SCAMS

  • RSPCA Pet Scam! The RSPCA have issued a warning to pet owners regarding a number of scams where fraudsters are posing as RSPCA employees. Fraudsters are trawling through social media looking for posters of missing pets and then are targeting the owners. Reports have been received from Pet owners advising they have been contacted by phone from someone claiming to be from the RSPCA and being told their missing pet has been found. They go on to ask for bank details, explaining it is to pay for either life-saving surgery, vets fees or for the cost to return their pet. Some owners have been told their pet is at a local vet and they require a small collection fee to be paid over the phone, which has resulted in much more money being taken from their accounts. They have gone as far as mirroring the RSPCA phone number so the call can look genuine on your phone caller display.  The RSPCA will never ask for money over the phone and if anyone is contacted about a missing pet advises

    • Ask them for a reference number and the officers name and ID
    • Call the National call centre on 0300 121 999 (between 7am- 10pm) If the call is not genuine call the police on 101
    • If your pet has gone missing alert your animal microchip company and local rescue centres & vets practices.
    • Beware when sharing your pet & contact details online and offering a reward.

    The RSPCA does not investigate reports of stolen pets and their officials, who will always be wearing branded clothing would never approach anyone in public or at home following claims of a stolen pet. They would only approach if there was an immediate danger to an animal or they witness animal cruelty.

  • Beware of a dangerous scam regarding Covid vaccine notification, in the form of a very convincing looking, but FAKE, text message or email.  The NHS website does advise to wait to be contacted by the NHS regarding your turn to receive the vaccine, but they will NEVER ask you for payment or to enter your personal details. Your vaccination invitation could arrive by letter, phonecall, email or text. If you have received an email which you believe to be fraudulent, forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk.  Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to 7726, which is free. Genuine information on how you will be contacted for your vaccine is on the NHS website and we have added more info on what to expect regarding your vaccination in our Covid-19 section on this page.  If you think you have been a victim of fraud or identify theft, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or go online to www.actionfraud.police.uk. It’s worth checking their website regularly as it is updated with all the most current scam information.

    Covid-19 vaccine fraud poster page 1 Covid-19 vaccine fraud poster page 2

  • Message from Inspector Becky Kidd-Stanton of the Neighbourhood Partnership Team at Suffolk Police: “We are aware of the wider impact of the Coronavirus on our communities. From a policing perspective, please be assured that our role remains the same. Our police officers and police staff will continue to protect the public, investigate crime and bring offenders to justice. Our control room staff will continue to assess every incident reported to the police and will deploy our resources accordingly. As you would expect, priority will be given to incidents where the public are at imminent risk of harm. We would like to reassure the community that we will continue to have measures in place to ensure we protect the most vulnerable people in our community.

    Like other organisations, we are experiencing increased demand on our services. We would encourage the public to use online reporting wherever possible for non-urgent reports.  If this is not possible, please use 101. However, if an incident is taking place at the time this should be reported immediately on 999. Although our community engagement officers are not currently able to carry out their normal role with face to face public engagements, they will still be undertaking their work on the telephone and on social media. [They can be contacted here.]  Our Diverse communities coordinator, Ginny Shoesmith is also still available for you to contact.

    Lastly, I would  like to take this opportunity to share a useful government  document with you.  We are aware that some people are having to stay at home and self-isolate. This document contains some  important information about how to stay safe whilst accepting help from others.”

    HMGOV Stay Safe information Poster

  • Pet Fraud Warning Suffolk  A warning from Suffolk Trading Standards regarding the rise in reports of fake pet sales, especially puppies and kittens which are being advertised via social media and other online pet platforms. The advert will often claim that the pet is being held somewhere less accessible or overseas and are using lockdown as a way of preventing buyers from visiting to view the animal.  Fraudsters will usually request an advance payment to secure the sale. You may also be asked to pay a further payment to cover courier charges, shipping fees and additional transportation costs. However, the pet does not materialise and is likely to not exist.

    There have been 3 reported cases in Suffolk with residents losing substantial sums of money. One resident responded to a rehoming advert on Facebook and received fake documentation stating the pet had been vaccinated by a Suffolk Veterinary Practice. The details were used fraudulently and the facebook page fake, set up to steal money from unsuspecting buyers.  Another resident responded to an online pet selling platform and was asked to pay £750 deposit and provide copies of their driving license as proof of identity. Once payment was received all communications stopped. A Suffolk resident drove to Liverpool to buy a dog they had seen available online. Returning home took the puppy to the vets and soon discovered passport for the puppy was fake and the puppy was younger than stated.  If you have been affected this scam , please report it to Suffolk Trading Standard on 0808 223 1133.

    Suffolk Trading Standard Pet fraud Image

  • Another scam is a text like this appearing to be from HMRC informing people of a supposed ‘goodwill payment of £258. DO NOT click the link if you receive it and please warn those in your life who may be susceptible. ALWAYS be suspicious when receiving such texts or emails and if need be contact the organisation the message purports to be from directly, using their official contact details.

    image of a mobile phone screen displaying a scam text

  • Home insulation scam  Beware of telephone calls and home visits from a company claiming to be working on behalf of Trading Standards to investigate unsafe insulation in your home that needs to be removed and replaced.  They are advising they can carry out the work for a specified fee which has been reported to be between £5000-£9000 which they say you can claim back through the Martin Lewis Green Scheme. No such scheme exists!  Always check the credentials and Identification of any company that contacts you by phone or in person. Never provide any personal or financial information or agree to any work done without getting a second opinion. If you have any concerns about a company that has contacted you, call  Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

    Insulation Scam Warning by Suffolk Trading Standards

  • omputer virus fraud. Beware of telephone calls claiming to be from a legitimate company advising you of a virus issue with your computer or internet connection.  Fraudsters will advise they can fix the problem for you by giving them remote access to your computer and asking for your financial details as payment for their service.  If you do receive a call like this, hang up & report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at actionfraud.police.uk

    Suffolk Trading Standards Computer Fraud Warning Informaito

  • Royal Mail Text Scam. Beware if your receive text message claiming to be from the Royal Mail advising you have a parcel awaiting delivery and asking you to confirm settlement delivery by clicking on the link provide. These texts are a scam so DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK! Criminals have created a fake website that the texts link to and they have been designed with similar branding and layout to the official Royal Mail website.  If you receive what you think is a fake message, forward the text message, including the phone number or company name, to 7726. It won’t cost you anything and it means your phone provider can investigate the sender.  Report all scams to Suffolk Trading Standards  on 0808 223 1133

    Suffolk Trading Standard Royal mail text Scam

  • Beware Whatsapp message scam alert! Which? have advised there is a new whatsapp message scam that is now circulating.

    How it works!  First you will receive a text followed by a WhatsApp message that appears t from friend who asks you for the code. DO NOT SEND! 

    Your friend’s WhatsApp has been hacked and you will become their target.            If you share the code, the scammers will hack yours too.

    Sign up for the Which? free weekly Scam Alerts

    Which Whatsapp Scam image

  • Beware of Rogue Traders Suffolk Trading Standards are advising ’Never’ to deal with traders who approach you out of the blue and offer you a product or a service. A report of traders driving a white transit style van are going door to door in the Tattingstone area offering a drive cleaning service. There has also been a report of the same type of vehicle in Saxmundham with traders offering plants, trees and garden furniture. if they approach you, they will use phrases like “last one” or “Ex exhibition stock”.  Please inform Suffolk Trading Standards on 0808 223 1133 if you have any information or if you have been approached yourself.

    Rogue Traders Scam image

  • Automated Telephone Message Scam Suffolk Trading Standards are advising everyone to be aware of the latest automated telephone message scam. Criminals claiming to be from the National Crime Agency and Inland Revenue have created the message which states that your National Insurance Number has been used in criminal activity and failure to contact them will result in the suspension of the number.

    They will provide a number to call to ‘resolve’ the issue or ask you to press 1 to speak directly to an adviser. THIS IS A SCAM! They are attempting to obtain your personal and financial information. If you receive a call contact 0808 223 1133 or Email: report@phishing.gov.uk

    National Crime Agency National insurance number scam image

  • TV Licence Email Scam A warning from Suffolk Trading Standards for everyone to beware if you receive an email which states that your TV Licence is about to expire. The email will advise you to click on the link that they will provide. DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK! This is a scam designed to steal your personal information and bank details. Tips on how to spot the fake ‘TV Licence’ email: 

    • Real emails will only come from this email address: donotreply@tvlicensing.co.uk.
    • Check the grammar and spelling.
    • TV Licensing will address you by your name and scammers will use a general term like ‘customer’.
    • The real website for TV Licensing is tvlicensing.co.uk. Scammers will create their fake website to look as genuine-looking as possible by using similar branding & fonts and will replicate the link with something missing or with a small addition designed to make you think it is real.

    If you receive this email or one similar contact Suffolk Trading Standards on 0808 223 1133 or  Email: report it report@phishing.gov.uk
    Suffolk Trading Standards TV License Scam Image

  • Netflix Email Scam Action fraud have advised they have received over 400 reports regarding Fake Netflix emails that are being circulated. The email states that the recipient needs to finish ‘signing up’ and to click on the link provided in order to start watching.

    DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK! It goes to a Fake but genuine-looking website designed to steal login details and personal financial details. If you receive a suspicious email contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or Email: report@phising.gov.uk

    Action Fraud Netflix Scam

  • Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft Suffolk Trading Standard are advising everyone to be more aware of the personal information that they throw away or give out to others to prevent becoming a victim ofIdentity theft. Criminals will gather information about you over time until they know enough about you to use it to steal your identity and apply for credit cards, loans, driving licence or passport in your name.  Please #TakeFive to think before discarding documents such as old bank statements and be careful of the personal information that you share on social media.

    Follow the 3 steps to protect yourself:

    1 Destroy unwanted documents including bills, bank statements or post that’s in your name, preferably by using a shedder.
    2 Request copies of your personal credit report from a credit reference agency on a regular basis to check for any entries you don’t recognise.
    3 Provide as little personal information about yourself on social media as possible and only accept invitations from people you know.

    Suffolk Trading Standards Identity Theft Image

  • Fake Apple iTunes Email Scam Action Fraud have advised they have received over 300 reports that relate to scam emails claiming to be from Apple. The emails state that the recipients iTunes account has been used to make purchases.  A link is provided which takes you to a fake but genuine-looking website where there is a form that is supposed to allow you to cancel the transaction.

    DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK it has been designed to steal your login details and any personal financial information. If you receive one of these emails contact Action fraud on 0300 123 2040 or email: report@phishing.gov.uk  

    Action Fraud Apple iTunes email scam

  • Protect against hackers Which? are advising you to check your router in order to protect your home against hackers. Weak passwords or lack of network updates can make your home vulnerable. There is some very useful information available on the Which? website to help you.

    Which Guide to Hackers Image

  • Fake Supermarket Texts Scam A warning by Suffolk Trading Standards regarding fake text messages being circulated by criminals stating your supermarket order is being delivered and to click on the link provided to track the delivery.

    DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK! It goes to a fake but genuine-looking websites asking you for personal and financial information. If you receive a suspicious text, forward the message to 7726 and include phone number/company name so your phone provider can investigate.

    Suffolk Trading Standards Supermarket Scam

  • Parcel Text Scam Suffolk Trading Standards have advised that criminals are sending out texts claiming to be from DHL or Hermes stating that they have attempted to deliver a parcel to you. The texts also including a link which will take you to fake websites which have been designed to look similar to the genuine websites as they have copied the branding, layout and font choices.

    DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK! IT IS A SCAM asking you for personal & financial information. If you think you have been a victim of a scammer contact your bank immediately or if you receive what you think is a fake text message, forward it to 7726. You can also report all scams to Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

    Courier Scam Image Suffolk Trading Standards
  • Fake DVLA email Scam Action Fraud are advising they have received hundred of reports regarding fake emails claiming to be from the DVLA.  The emails state that the recipients car is no longer taxed and provides a link where payment can be made. Do Not click on the link as it is a scam .

    The DVLA will never ask for bank details over email. The only place to access official information on the DVLA and its services is GOV.UK  If you receive a suspicious email, you can report it by forwarding the email to report@phishing.gov.uk. or you can call Action Fraud on 0808 223 1133.

    DVLA Scam Action Fraud Image

  • Can you spot the difference? A Genuine request or a scam? Criminals posing as your bank can trick you into updating your personal details through links provided in the text messages. They can be embedded into genuine message threads making it increasingly difficult to spot.  Stop and think #TakeFive and log into your account directly to update your personal information.  If you are worried you may have fallen for a scam, contact your bank straight away and report it to Action Fraud by forwarding any scam texts to 7726 or by calling 0808 223 1133.

    Suffolk Trading Standards Action Fraud Bank text scams

  • Beware Of Phishing Emails There have been reports of phishing emails being sent out claiming to be from Currys PC World, offering the chance to win a Nespresso or MacBook Pro.  These emails are FAKE and are designed to obtain your personal details.   If you have received an email which you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) at report@phishing.gov.uk.  Contact your bank immediately if you are worried you have may have compromised the safety of your bank details and/or have lost money due to fraudulent misuse of your cards.

    Phishing Email Scam Curry's PC World Macbook Nespresso