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Cold Callers
1/9/2018 10:39:20 AM

***TRADING STANDARDS WARNING***

Trading Standards have received reports of doorstep and telephone callers in the local area offering home improvement services, in particular driveway work.

As always, we would advise all residents not to engage with doorstep callers. These callers will often use persuasive or aggressive tactics to get householders to agree to have work done, then charge far more than was quoted for poor quality work. They also often fail to provide a legally required cancellation notice which enables the householder to cancel the work within a 14 day cooling off period. For any home improvement works, we would always encourage you to use a Trusted Trader: www.dumgal.gov.uk/trustedtrader

If you have been called in this way and require further advice, or simply want to report the matter, please contact us via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06, or alternatively contact Police Scotland on 101.

Remember: if in doubt, keep them out!

Charity Fraud
12/20/2017 11:15:12 PM

Trading Standards Advice

With the season of goodwill upon us, many of us may choose to give money to charity and most charities will actively seek donations. Most collections and appeals are genuine, but sadly fraudsters can try to exploit people’s charitable nature and steal money which the donor thinks is going the help the charity. To make sure your money really goes to those who need it, follow our tips below.

If you receive unsolicited emails from charities you have never heard of or have no association with, do not respond and do not click on links contained in them. Report them to Action Fraud and then delete the e-mails.

Do not make charity donations in response to spam email - visit the charity’s own website by typing the website address into the browser yourself, rather than clicking on a link in an e-mail.

Do not respond to requests to donate through a money transfer company such as Western Union or MoneyGram, as this is a tactic commonly used in scams
Grants Fraud
12/13/2017 11:10:18 PM

Individuals and businesses are being warned to watch out for cold calls and online contact from fraudsters who are offering victims the opportunity to apply for Government grants for an advance fee.

 

To make the grants look legitimate fraudsters have set up bogus companies and convincing looking websites that claim to be operating on behalf of the UK Government.

 

Fraudsters cold call businesses and individuals offering the grant and if they’re interested direct them to fill out an online application form with their personal information.

Once the fraudsters have that information they’ll contact back victims and congratulate them on being accepted onto the grant programme.   
 

Pre-paid credit cards

 

Applicants are then asked to provide identification and are instructed to get a pre-paid credit card to deposit their own contribution to the fake Government grant scheme. Fraudsters will then contact victims on the phone or are emailed and asked for the details of their pre-paid credit card and copies of statements to in order for them to add the grant funds.

 

Of course the grant funds are never given by the fraudsters and the money that’s been loaded by the victim onto the card is stolen.

 

If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately and report it to us. We’ve already taken down one website fraudsters have been using to commit this fraud and are working with Companies House to combat this issue.

 

How to protect yourself:

 

Be wary of unsolicited callers implying that you can apply for grants. You should never have to pay to receive a government grant, and they definitely won’t instruct you to obtain a pre-paid credit card. The government should have all the information they need if a genuine grant application was submitted, therefore any requests for personal or banking information either over the phone or online should be refused.

 

What to do if you’re a victim: 
 

  • If you think your bank or personal details have been compromised or if you believe you have been defrauded contact your bank immediately.
  • Stop all communication with the ‘agency’ but make a note of their details and report it to Action Fraud.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
     
e-mail Phishing
10/23/2017 10:43:41 AM

Cyber Resilience – Get Safe Online Week

Phishing is a scam where criminals typically send emails to thousands of people pretending to come from banks, credit card companies, online shops and auction sites as well as other trusted organisations.

Don’t be tricked into going to a fraudulent site through a phishing email – it may look exactly like the real thing but is actually a fake, designed to trick victims into entering personal information.

Signs you are being phished:

  • The sender’s email address may be different from the trusted organisation’s website address.
  • The email may be sent from a completely different address or a free webmail address.
  • The email may not use your proper name, but a non-specific greeting such as “Dear customer.”
  • A sense of urgency; for example the threat that unless you act immediately your account may be closed.
  • A prominent website link. These can be forged or seem very similar to the proper address, but even a single character’s difference means a different website.
  • A request for personal information such as username, password or bank details.
  • You weren't expecting to get an email from the organisation that appears to have sent it.
  • The entire text of the email may be contained within an image rather than the usual text format. The image contains an embedded link to a bogus site.

 

Use email safely:

  • Do not open emails which you suspect as being scams.
  • Do not forward emails which you suspect as being scams.
  • Do not open attachments from unknown sources.
  • If in doubt, contact the person or organisation the email claims to have been sent by ... better safe than sorry.
  • Do not readily click on links in emails from unknown sources. Instead, roll your mouse pointer over the link to reveal its true destination, displayed in the bottom left corner of your screen. Beware if this is different from what is displayed in the text of the link from the email.
  • Do not respond to emails from unknown sources.
  • Do not make purchases or charity donations in response to spam email.
  • Don’t click on ‘remove’ or reply to unwanted email.
  • Check junk mail folders regularly in case a legitimate email gets through by mistake.
  • When sending emails to multiple recipients, list their addresses in the 'BCC' (blind copy) box instead of in the 'To' box. In this way, no recipient will see the names of the others, and if their addresses fall into the wrong hands there will be less chance of you or anybody else receiving phishing or spam emails.
  • Similarly, delete all addresses of previous parties in the email string, before forwarding or replying.
  • If you are suspicious of an email, you can check if it is on a list of known spam and scam emails that some internet security vendors such as McAfee and Symantec feature on their websites.
  • Most Microsoft and other email clients come with spam filtering as standard. Ensure yours is switched on.
  • Most spam and junk filters can be set to allow email to be received from trusted sources, and blocked from untrusted sources.
  • When choosing a webmail account such as gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail, make sure you select one that includes spam filtering and that it remains switched on.

 

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