CAB advisors are still home-working and your enquiries will be answered if you phone using our numbers (listed at the end of this piece).
With Saturday’s easing of the lockdown, the phone has been busy. Offers purporting to be from BT Outreach trying to sell me a better service than Sky Broadband etc, and Amazon prime scam calls back on the rise. The so-called BT Outreach seller, who was clearly a non-native English speaker, could hardly be heard over the background noise of other callers in his “call centre”, and within 20 seconds I hung up. I also read this weekend about victims of romance websites being conned out of large sums of money. One such victim had a total of £17,000 stolen from her bank account before she was able to get confirmation from the American embassy in Moscow that this was a fraud.
Fortunately, it was announced last weekend that some of the banks have increased their protection of customers who make payments to friends, family or businesses, and hopefully this will stop some of the scammers who try to filter away our money. The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) said the "confirmation of payee" service will give people the additional protection of checking the name of the payee against the account number that they are paying money into.
Major banks and building societies - Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC UK, Lloyds Bank, NatWest, Nationwide Building Society, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander UK and Ulster Bank- have adopted “Confirmation of payee”.
This week, I would like to highlight TV Licensing scams and how to avoid them. For this scam, emails are disguised to look as if they have been sent by the TV Licensing organisation.
They may say you're entitled to a refund for an overpayment, or warn that your licence is about to expire. They will then ask you to respond by entering your bank details on a fake website.
Although the emails may use the TV Licensing logo and have other features that make them look authentic, you should never trust them. Watch out for the following pointers:
The email doesn't use your name or has an incorrect account number
TV Licensing will usually include your name in their emails unless you told them you don't need a licence and didn't provide a name. The scammers may insert an incorrect customer ID in the hope that you will not check that the ID is correct.
It contains spelling and grammatical errors and inconsistent styles
Although all writers can make mistakes, it's common to find grammatical and spelling errors on phishing emails. They may also seem too casual or unusually formal, or use colours and styles that are inconsistent with the organisation's style.
If you believe you’ve fallen for a scam, contact your bank immediately on a number you know to be correct, such as the one listed on your statement, their website or on the back of your credit or debit card, and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040
If you or someone you know is struggling to pay bills or outstanding debts, Citizens Advice may be able to help.
Citizens Advice Sefton telephone service is available:
Help To Claim advice line number for help claiming Universal credit is 0800 144 8444. 8am to 6pm. Mon to Fri.
For general advice 0344 493 0012. 9.30 to 4.30 Mon to Fri
The debt number is 0151 318 6407. 9.30 to 4.30 Mon to Fri. Our local website address is- www.https://seftoncab.org.uk/
Citizens Advice Lancashire telephone is available between 9 - 5 M to F.& 9.00am and 1.00pm Saturdays on Adviceline 0344 245 1 294 and Help to Claim line 0800 144 8 444. Their website address is – www.citizensadvicelancashire.org.uk