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Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards Print E-mail
Written by Graham Reynolds   
Thursday, 28 November 2013 10:07

BT Scam Phone Calls

Reports indicate that consumers in this area have received a phone call from an individual claiming to be from the BT Technical Centre or BT Broad Band Services. He asks if they have noticed slow internet connection or loss of connection for any period of time. The caller may the suggest that their computer may have been infected by a virus. Remote access is then requested in order to remedy the alleged fault, but a fee of £100 to £150 payable by credit or debit card is demanded first. The fraudsters intend to gain consumers personal information as well as tricking them into paying for a service, which in most cases is not necessary. If you receive such a call hang up immediately, do not converse with the caller.

 

BT have also recently issued a warning advising consumers to be aware of phishing emails asking them to update their billing or account information. BT advise if such an email is received:

 

  • Not to click on any links in the scam email
  • Not to reply or contact the senders of the email
  • Not to supply any information through any website links in the email
  • Not to open any attachments that arrive with the email.

BT further advises that if a customer has divulged personal details in response to a scam BT email, or phone call that they should contact BT Customer Services immediately in order to protect personal and financial information.

BT Customers can also receive technical help and support via www.BT.Com/help which provides guidance on how to report phishing emails.

Warning issued about offers of Free Boilers! - 22 November 2013

Trading Standards are warning consumers to be on the lookout if they receive a phone call from people offering free central heating boilers.

A local Wyken resident received such a call and agreed to a visit to her home. When the man visited he claimed that the resident was entitled to a free central heating boiler plus free loft insulation. The man also said the resident was entitled to a £300.00 cash back as soon as the old boiler had been removed.

However, the man refused to put anything in writing that actually confirmed what was being offered until the resident had paid £249.00 which was for the ‘Assessment’.

Thankfully the resident refused to pay on the spot but was given a piece of paper which had an address on it where the £249.00 should be sent. However, the document had conflicting information on it with regard to the identity of the trader and it also stated that the resident was liable to pay the £249.00 irrespective of whether or not they went ahead with the deal!

Trading Standards are currently investigating this matter.

There may be grants available to help replace old boilers but usually strict conditions apply often linked to the age of the person or being in receipt of certain qualifying benefits. For more information on what may be available to help insulate homes and cut energy bills contact the Energy Savings Trust on 0300 123 1234.

Trading Standards Warn of CryptoLocker Ransomware – 22 November 2013

Fraudsters are spamming millions of people with emails that appear to be from banks and other financial institutions. They may have ‘suspicious transaction’ or ‘invoice for payment’ in the subject line but these emails carry CryptoLocker ransomware.

Small and medium sized businesses in particular appear to be the main targets but the emails carry CryptoLocker ransomware that targets Windows computers. Once installed personal files such as, photos, music, office documents etc. are encrypted and a screen (shown above) appears with a countdown timer and a demand for the payment of 2 Bitcoins in ransom (approximately £536) for the decryption key.

Once the time elapses your personal files may be lost forever. The NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) says you should never send the payment of a ransom to criminals as there is no guarantee that they would honour the payments in any event.

CryptoLocker Prevention Advice

  • Never click or download unsolicited email attachments.

  • Update your Antivirus software and operating systems regularly.
  • Back up all your important files and store them off your network.
  • Where a computer becomes infected disconnect it from any network, and seek professional assistance to clean the computer.
  • If you are a victim, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040

Illegal Tabacco Please be aware.of illegal tobacco in Coventry, Police have discovered record amounts of illegal cigarettes, hand rolling and shisha tabacco in Hillfields, Cheylesmore and Willenhall.

Report any scams to:

Citizens Advice consumer service: 08454 04 05 06 or www.adviceguide.org

Action Fraud (UK’s National Fraud Office): 0300 123 2040 or www.actionfraud.org.uk

AddressTrading Standards, Regulatory Services, Coventry City Council, 3rd Floor Broadgate House, Coventry, CV1 1NH,

www.coventry.gov.uk/regulatoryservices

www.coventry.gov.uk/scams

Early alerts to scams can be found at:www.coventry.gov.uk/scams

To report any crime and anti-social behaviour which does not require an emergency response, please call 101. In an emergency, dial 999. Contact West Midlands Police on 0345 113 5000 if you are calling from outside England and Wales.

Website:   www.westmidlands.police.uk/

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Last Updated on Thursday, 28 November 2013 20:35
 
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