Latests scams in Warwickshire include Green Homes Grant rogue traders and bogus bank texts - The Rugby Observer

Latests scams in Warwickshire include Green Homes Grant rogue traders and bogus bank texts

Rugby Editorial 21st Oct, 2020 Updated: 22nd Oct, 2020   0

WARNINGS have been issued by Warwickshire Trading Standards about the latest scams reported in the county.

Green Homes Grant rogue traders

Officers are concerned that rogue traders may attempt to exploit the government’s Green Homes Grant, created to improve the energy efficiency of homes.

Only approved and checked traders can carry out the work agreed through the grant scheme.




Trading Standards advised residents to say no to cold callers, apply for a voucher first as not all improvements are in the scheme, and not to be rushed into making a quick decision.

Visit https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/pages/green-homes-grant for more information.


‘Amazon’ phone scam

Several Warwickshire residents have recently reported phone fraudsters claiming to be from Amazon.

These include being asked for a £39 payment over the phone to ‘renew’ their Amazon account.

Visit https://conversation.which.co.uk/money/amazon-prime-renewal-scam-phone-call for a report on the scam by consumer magazine Which.

Cold call loan offers

Warwickshire residents have reported receiving unexpected phone calls claiming they have been ‘approved’ for a loan.

Bogus offers of loans usually involve people being asked for an upfront payment to receive the loan.

When the payment is made the fraudster disappears. No loan is ever paid.

Bogus texts

Reports of bogus texts – some which appear among genuine threads of texts from banks, other service providers or retailers – have increased recently.

One Warwickshire resident reported receiving a bogus text from the Halifax bank stating that his online account would be cancelled if he didn’t log in to it via a link in the text.

Another reported receiving a scam O2 text stating that ‘we were unable to process your latest payment’ and requesting the recipient ‘login in and update your information’ to ‘avoid late fees’. Again, a bogus link was provided.

A third said she had received a bogus PayPal text stating that her ‘billing address needs to be updated’ and that therefore her account had been placed temporarily on hold. To ‘resolve’ the matter, again, she was directed to a scam web page via a link.

Most of these scam texts contain a link that directs the recipients to a fake login page from which usernames and passwords can be stolen.

Trading Standards warned residents to never log in to a web account via a link in an email – always log in via the company’s official website or app.

Bitcoin investment fraudsters

Investors are warned to beware of approaches from fraudsters via social media, offering huge profits from Bitcoin investing.

Residents have lost hundreds of pounds after transferring money to people who claimed they could invest the money in Bitcoin for large profits.

When no profits are forthcoming, the victims of the fraud are usually asked to pay hundreds more to see their non-existent gains.

Financial advice on products can only be provided by FCA-regulated firms. Anyone can give financial guidance, but they will not recommend a specific course of action or give a personal recommendation about how you should invest. Guidance can include information about different types of investments or general principles for you to consider when investing.

Visit https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart and https://www.which.co.uk/money/investing/financial-advice for more information.

Bogus tax returns

Residents have received cold calls from fraudsters offering to help people make a tax return claim.

The fraudster requests a copy of the person’s payslip or P45 before claiming they will be able to obtain several thousand pounds from HMRC.

The catch is that they ask for a smaller upfront payment. At this point the fraudster stops taking calls from the scam victim and no tax refund is ever paid.

DVLA phishing email

Beware bogus DVLA phishing emails which state there are ‘irregularities with your current profile’, and direct recipients to an online form to ‘update your details’.

Many crude phishing emails direct recipients to online forms designed to steal personal and financial information. They should be deleted.

New hotline to report Covid fraudsters

A new hotline has been launched to stop fraudsters illegally targeting Covid-19 stimulus schemes.

In an initiative between government and the independent charity Crimestoppers, the public can now call a new Covid Fraud Hotline anonymously and free of charge to report suspected fraudulent activity.

Over 150 COVID support schemes have been introduced by the government to help those struggling financially, but fraudsters have been abusing these schemes by claiming support illegally.

Tell-tale signs include unusual buying activity by companies and individuals, as well as cold-calling by those falsely claiming to be from the government, offering money for schemes.

Call the hotline on 0800 587 5030 to report Covid fraud.

Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards for more help and advice, or https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/approvedtraders for more information on the Warwickshire Trading Standards Approved Trader Scheme.

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