Northumberland County Council’s Public Protection Service is urging consumers to be on their guard following an increasing number of complaints relating to scam telephone calls.
Trading Standards are aware of two recent scams that claim to be from a UK finance company. In the first, the company claim the consumer’s bank has overcharged them and they wish to refund their money, however in the second the company offers the consumer a money savings pack.
In each instance the consumer’s personal and bank account details were discussed but thankfully the banks concerned were informed of the security breach immediately and no money was removed.
Separate telephone numbers have been provided for the company but Trading Standards suspect there is a connection between the two incidents as the name used is very similar.
Trading Standards have also been notified of an alternative scam after someone sent their curriculum vitae out to a number of businesses in the hope of gaining employment.
The individual was advised that an opportunity had become available but again suspicions were raised when bank details were immediately requested. The ‘job’ was to allow money to be transferred through their account, for which they would receive a salary and 8% of the money, providing the remainder was transferred successfully after their initial trial period.
The complainant realised this was not a legitimate employment opportunity and lodged a complaint. They were aware no money would be received, and the business would most likely have cleared their bank account.
To reduce the risks of falling for cold call scams trading standards has the following tips:
- Be wary of unsolicited callers suggesting or implying that you are due money.
- Don’t be pressurised into giving personal details or bank details.
- Don’t take unsolicited calls when you are busy and can’t give the salesman your full attention – if you want to talk, ask them to call back at a convenient time.
- Don’t agree to something on the phone just to get rid of a persistent caller.
- If you’re not clear about who you are speaking to, terminate the call.
Jimmy Power, Business & Consumer Protection Manager for Northumberland County Council said: “We advise all consumers to be wary and not to be pressured or tricked into providing their bank details. We hope the tips we have provided above will help residents.”
Councillor Anita Romer, Executive Member for Public Health and Protection said: “Sadly these types of scams continue but many originate from abroad and therefore make them hard to investigate. We continue to urge householders to be on their guard and warn relatives and neighbours.”Any resident who has received one of these calls should report it by ringing the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506 or call Action Fraud on 0300 1235040