28/04/2015: South Warwickshire postcard scam
A South Warwickshire resident reported receiving a card through the post which claimed that an item of jewellery was awaiting his collection. All he needed to do was to make a telephone call and pay a £10 fee!
Be warned! These items of ‘jewellery’ are very likely to be worth considerably less than the £10 it will cost to receive it. The telephone number given to enquire about the jewellery may also be a premium rate number. In addition, consumers who approach these fraudsters are also likely to be added to ‘scammers lists’ and receive ever more unwanted and bogus post and telephone calls.
29/04/2015: Atherstone Government scheme cash-back scam and Bedworth bogus PPI claim
An Atherstone consumer contacted Warwickshire Trading Standards after receiving an unexpected phone call from someone claiming they were owed money back from a Government scheme. All the consumer had to do to receive their cheque was to send a Ukash voucher for £270!
In a similar incident a Bedworth consumer received two phone calls from someone falsely claiming to be calling from the Ministry of Justice. On both occasions she was told that she was owed £4400 for payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling. She was then asked to obtain a Ukash voucher for £220 to release the money!
This is a classic example of an Advanced Fee Fraud. Money is asked for up-front in return for a promised larger sum which never materialises or is handed over in the form of a stolen or forged cheque. Payment is often asked for by some sort of legitimate money transfer service such as Ukash vouchers or Western Union. The fraudsters may even ask to come to your front door!
28/04/2015: ‘Pub guide’ advertising warning to South Warwickshire pubs
South Warwickshire pubs, their owners and staff are warned to beware of cold calls from bogus publishers selling advertising space in worthless booklets and guides. One pub contacted the service after receiving a demand from one such ‘advertising’ business that claimed a contract for advertising in a pub guide had been agreed over the phone.
These bogus publishers use clever scripts to try and trick business owners/staff into agreeing to advertise with them. They may appear for example, to be simply phoning to ask about menu information or opening times. The publications they produce usually have little or no circulation and are essentially worthless.
Businesses that have fallen victim to these scams and refused to pay have often been threatened with court action. However, in most cases they do not carry through with their threats because they are not operating within the law.
28/04/2015: Bedworth ‘lottery winner’
A Bedworth resident contacted Trading Standards to warn the service about a lottery letter which stated she had already won £25,000, despite never having entered it! These are often Advanced Fee Frauds whereby people are enticed to pay money up front to claim their non existent winnings or awards. Some subscriber lotteries may also claim you have already won a large cash prize to encourage you to join. In reality (and in the small print), your win is likely only to be very small or nothing at all.
More information on consumer rights, rogue traders and scams
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28/04/2015: Online Health and Diet Supplements Fail Trading Standards Tests
Nine health and diet supplements, available to purchase on-line from UK retailers, failed tests conducted by Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service.
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