Citizens Advice Stroud & Cotswold has the following advice:-
● Be suspicious if you are contacted out of the blue, even if it’s from a name you recognise
● If it sounds too good to be true it probably is
● Don’t be rushed – you never need to make a decision straight away !
– and if you feel pressured say “no”, hang up the phone, or close the door
● Never give out your bank details unless you are certain you can trust the person contacting you, – remember that scammers are clever and can sound trustworthy
● Never respond to requests to make a bank transfer to a ‘safe account’
● Your bank will never ask for your full PIN number or password over the phone
● Your bank will only use the last four digits on your card
● You may be asked to log onto your bank account via a link they will send you – do not do this
● HMRC and TV Licensing will not email or text you about refunds or rebates, nor ask you for personal details
● Never click on links included in suspicious emails
● To check whether an email is genuine click on the arrow on the sender’s email address, if it shows a personal email address or one which looks unusual be suspicious
● If you receive an email or text which you feel is suspicious open a new tab and do a search
● Look out for poor grammar or spelling
● Be suspicious of organisations which do not use your full name
You can register your landline with the Telephone Preference Service by calling 0345 070 0707, which should reduce the amount of nuisance calls you get – ‘cold callers’ are legally obliged not to call people on this register. I won’t stop the ‘illegal’ ones though!
Talk to your phone provider to see what privacy services and call-blocking services are available. These services aren’t always free but are useful in ensuring any call coming through is from a trusted or known source.
Coronavirus – be aware of new scams
It’s important you’re aware of the many new scams around at the moment because of coronavirus. Scams to look out for include:
● advertising face masks or medical equipment at high prices
● emails or texts pretending to be from the government
● emails offering life insurance against coronavirus
● people knocking at your door and asking for money for charity
● If you see emails or texts about coronavirus from someone you don’t know, or from an unusual email address, don’t click on any links or buy anything.
Don’t give money or personal details to anyone you don’t know or trust – for example someone who knocks on the door and offers to help.
To check if something might be a scam and for further information go to our website www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/check-if-something-might-be-a-scam
Or call us on 0808 800 0510 or 0808 800 0511 Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm
– one of our friendly advisers will be able to help you.