This week: a couple of warnings about specific types of scam; a warning about ’fleeceware’; a scam notification service and a note about scam guides.
Supermarket shopping scams
Consumers who have been ordering their groceries online during lockdown are being warned about a new scam call. An automated message says that your Tesco order has been placed and your account will be debited £350. You are asked to press 1 to be connected to their ‘fraud team’ if this is not the correct amount.
If you receive a similar call, hang up and don’t press 1 – you will be put through to a scammer who will ask you to provide personal and banking details.
Never give any details to a cold caller and never allow them to access your computer remotely.
If you have recently placed an order with a supermarket and are unsure whether a call about the order is genuine, check your online account or call the supermarket directly using a contact number found on their official website.
Pfizer Vaccine Scam
As more adults receive their Covid-19 vaccine, a new scam email has emerged.
Fraud prevention service Cifas has warned those who have been vaccinated to be wary of emails purporting to be from a ‘Pfizer Vaccine Opinion Panel’. The email asks recipients to take part in a survey and offers ‘free rewards’ in return for feedback.
This is a scam email – if you receive it, do not click on any links and and don’t provide any personal information.
Other scams related to the Covid vaccine continue to be reported – please make sure that vulnerable family and friends are aware that:
The Covid-19 vaccination is free
The NHS will NEVER ask for your bank details or for a payment for the vaccine
The NHS will not ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as passports
The NHS will NEVER arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
Please continue to be wary about scams around vaccines. Use 119 or your GP to confirm matters if you have any doubt.
Postal Delivery Scams
This is a very common one at the moment. You receive a text message pretending to be from Royal Mail explaining that “Your Royal Mail parcel is awaiting delivery. Please confirm the settlement of 1.99 (GBP) on the following link”. This is of course a scam. Royal Mail (or any other delivery firm) will never ask you for money in this way. I know of many people who have received these messages in the past few weeks. If you really are expecting a parcel then be extra wary.
If you want to hear how the scam works, read this article on the BBC about a Police officer scammed of £3k as a result of one of these texts.
Fleeceware is a new type of almost legal scam. If you download apps for your phone or tablet then be aware. Apps have a free trial period, often as short as one week, and then automatically renew with a fee unless you cancel the service. (Deleting the app is not enough – you need to cancel the subscription). You can read more about Fleeceware in the latest April edition of the OurWatch newsletter here.
Scam Alerts from Which
You can subscribe to a simple update service from Which? that will provide you with warnings about the very latest scams that are circulating. (They recently featured the Royal Mail scam mentioned above). Visit this page here to read more and to sign up.
Scam guide books
Trading Standards have a very useful little guide to scams that is designed to be read yourself or to discuss with family members who you might be worried about. You can download the .pdf here, but sometimes a printed version is much more useful to read or give to someone. VANEL has a small number of these booklets available in printed form. If you are a Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator, or you are a resident in Cleethorpes, then please contact Karl (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request a copy. If you are a NWG Coordinator and you would like a number of copies to distribute to members/houses in your group area then please also get in touch. We may be able to provide you with a number to distribute.
That’s it for this week. Stay safe and aware.