THIS week, we have the Amazon Prime two-day sale and surprise, surprise, I can warn everyone that the long- running Amazon Prime phone calls scam is still running. I had the usual call last week, and listening (without pressing keys 1 or 2) bored me. Its the same old tale about £300 payment and £1,000 transferred from my bank account (fat chance) to Nigeria. Really, you would think that the scammers might change their script!
As financial problems keep increasing for most of us, we can see that charities are really feeling the pinch. When something bad happens, it can be heart-warming to see so many people being quick to offer their support. Unfortunately, the scammers are also quick to latch on to the situation, so here is some advice about what to do before you start making charitable donations following text, post, or doorstep approaches for some cash.
There is a government website with a very useful tool for checking out a charity before handing over any donations. Here is the link to check and find information about registered charities in England and Wales: https://www.gov.uk/find-charity-information
By searching the charity register you can find information on registered charities in England and Wales such as: name and address, trustees, work and aims, and financial situation.
You can check if a message is genuine by contacting the charity directly. Don’t use the numbers or address in the message – use the details from their official website. Remember, your bank (or any other official source) will never ask you to supply personal information via email.
Turning again to the cost of living crisis, Which? scam team tells me that fraudsters are impersonating recruiters with promises of better-paid and more flexible work. These devious scams are circulating via text messages and WhatsApp, and are designed to get victims to part with their personal details.
The tempting job offer texts are designed to make you act first and think later. Which? has seen a few variations of this scam sent via WhatsApp, text message and email. One example is a text message, which typically comes from an unrecognisable number-filled email address, and states: ‘Hello! We are a regular online recruitment game company, there is no time limit and location limit, the work is very simple, you can do it at home, and the manager teaches you to make money and do things. Salary £50-300, please download WhatsApp to receive jobs.’ The message also includes a link to a WhatsApp contact number. Other examples include promises of easy work with statements such as 'easy job, can do at home' or ‘earn a daily wage from your mobile phone’. Often these messages also claim that you need no experience. Lots of these scams try to create a sense of urgency in the messages, by claiming that a ‘Quota is limited fortoday only.’
If you get a sham job offer, don't respond or follow any links and don't be tempted to give away personal information, such as your CV, or financial information. If you've already shared information with a potential scammer, you should report the scam to Action Fraud, and notify your bank. You can also report scam texts by forwarding them to 7726 - a free reporting service provided by phone operators. Then delete the message. Scam emails can be reported by forwarding the email to email@example.com.
That’s all for this week. Let’s see what next week brings us!
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: For general advice . 0808 278 7841 (freephone) Mon – Fri 9.30am – 4.30pm and text relay for people with hearing impairment: Text relay: 03444 111 445 for people with hearing impairment .The debt number is 0151 318 6407. 9.30 to 4.30 Mon to Fri. Our local website address is seftoncab.org.uk
Citizens Advice Lancashire West telephone is available between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday; and 9am-1pm Saturdays on Adviceline 0344 245 1294