Hoaxes / Scams

Warning of Fraudulent Activity on Home Security Equipment
Trading Standards have warned of the present activity of  a fraudulent company pressure selling Home Security Equipment click here for details.  Trading Standards Warning (Home Security)

Hoaxes / Scams on the Internet
Sadly a feature of using the Internet is the chance that you will receive some form of Scam or Hoax message.   This is not something to fear, indeed many of them are quite amusingly transparent and obviously are scams.   If in any doubt though, take no chances and delete them from your PC and don’t download them.

There is an official safe site (used by the Police) which logs all the Scams and Hoaxes since 2003.   It can advise you if a particular message to you has been categorised as a Hoax or a Scam and whether it is topical.
To go to this Site  (Click here) http://www.hoax-slayer.com/

Beware Fake Home Security Calls.
Cambs Police are warning us about a company calling itself  ‘Home Security’ has been cold calling in the area of South Cambridgeshire for security systems.    They may also have been in the Peterborough area for we have received information on two strange phone calls made by a company to elderly householders there.    In these cases, fake reference numbers and contact telephone numbers were offered.   The best advice is to be aware of who you are talking to on the phone should you receive a call.

The company is being investigated by Trading Standards but if you do receive a call from them be aware and report any information back to the police and Trading Standards.
Please also remember that the police can offer appropriate, realistic and cost effective advice on improving home security free of charge.    So if you or your scheme members have concerns over security please get in touch with your local Neighbourhood Policing Team.

Avoid Being Caught Out (on Telephone Cold Calls)
The simplest way of avoiding convincing cold call threats is to monitor your incoming phone calls and only pick-up those from known or expected callers (caller ID facility on your phone of course assists and is an immensely helpful means of filtering).      Leave all other calls to go onto the answer phone.    “Cold Callers” do not proceed with any message onto an answerphone, it wastes their time and money, and so they just move on quickly to the next tel no. on their urgent job list (and it is usually a computer conducting random search and selection for, making the cold calls )

(An Example Cold Call – “BT Rep”)
I received a call from a ‘representative’ of BT, informing me that he was dis-connecting me because of an unpaid bill. He demanded payment immediately of £31 or it would be £118 to reconnect at a later date.

The guy wasn’t even fazed when I told him I was with Virgin Media, allegedly VM have to pay BT a percentage for line rental !   I asked the guy’s name – he gave me the very ‘English’ John Peacock but with a foreign accent – & phone number – 0800 0800 152.  I said I didn’t believe his story so he offered to demonstrate that he was from BT.   I asked how & he told me to hang up & try phoning someone – he would disconnect my phone to prevent this   –   AND HE DID !!
My phone was dead – no engaged tone, nothing – until he phoned me back.
Very pleased with himself, he asked if that was enough proof that he was with BT.    I asked how the payment was to be made and he said credit card, there and then.    I said that I didn’t know how he’d done it, but I had absolutely no intention of paying him, since I didn’t believe his name or that he worked for BT.
He immediately broke off the call.
Of course what he was really after was access to my credit card details and security code, ostensibly so he could take the payment, but in reality to bill a very large sum.

Avoid Being Caught Out (on the Internet)
To avoid getting caught up in a hoax / scam, the simplest practice to adopt is : –

  • Never go to a web-site offered by a link in the text of the message.   If its a finacial topic, your bank will never send you an email directing you to their web-site for some pretext urgent reason.
  • If you have decided to go to the web-site –  Never sign in on a link to get to your personal details or to get to your bank, building society or credit/debit card account details.   This is likely to be a fake web-site with the operator just waiting to capture your login ID and password in order to get at your account to transfer your funds elswhere.

The latest virus checker and Internet protection software products can also provide a warning of a potential hoax scam if you try to open an attached document or click on a link to a web-site (which is likely to be fake using an unregistered URL location address).