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1st Jul, 2022

Warning against spate of scams targeting Warwickshire residents

FRAUDSTERS have been getting creative in Warwickshire.

Warnings have been issued following a number of recent scams – from bogus NHS digital Covid passport emails and fake car insurance policies to spoofed meal delivery kits and even phoney Trading Standards letters.

Warnings surrounding these latest scams have been issued by Warwickshire Trading Standards.

Residents have been alerted to look out for the following:

Covid passport emails: The emails which carry the NHS logo – are being sent out asking for payment in return for a ‘Coronavirus Digital Passport’ to prove that someone has been vaccinated for Covid-19.

A button takes users through to a fake NHS website, which asks for payment details.

Ghost brokers: Fraudsters, known as ‘ghost brokers’ are selling fake and invalid car insurance policies. Victims are lured in by offers of very cheap insurance premiums, often via social media. Victims are then sold bogus insurance policies including fake policies using counterfeit documents, genuine policies set up using false details that lower the premium price and genuine policies that are then cancelled.

Spoofed meal delivery kits: Fraudsters are ‘spoofing’ popular meal deliver kit companies, Warwickshire Trading Standards are warning. Meal deliver subscribers are receiving scam texts and emails purporting to be from the companies they buy from. These contain links to scam websites designed to steal personal and financial information and infect the consumer’s computer with malware. The bogus communications may suggest the company is running a prize draw to win free meal kits or may ask the recipient to rate their delivery by following a link.

Recipients should avoid clicking on links in emails and texts, even if they seem genuine. Instead, customers should order via an app or direct from the website typed in manually.

Bogus doorstep sellers: The team has received reports of people selling cleaning products door to door and claiming they are on a young offender programme to encourage a sale. The products may be overpriced and of poor quality. The team is warning residents not to buy goods or services from unexpected doorstep sellers.

Bogus bank fraud squad: Warwickshire residents have reported losing thousands of pounds to criminals masquerading as ‘fraud’ investigators. The scam involves a phone call claiming criminals have attempted to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account, usually in another country. The victim is then given a bogus phone number to call their bank’s ‘anti-fraud squad’ who ask the victim to transfer several thousand pounds from their own account in to another one so the fraudsters can be caught, with the promise the money will be returned in hours.

Mattress sellers warning: Warwickshire residents have reported people selling mattresses on their doorstep. The sellers sometimes claim that the mattresses were meant for new build homes but are now surplus to requirement and can be sold cheap.

Mattresses sold in the UK be must manufactured to comply with fire safety laws and be correctly labelled. But many cheap imports do not meet these requirements and may be a fire risk. Some may come with bogus safety labelling.

Bogus Trading Standards letter: A phoney letter has been sent to Warwickshire residents containing Chartered Trading Standards Institute branding. The letter informs the recipient insurance scammers have been caught and that the recipient should fill in a ‘creditors debt form’ as part of a scam compensation scheme. Filling out the form puts the finances of the respondent at risk.

Click here for more details and advice.

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