Please find below the Latest Consumer & Scam alerts from Norfolk Trading Standards. These can also be found on the Trading Standards website > https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/business/trading-standards/scams/consumer-alerts
Information Alert – TV Licences for over 75s – 10 September 2020
TV Licensing has started sending letters to anyone aged over 75 asking them to either pay for their TV licence or apply for a free one. These letters will include your licence number, your title and your last name and they will only ask you to pay using the following options:
- By post using the address TV Licensing, PO Box 578, Darlington DL98 1AN
- Online at tvl.co.uk/75payhttp://tvl.co.uk/75pay or tvl.co.uk/75applyhttp://tvl.co.uk/75apply
- Over the phone on 0300 790 6151
It is likely that scammers will use this period to attempt to scam people by sending out fake versions of the information using other communication routes in an attempt to gather personal or financial details or to take fraudulent payments.
The National Pensioners Convention are reminding those over to 75 to be aware of scams at this time, if you are approached in any of the following ways in regard to TV Licensing it is a scam:
- Anyone coming to your doorstep
- Texts offering a free TV licence for a year and asking for your bank details
- Emails claiming you owe money to the TVLA and to go online to pay it. Some emails also state you could go to court if you don’t pay
- Letters supposedly from Television Licensing saying your details need updating because there is a problem and asking you to go online to enter them
If you’re unsure about anything, you can call TV Licensing on 0300 790 6117 to speak with someone who can help.
Scam Alert – Automated telephone cold calls claiming to be from HMRC – 9 September 2020
We are continuing to receive reports from Norfolk residents about telephone cold calls claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Recent reports have included an automated recorded message calls which state they are from ‘HMRC’ and threaten ‘immediate arrest if you do not respond by pressing 1’.
These calls are appearing to come from a range of different ‘spoofed’ numbers and some residents are reporting receiving a number of calls in quick succession.
These calls are not genuine and do not come from HMRC. If you receive this or a call making similar claims or threats do not interact with the call in any way and hang up immediately.
You can find more information about bogus contacts and phishing emails claiming to be from HMRC on the GOV.UK websitehttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/phishing-and-bogus-emails-hm-revenue-and-customs-examples/phishing-emails-and-bogus-contact-hm-revenue-and-customs-examples?fbclid=IwAR1llTA3o8zGOrE0k2k3CUwGIrwVDsedCDqSWXyeDrIFvbhB6nzmE526gV8.
You can report suspected scam telephone calls to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.
Cold Calling Alert – Telephone cold calls regarding ‘appliance warrantees’ – 5 September 2020
We are warning Norfolk residents to be alert to telephone cold calls regarding ‘appliance warrantees’.
This follows a number of reports from residents about this type of cold call, which have included:
- In one report a resident received a call claiming to be a ‘renewal of their washing machine warranty’. The cold caller then attempted to take card details for the payment, when the resident attempted to question this the cold caller was persistent in their demands. When the resident refused to give details, the cold caller became verbally aggressive
- In other reports residents have questioned the cold caller about details for the appliance which the policy is being renewed on and the cold caller gives non-comital or wrong information
Our advice is always be very wary of any approach made in a telephone cold call and never give or confirm any personal details, agree to contract or make a purchase if approached in this manner.
If you need advice about cold calling or have agreed to a contract during a cold call, contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on their freephone number 0808 223 1133.
Scam Alert – Emails claiming to be from ‘TV Licensing’ – 4 September 2020
There continues to be a range of emails circulating claiming to be from TV Licencing. Common themes for these emails are claims that there is an issue with your direct debit and then provides a link to enable the recipient to resolve the ‘issue’.
[We are sorry to let you know that the TV license could not be automatically renewed. Something’s gone wrong with your payments. As we couldn’t take the latest payment from your bank account, this amount will also need to be paid when you set up your new Direct Debit. Update your Direct Debit: Remember, if you don’t keep up with your payments we may be forced to cancel your license or pass your details to a debt collection agency. To change your payment method have a look at all our options. So all you need to do is make sure you have enough money in your account. Or if you prefer to pay the missed amount now, you can sign in online and pay using your debit or credit card. While you’re signed in please make sure we have your correct bank details.]
These emails are not from TV Licencing and any links contained within the message are likely to go to a genuine-looking fake version of the TV Licencing website which will attempt to gather personal and financial details.
Our advice is always be wary of claims made in unexpected email approaches and never click on links or open attachments if approached in this way.
TV Licensing offer the following advice to help spot scam TV Licence emails:
- Check the sender’s email address – TV Licensing will only send emails from email@example.com@tvlicensing.co.uk (or firstname.lastname@example.org@spp.tvlicensing.co.uk)
- Check how scammers address you – genuine TV Licensing emails will always use your title and last name. Scammers may simply use your email address, say ‘Dear Customer’ or nothing at all
- Check links in the email – do not click on links or attachments. If you’re unsure, you can inspect links first. On a computer, hover over the link with your mouse (but don’t click it). On a mobile or tablet, press down and hold (don’t release whilst on the link)
- Check addresses of any websites it takes you to – scammers can’t use ‘www.tvlicensing.co.ukhttp://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/?fbclid=IwAR0EQNa3CJnYXVW8j0QAqnt9tBtemEuKmvV0nDzWL2pI8WtzeMdh60J28Zs’ for copy-cat sites. They’ll try to disguise this, so carefully inspect the full address in the browser bar
You can report suspicious emails received to us via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.
To manage your contact details, additional information and subscriptions, please login through the member portalhttps://member.everbridge.net/index/892807736722380.