TELEPHONE SERVICE SCAM
This is a nasty financial scam that seems to be particularly aimed at elderly people.
The company involved calls itself Guaranteed Telecom, and you can find their website if you look for them on Google. They represent themselves as an internet service provider they have come notice because an elderly lady was worried about a direct debit that she had found on her bank statement, which was for a monthly payment of £21.99. She had not previously noticed this payment and she did not remember setting-up such a thing. When she examined previous bank statements she discovered that these payments had been made by her bank for some months.
The lady telephoned the company to discover what service they were providing her. She was told that the payment was for their service that blocked her receiving nuisance emails. They apologised and assured her that there had been a mistake because the £21.99 was meant to be a one-off, lifetime payment. They were certainly not providing her with an email service because the lady was also paying a monthly direct debit to BT, who provided her telephone and broadband service.
This company has been investigated via Google searches and this shows a large number of complaints against them for taking monthly payments of £21.99 form elderly people, who received no benefit from it and who were unaware of the existence of a direct debit. Even when the money was being paid she is was still getting nuisance emails, just as always.
Guaranteed Telecom is associated with another firm called ZOOM, which also seems to be a fraudulent company.
Avoid any dealings with either Guaranteed Telecom or Zoom. One possibility mentioned on Google is that these companies obtain the personal details of their targets by ‘stealing’ them from BT.
BT: There are still spurious emails, claiming to be from BT. These emails are either requesting payment of outstanding accounts, stating that email service will be discontinued unless confirm you details or there are broadband problems.
This is probably a way that Guaranteed Telecom and ZOOM are obtaining information.
DVLA: Requesting details so as to make a payment for overpayment or refund of vehicle tax. Any refund is dealt with by way of a cheque to the registered keeper.
HMRC: A letter and or email states that you are due a refund for over payment of tax. Both look genuine but have bogus contact details.
Remember that you should use trusted numbers that you already have to used before and are confirmed as genuine and secure. You will never be asked for Bank or security information.
It is getting to the time of year when we get callers in the area looking for scrap or selling power tools from vans.
Also with the impending start of car boot sales garden furniture, ornaments, hanging baskets and potted plants go missing.
Recently there has been a white van in the area, containing two white males with Irish accents, visiting premises looking for scrap metal. If you have seen the van or been visited the Police would be interested in any details.
Make sure you keep things safe. We appear to get an annual problem, in the Spring and Autumn months, with people apparently passing through our area.
Latest Scams are the usual HMRC wanting bank details to pay refunds; DVLA – official looking email wanting bank details to pay refunds of excise duty; BT phone scams after personal details/passwords.
With Christmas upon us scammers will no doubt redouble their efforts to access you bank accounts and security information.
Anything you receive via email may not be what it seems. Always take time to check from a source you trust.
‘KEEP ALL OF YOUR DATA SAFE’.
ON LINE SAFETY
Ensure that you passwords are different for your various accounts.
Passwords should ideally not be words and a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols.
Make sure that you periodically update/change your passwords.
If possible don’t write passwords down. If you have to write them down don’t the leave information by your computer. It is also best practice not to save them to your computer or web browser.
As a result of data losses at B.A., Amazon and Facebook I was informed, through my bank, that they thought that my security had been compromised. It became apparent that my email account had been ‘hacked’. This has all been made secure and is now available for me to use again.
You can be so careful with your data but you are very dependent on others to keep your data safe. If you ever have any doubts about the security of your computer use your anti-virus to complete a ‘deep scan’ and change your passwords.
LATEST SCAM NEWS
Latest scams, apart from the continuing BT ones after your account and bank details are:
There is a similar scam, in the name of the DVLA car tax, asking for bank details.
Highlighted on local media is Police contacting people and requesting details due to suspicious activity with bank accounts. The Police would never do this.
No organisation would ring you and request any of your banking security information, including your Bank. That is personal to you and only entered on your secure banking site.
To keep your money where it should be – ‘KEEP YOUR DATA SAFE’.
EXPENSIVE TELEPHONE CALL
There is another telephone scam going around. You could receive a message on your answering service, or a text, to ring a number commencing 0808 or 0809. The reason could be you have won a prize, regarding money due to you, message or concerning a delivery.
As much as the number would appear to be like our free or local call codes the calls actually originate from abroad and you could be charged £1,500.00 for contact them.
It is a sign that winter is over and everyone is re-filling their oil tanks.
There has been a reported spate in thefts from oil tanks. Obviously our criminal contingent have seen the increase in oil delivery tankers so have turned their attention to stealing your oil.
Keep a check on your tanks and report any strange vehicles or people in your area. If you have a mobile phone remember it is quick and easy to take photographs.
Another email scam to be aware of.
I received an email purportedly from BT. It informed me that my email account would be closed if I did not update my email account. It referred to AT & T and a version 7.1 of mail software. There was a link to click on to an update server.
I have contacted BT and this is a scam to access your account and download viruses/malware/spyware.
As with all emails, IF YOU ARE NOT SURE IT IS GENUINE DO NOT OPEN ANY ATTACHMENTS OR CLICK ON ANY LINKS.
I am also still receiving requests to update my BT Billing account. I do not have an account held by BT in may name. This scam is trying to obtain personal and banking information.
Dewis Cymru is a website full of helpful organisations available to support you and your wellbeing. Type the website address below into a web address bar on your phone, tablet or computer to start your search.
Please click here for Dewis Cymru document.
SCAMS & CYBER CRIME
National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre.
Tel. No. 0300 123 2040
If you fear that you may have been scammed you can report fraud and cyber-crime to Action Fraud any time of the day or night using an online fraud reporting tool https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud
You can also report and get advice about fraud or cyber crime using the telephone number 0300 123 2040.
ANTI-SCAM & SECURITY ADVICE
No organisation, including law enforcement agencies, would ever contact you by email, letter, phone or in person, requesting ‘User Names’, ‘Passwords’, ‘PIN Numbers’ or security information. Never give them out to anybody.
There has been a large increase in scams involving BT recently. This has a lot to do with the activity in and around the area with the introduction of fibre broadband.
The main thing to remember is that no one who rings you, if it be a Bank, BT, HMRC, Police, etc will ask for passwords, usernames and bank or credit/debit card details. Don't be intimidated or threatened. Ring off and find a number that you know is correct from your contract(s) or account(s).
Also don't be misled by items received in the post. There have been very good forged letters received which request you contact a given number which is bogus. This has led to personal and security being requested. Always contact the customer services number you know.
If you have any doubt of the legitimacy of any email don't open any attachments or contact any emails or phone numbers contained in them. They may contain viruses to disable your machine or glean passwords and security information.
If you are not happy about a phone call just hang up.
REMEMBER the information is yours to keep you and your money and information safe.