including;

  • 471 fake online shops selling fraudulent coronavirus-related items
  • 555 malware distribution sites set up to cause significant damage to any visitors
  • 200 phishing sites seeking personal information such as passwords or credit card details
  • 832 advance-fee frauds where a large sum of money is promised in return for a set-up payment

For advice on how Individuals and Families can keep themselves safe visit the NCSC website.

View further information on the NCSC Suspicious Email Reporting Service.

Scam Alert – Text messages about your bank account – 22 April 2020

We have received reports from residents about text messages claiming to be from banks stating there is an issue on your account.

These messages are spammed out randomly to huge numbers of mobile numbers hoping to trick people into clicking on a link which will take them to bogus versions of the genuine bank website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details.

The messages will often claim that accounts have been frozen, that money is about to leave the account or that there is fraudulent activity with the aim of panicking the recipient into reacting.

If you receive this or a similar message our advice is:

  • Do not click on any links or open attachments
  • Do not reply to the message
  • Do not call any numbers given in these messages

If you are concerned about the security of a bank account or credit card, contact your bank or service provider directly using the customer service number printed on the card, on a recent statement or via information available on their genuine website or app. Never use details provided in a text message.

If you think you might have responded to a text message scam and provided your bank account details, contact your bank immediately.

You can report suspected text message scams to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be the ‘Corona Charity Fund’ – 21 April 2020

We are warning residents after receiving reports of telephone cold calls claiming to be from the ‘Corona Charity Fund’.

During the call the cold caller makes claims regarding the expected death count at the peak of the virus spread and gives information on how bad the current situation is.

The cold caller then asks for a donation to help in the fight against coronavirus.

Our advice is always be very wary of claims made during a telephone cold call and never give or confirm any personal or financial details if approached in this manner.

The alarmist information is not correct and there is no such charity. If you receive this or a similar call just hang up.

You can report suspicious cold calling to us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on their freephone number 0808 223 1133 or via their online reporting form.

Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from ‘TV Licensing’ – 20 April 2020

There continues to be a range of emails circulating claiming to be from TV Licencing.

Recent examples have included emails claiming that ‘Something went wrong’ and that you now have an ‘Overdue Balance of £12.00’.

These emails are not from TV Licencing and any links contained within the message are likely to go to a genuine-looking fake version of the TV Licencing website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details.

Scammers will often target people with requests for small amounts as people may be less likely to check and action without thinking about it.

Our advice is always be wary of claims made in unexpected email approaches and never click on links or open attachments if approached in this way.

TV Licensing offer the following advice to help spot scam TV Licence emails:

  • Check the sender’s email address – TV Licensing will only send emails from donotreply@tvlicensing.co.uk (or donotreply@spp.tvlicensing.co.uk)
  • Check how scammers address you – genuine TV Licensing emails will always use your title and last name. Scammers may simply use your email address, say ‘Dear Customer’ or nothing at all
  • Check links in the email – Do not click on links or attachments. If you’re unsure, you can inspect links first. On a computer, hover over the link with your mouse (but don’t click it). On a mobile or tablet, press down and hold (don’t release whilst on the link)
  • Check addresses of any websites it takes you to – scammers can’t use ‘www.tvlicensing.co.uk’ for copy-cat sites. They’ll try to disguise this, so carefully inspect the full address in the browser bar

You can report suspicious emails received to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls claiming to be distributing masks and hand sanitiser to ‘over 50s’ – 16 April 2020

We are warning residents to be alert for text messages claiming to be from ‘City Council’.

These messages are fake. If you receive one, delete it without clicking on the link. There are likely to be a number of variations of this message circulating quoting different amounts and web links.

You can report suspected text message scams to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.We are warning residents to be alert for telephone cold calls which claim to be arranging to distribute ‘face masks and hand sanitiser’ to ‘over 50s’.

In some calls the cold callers are claiming to be from the ‘Preservation Society’ and are engaging the call recipient by discussing current coronavirus social isolation advice before stating they are distributing these items to people over 50. The cold caller then attempts to take a payment of £29 for this.

Our advice is always be very wary of any approach made in a telephone cold call and never give or confirm any personal or financial details if approached in this manner

You can report suspicious telephone cold calls to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Text messages referencing ‘Covid-19’ from ‘City Council’ – 15 April 2020

We are warning residents to be alert for text messages claiming to be from ‘City Council’.

These messages are fake. If you receive one, delete it without clicking on the link. There are likely to be a number of variations of this message circulating quoting different amounts and web links.

You can report suspected text message scams to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Emails and social media posts claiming to be from supermarkets – 15 April 2020

We are warning residents that there are a number of emails and social media posts circulating claiming to be from supermarkets offering vouchers, gift cards or ‘free shops’ to support people during ‘quarantine’.

All these examples have no connection to the genuine companies and will be used to try to gather people’s personal or financial details to use for other scams.

You can report suspected scam emails or social media posts to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Text messages claiming to be from ‘TV Licensing’ – 14 April 2020

We have received reports that text messages claiming to be from TV Licencing are circulating again.

Recent examples have included messages that ‘your last payment was unsuccessful’ and then providing a link to ‘update your information’.

These texts are not from TV Licencing and any links contained within the message are likely to go to a genuine-looking fake version of the TV Licencing website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details.

Scammers may also use the recent announcement that TV Licensing customers aged over 75 will remain covered by a free TV licence until 31 May 2020 to send further scam emails.

You can report suspicious text messages received to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.

Information Alert – Looking to give to charities responding to the pandemic, make sure you do it safely – 13 April 2020

With many people giving generously to support charities that are responding to the pandemic, make sure you don’t fall victim to scammers who may try to divert vital funds from genuine causes.

If you are looking to donate, take time to check it is a genuine charity by following the advice below:

There are simple ways of making sure you give safely to registered charities:

  • Check the charity’s name and registration number at gov.uk/checkcharity. Most charities with an annual income of £5,000 or more must be registered
  • Make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information – it’s ok to decide not to give on the spot. Be wary of unsolicited emails from charities you have never heard of and be careful when responding to emails or clicking on links within them
  • Use the same caution as with any other internet transaction, for example, to donate online, visit the charity’s own website and always type the website address into the browser yourself
  • Contact or find out more online about the charity that you’re seeking to donate to or work with to find out more about their spending. Ask a trusted friend, neighbour or relative if you are unable to research this or need a second opinion
  • Ignore requests to donate through a money transfer company
  • If in doubt about an approach, give to a charity that you have an existing relationship with