Suspicious vehicle in Napton – Friday 10th June
Blue Citroen KT56 ??? with two male occupants seen acting suspiciously in the area of Church Rd, Napton. Please beware and report if seen.
Beware of cold calling tactics or doorstepping by this company:
COLD DOORSTEP CALLING – STRATFORD – AMBER WINDOWS OF COVENTRY & COLESHILL
See below for Trading Standards alerts:
Victims who are nannies and models are being targeted for employment fraud. The MO follows the following pattern:
- The nanny or model places an advert or replies to an advert for employment.
- The suspect engages with the victim and offers a contract of employment.
- The suspect explains that he/she and their family are relocating to the UK and therefore require that the nanny buys items (usually toys) for the children or that they represent a new company in need of some modelling work.
- The suspect sends the victim a cheque to cover the cost of advanced wages with extra to cover other costs (such as a stylist or to purchase toys).
- The suspect then states that they will buy the toys or pay for a stylist and asks for the victim to transfer the money minus the wages back to the suspect.
- The cheque is identified as fraudulent by the bank and the victim loses the original money credited and the money transferred out.
- Be wary of any employer sending a cheque with a higher value than agreed and requesting cash back from you.
- Check any documents for poor spelling and grammar – this is often a sign that fraudsters are at work.
- If you are uncertain whether an employer is genuine then give them a call, ask for references or use an on-line search engine to see if anything of concern comes up.
- If you are uploading your CV onto an on-line job board, avoid including valuable identification details and definitely do not give out any financial details.
- Unless you are sure the job advertisement is genuine, be protective of your National Insurance number, passport number and bank details. This is all someone needs to pretend to be you and make purchases or open accounts in your name!
If you suspect anything untoward, warn the operators of the website where you placed your CV that their site is possibly being used by fraudsters.
09/06/2016 Euro 2016 ticket fraud
The 2016 European Football Championships will begin shortly and those wanting to purchase last minute tickets are likely to be targeted by fraudsters posing as official sellers. Purchasing from an unauthorised seller or a ticket tout could leave you out of pocket; not only are the tickets advertised at inflated prices, there is a risk that the tickets purchased are counterfeit or do not exist. Any individual with a counterfeit ticket will be refused entry.
Consumers wanting to sell their tickets can do so through the resale platform, where tickets will be resold at face value. For further information please visit UEFA website. Those seeking to purchase tickets are advised to check the site regularly as tickets will be sold on a first come first serve basis and are likely to change regularly as different tickets become available to purchase.
- Only purchase tickets from an authorised seller by using the exchange portal.
- When using the portal do not be encouraged to contact the seller privately and complete the transaction outside of the portal.
- Be wary of purchasing tickets from a social media account. There is a risk that the ticket does not exist or is counterfeit. Consider conducting research on the information provided by the seller, for example a mobile phone number or email address used by the seller could alert you to any negative information associated to them online.
Avoid making payments through bank transfer or money transfer services, as the payment may not be recoverable. 09/06/2016 Business cheque fraud warning
Businesses are being contacted for the sale of goods or services by fraudsters, who request to pay by cheque. The fraudster sends a cheque with a higher value than the amount expected, and then sends the business a request for the difference with instructions on how it should be paid back. This is usually by bank transfer or through a money transfer service, such as Western Union. Once the ‘refund’ has been provided, it is realised that the cheque provided was fraudulent and no funds are credited to the business’s account. Criminals are targeting a wide range of services including paintings or other artwork, photography and lessons, with various amounts requested to be refunded. The average amount requested to be refunded is £1,818. The highest amount requested was over £80,000. The suspects have used pressure tactics to persuade victims to refund the amounts immediately prior to the cheques clearing.
Crime Prevention Advice
- Be cautious of payments where the amount provided is higher than expected. Refuse to provide the goods/services unless the correct balance is received.
- Always contact banks on a trusted number found on their website or correspondence that is known to be authentic to confirm whether the cheque has cleared.
Do not feel pressured to provide a refund before the cheque has cleared.
Most people have extension leads in their homes, using 4-way bar adaptors to increase the number of appliances that they can plug into a wall socket. However, although there is space to plug in four appliances, this does not mean it is always safe to do so. You can avoid overloading sockets and risk of fire by following this simple advice and use the interactive overloaded socket tool from Electrical Safety First
HMRC scam calls
Residents are warned to beware of phone calls from fraudsters claiming to be from the HMRC. Trading Standards has received more reports of local residents receiving recorded messages asking them to phone back to ‘resolve an urgent matter’. These bogus HMRC callers are also suspected of threatening residents with arrest or prosecution! In reality, the fraudsters really want to obtain your personal and banking details. NEVER provide any information to cold callers. ALWAYS put the phone down.
Warwickshire Trading Standards has been alerted to an email phishing scam. The bogus Amazon email is entitled: Subject: Important : Account Identity and Usage Confirmation The bogus email (addressed to ‘customer’ – they don’t know your real name), asks recipient to visit a fake Amazon webpage and sign in to their account. The email threatens the recipient that their account will be disabled if they don’t respond. NEVER respond to bogus emails or click on any links they might contain. If you wish to visit the account of any on-line store you use, please type the stores web address in to your browser.
Warwickshire Trading Standards has been made aware of rogue traders operating in the Mancetter area. Yesterday (24th May) a man described as ‘big’, dressed in builder clothing and driving a small white van, door-knocked the home of an elderly lady living in the Mancetter area. The man claimed that there had been complaints about the lady’s fence from her neighbours and asked for access to her back garden. Having gained access he then stated that he would repair the fence for £300 cash. The home owner said she did not have that kind of money in cash and offered to pay by cheque, but he refused. The rogue trader then went on to put further pressure on the householder by claiming that his mate had already started to mix cement. The rogue trader eventually left empty handed. NEVER buy goods or services from an unexpected doorstep trader or allow them access to your property. If in doubt, keep your door closed. 24/05/2016 Rugby Police and Trading Standards illegal tobacco seizures
Warwickshire Trading Standards and Warwickshire Police, using trained sniffer dogs, yesterday took part in an operation to seize illegal tobacco, cash and weapons from vehicles and shops in the Rugby area. Warwickshire Trading Standards , working in partnership with Warwickshire Police to protect the health of residents and support legitimate businesses. 23/05/2016 Buying a used car? It’s now easier than ever to ‘check before you buy’ with free web tools
Thinking about buying a used car? Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards are advising that free information is now available on the internet which makes it much easier to check the history of a second hand vehicle before you buy. 23/05/2016 Small business money laundering scam
Small businesses should be on the lookout for a new type of scam which involves overseas “investors” tricking victims into laundering money, warns the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau’s (NFIB) Proactive Intelligence Team. The scam starts with an email/phone call from fraudsters overseas who claim they are interested in “investing” in new start-up companies within the UK. The fraudsters build trust and over time convince victims that the money they are transferring into their business accounts is for “investments”. The fraudsters know the limits that will be flagged by each bank and only transfer small amounts at a time to avoid detection. These investments are in fact a vehicle to launder the proceeds of crime into the UK from other scams, including money lost from victims of on-line dating fraud.
Small Engineering Company – Money laundering is a crime and business owners can be jailed. The NFIB team recently interviewed a former convicted businesses owner who said: “I don’t know why I was a target. I had a small engineering company which I was trying to get off the ground. The first contact I had was by email from an investment company in the Middle East”. “They said that they wanted to invest some capital into my company and they had other business interests in the UK. They only transferred a few thousand pounds at a time so the bank never questioned it.” Another convicted fraudster who owned a small sales and distribution company said: “Turns out I was just a middle man for a fraud. I think any small cash businesses are at risk.”
Be extremely cautious about unsolicited emails or messages from people offering to invest in your business.
- Do not share your financial details with anyone you don’t know and trust, particularly if it’s someone that first contacted you via an unsolicited message.
- Carry out thorough research on the potential investor before you accept any money. Check to see whether the company is properly registered as a business in the country they operate in. For example, all UK PLC,LTD and LLP businesses are registered with Companies House.
- If you have been, or suspect you may have been a victim of this scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040.
NHW Nuneaton reported that an elderly lady had a parcel delivered to her from Argos, which she was not expecting. Shortly after another caller said it had been delivered to her by mistake and asked for it back. She handed the parcel over to a male described as 6ft tall and black. This was reported to the police and turned out to be a scam. The offender had set up an Argos card using a false name and ordered a computer to be delivered to the lady concerned. Argos did not get paid and the offender got away with the goods. If this happens to you, please do not give a caller the parcel, but contact the sender.
Warwickshire Trading Standards are advising householders in the Alcester area to be aware of people operating door to door offering to jet wash driveways. Reports suggest they are charging hundred of pounds (more than the cost of buying some jet washers) and falsely claiming to ‘seal’ the driveway with a solution afterwards. One resident is also reported to have been left with a blocked drain. Warwickshire Trading Standards advises residents not to buy at the doorstep and if in doubt, keep their door closed.
Trading Standards Officers will be visiting the area to advise local residents today (Friday 20th May).
Tick Box is a national scheme that aims to prevent self-storage facilities, or ‘lock-ups’ being used to hide illegal products such as illicit tobacco and alcohol and counterfeit goods.
17/05/2016 Bogus council callers
Warwickshire residents are warned to beware of fraudulent phone calls from people falsely claiming to be working for Warwickshire County Council. The bogus callers ask residents if they have recently been involved in an accident. Some callers may even claim to be working in the entirely fictitious ‘council accident department’. The real purpose of the scam phone calls is to find people who have had car accidents where they were not at fault. The callers then sell/pass these details on to ‘no win no fee’ law firms who will seek to represent the individual and claim damages from the other party, taking a 30%+ cut of any compensation gained!