Bank Card ‘Courier’ Scam
The Trading Standards Service is continuing to receive calls from Hampshire residents who have been caught out by a sophisticated and malicious scam. Although variations of this scam have featured in the past two bulletins the circumstances of how it operates keep changing. Please read the case study that follows which demonstrates the lengths the fraudster will go to make this scam sound plausible.
Real Life Case Study
Mrs G received a phone call from a woman who said they worked at her bank, and there was a problem with her debit card. They told her not to use it and that a new one had been ordered which would be delivered in the next couple of days. The next day Mrs G visited her bank and they told her the card was fine to use. When Mrs G returned home she received another phone call from the same woman who told her the new card would be delivered on Monday. The woman gave Mrs G a security number to quote when the card was delivered. Mrs G later received a phone call from a man who said there was fault on the phone lines in the area and she must remove all her receivers from the hook. Later that day a man arrived at Mrs G’s door and said he had her new bank card. He asked for her current card which she gave him. Mrs G felt very uneasy about the situation and returned to her bank for advice. On checking, the bank discovered £2000 had been withdrawn from her account. Mrs G understands she has been the victim of a fraud, and she wanted to share her story to warn others.
Should you receive a call of this nature do not engage with the caller and hang up as soon as possible. Do not use your phone to check the plausibility of the caller, as there is a chance they may leave the telephone line open, which will reconnect you to them.
NEVER disclose personal information or bank details over the telephone.
International Lottery Scams
Hampshire Trading Standards Service continues to receive reports from residents receiving notifications that they are the winner of an international lottery. The unsolicited post typically carries a post mark from Australia or Canada, but it may claim to be from anywhere in the world.
This type of lottery scam has been around for a long time. Although fake lotteries may be easy to spot, scammers are becoming more sophisticated with the documentation they use, providing official looking certificates and authorisation stamps. They may also use genuine sounding addresses or websites to make the lottery appear convincing. They will often personalise the letter which makes the recipient believe they have won a valuable prize.
Real Life Case Study 1
Miss C was referred to the Trading Standards Service as it was noticed she was receiving a high volume of unsolicited mail. An officer visited her and discovered Miss C received on average fifty letters a day from various lottery companies claiming to be based in Australia. Although Miss C did not respond to every letter, she had replied to some, often sending cheques upwards of £10. Steps are being taken to reduce the amount of unsolicited mail Miss C receives.
Real Life Case Study 2
Mr B’s daughter was concerned at the high volume of unsolicited mail he received from foreign lotteries. Included in the mail were personalised items including a hand written Christmas card asking for his telephone number so they could let him know when his prize was ready. Mr B believed the scammer was his friend and that they were trying to help him. Thankfully Mr B did not disclose this information and he is now receiving support to protect him from similar scams in the future.
Remember do NOT send any money, pay a fee or disclose bank details to an unsolicited person claiming you have won a prize. The only winner will be the person operating the scam.
Postal Scam Alert – A Warning from Phonepay Plus
PhonepayPlus are the regulator for premium rate phone numbers and phone paid services in the UK. They have asked that the following warning is issued about an old postal scam using a premium rate number.
The Ghost of Christmas past – what to do if you receive an email about a 09066 611911 Number
With the nights drawing in and a chill in the air, it’s clear that Christmas is approaching faster than we all think. With people doing most of their Christmas shopping over the next 6 weeks, and having more and more packages delivered, it’s perhaps predictable that a ghost from the past has given its chains another rattle.
We have recently received a large number of number checker hits for a 090 number that was shut down by PhonepayPlus in December 2005. The number was originally part of a postal scam where a card was posted through consumers’ letter boxes telling them to call a premium rate number, 09066611911 in order to find out how to retrieve a parcel. On calling the number they would then immediately be charged £15.
Despite our best efforts chain emails still sometimes circulate on the internet warning about this number even though it is no longer operating and hasn’t been for some considerable time. If you do receive an e-mail referring to this we would like to reassure you that the number is not in service and should not be a cause for concern. You don’t need to send the warning e-mail on to others but it would be helpful to us if you could forward this information instead.
However, if you do receive a delivery card through your letterbox which you do not believe is genuine and asks you to dial a premium rate number (usually beginning with 090, 09, 070, 118, 0871, 0872 or 0873) you can use our Number Checker or contact us on 0800 500 212 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.00pm) for further guidance.
If you are worried about a potential scam please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline:
By telephone on 03454 04 05 06