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  • Warning over scam ‘Citizens Advice’ calls

    Danielle Thompson

    SEFTON residents are being urged to be on their guard against a new telephone scam – when imposters claiming to be from Citizens Advice offer them ‘help.’

    The team from Sefton Citizens Advice have issued a warning that they do not call people out of the blue offering to set up a debt management plan, known as an Idividual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA).

    They are urging anyone who does receive such a call or text, to alert Action Fraud immediately on 0300 123 2040, or online at actionfraud.org.uk/reportfraud.

    John Trotter from Sefton Citizens Advice told the Champion: “Recently a call was made from a mobile number to one of our money advisors on her own mobile phone while she was at work.

    “As soon as it was clear that this was a scam call, the conversation was put on loud speaker for all colleagues to listen in.

    “When the caller was asked which Citizens Advice he was calling from, he replied Manchester.

    “He asked if our colleague had debt in excess of £6,000, and after some pushing for about 15 minutes, he then offered to transfer the conversation to his manager at legitimate debt advice charity.

    “Our advice is clear. Do not take calls like this at face value, come in for a free face to face session with genuine advice.”

    He also passed on a warning about a similar Sky Broadband scam.

    He added: “We were recently contacted by phone by a gentleman who had been telephone scammed. He was tricked as he does have a Sky account and the caller said he had been overcharged for broadband services and was due a refund.

    They said they needed his bank account and scan of his passport and they took £6,000 from his account.

    We advised him to report this to Action Fraud, contact his bank’s fraud team and to notify the passport office of this identity theft. He is keen that his story is told to help stop future scam frauds.

    “Our advice on this type of scam is very clear. Never give your bank details over the phone to a cold caller. Never tell someone your PIN number.

    “Anyone with financial difficulties can contact our bureaux for free, confidential, independent and expert advice to help solve debt problems.”

    If any reader has a scam story that they would be willing to share with Sefton Citizens Advice researchers, contact John by email at john.trotter@seftoncab.org.uk or call 0344 493 0012.

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