Telephone Cold Callers
He has told residents that they had subscribed to a telephone monitoring service and had run up bills of between £3,500 - £6,000 and defaulted on the payment. They are then asked for immediate payment over the phone by card. When they question this they have been told that unless they pay up they will be arrested within hours by the Metropolitan Police and transported to the Queens Court in London.
Anyone receiving these calls should hang up and are advised to register with anonymous call barring from their telephone provider or to consider changing their telephone number and keeping their number ex directory.
If anyone has any information about traders who are cold calling or requires any advice on doorstep crime they can contact Hampshire County Council's
Quick Response Team on 01962 833666, Monday – Friday, 9am to 5pm where specially trained officers are on hand to provide assistance.
For urgent assistance outside of these hours contact Hampshire Police on 0845 045 4545.
Prepayment Meter Fraud information and awareness campaign
Energy UK has launched a national and regional PR campaign to raise awareness of prepayment meter fraud in the areas of the UK most affected by this crime called Top-up Safe. The campaign targets households with prepayment electricity meters to warn them about the criminals behind a doorstep scam selling illegal meter top-ups. In some cases the criminals behind the fraud are offering top-ups with a value of £50 for only £25. However, as the energy hasn’t been purchased from an official top-up outlet, customers end up having to pay twice: first to the criminal, then to their electricity company for the energy they have used.
Mobility aid scams
- Mobility aid sales scam warning (BBC web site)
- Council trading standards crack down on mobility aid rogue traders (Local Government Association)
Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) ‘Just Tick It’ campaign
The aim of the campaign is to
- increase awareness of online ticketing scams
- help consumers identify fake ticketing websites
- reduce the number of consumers falling victim to fake ticketing websites.
Bogus Charity Collectors
It has been estimated that charities lose between £2.5 million and £3 million a year because of theft, and people mistakenly giving clothing to commercial companies in the belief they are charities. Clothing companies may be acting legally, but their leaflets may be largely indistinguishable from charities, unless people know what to look for.
Tips for spotting a genuine charity collection
- Does the sack or leaflet say the collection is for a registered charity? If so, what's the registered charity number - call 0845 3000 218 or visit the online register of charities to check that it's genuine.
- Does it only give a registered company number? Check that a registered charity is also involved with the collection.
- Is the charity actually named? Be wary of wording that just says 'families in need' or 'sick kids' as this could be an indication that it is not a genuine charity.
- Does the leaflet or bag give a phone number? If not, it may mean the collectors don't want to answer questions.
Jamaican Lottery Scam
OFT and SOCA warning about Jamaican lottery scam (Office of Fair Trading)
Vehicle match scam
A scam is a scheme designed to con you out of your cash. Car-matching scams involve canvassers' cold-calling consumers who have advertised their cars for sale in local newspapers, motor magazines and web sites, and promising them that there are immediate and specific buyers for their cars. Sellers are introduced into paying these companies an advance fee and promised that if their car is not sold they will be offered a refund. Unfortunately, in many cases, the promised buyers do not materialize and neither does the promised refund.
Boiler Room Fraud/Scam
A 'boiler room' is a bogus stockbroker, usually based overseas, which cold-calls investors and pressures them into buying worthless shares. Historically, those targeted were usually older people with previous experience of investments or share dealing.
If you have been a victim of this type of fraud / scam please contact this service for further advice.
Further information about Boiler Room Fraud.
How can you protect others?
If you know of a vulnerable person who receives excessive unsolicited mail it could be because they are a victim. It is worth talking to them about it or making sure carers are aware that this could be a problem.
One of the problems can be convincing the victim that it is a scam. For a real life example of this see the Think Jessica web site.
For further examples and information including a quiz to test if you could fall for one see:
- Scams - What to look for (Consumer Direct)
If you would like a leaflet with more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Video produced by the Office of Trading.
Scams Video - Transcript
- Are misleading or fraudulent offers designed to con you out of money
- Are received by post, email, telephone, text or face to face.
Office of Fair Trading research shows that scammers:
- have targeted half the UK Population.
- Con 3 million people every year
- Cost 3.5 billion annually
Some people lose their life savings
reply to a scam and your details are sold on
they bombard you
They take your money and your well being
Albert 82 years old from Dorset
Albert received 70 prize draw scams a day.
Sent cheques totalling £7000.
Suffered stress and anxiety and ended up in residential care.
Scams seem so believable because they:
- Look professional
- Appear official
- Seem personal to you
- Pretend you are the only winner
- Use stolen identities
In fact they target millions of people to con them all, not just the elderly and vulnerable.
Stephen 40 years old from Kent
Stephen received hundreds of elaborate internet scams. Lost £1500, and almost lost his marriage.
How to recognise a scam
- Are received out of the blue
- Promise something for nothing.
- Tell you respond immediately
- Ask you for money upfront
Rita 83 years old from Norfolk
Rita got 60 letters a day and dozens of phone calls.
Received tons of junk but never received the promised prizes.
Was terrorised by clairvoyant scams threatening misfortune.
Lost £30,000 life savings
The message is simple, Always Stop, think, think again.
You can’t turn the clock back, so
Don’t be pressurised into sending off money immediately to someone you don’t even know.
How likely is it that I’ve specially been chosen?
Millions of people have probably received the same offer to CON them out of their money.
Always read the offer carefully.
Speak to family or friends or seek advice.
Don’t let them con you.
Register for Business Scam Alerts
Businesses beware too!
It's not just consumers who are targeted by the scammers, from business directory to office supply scams, fake invoice to domain name scams, businesses also lose thousands of pounds every year.
Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service operates a business scams alert warning network, which allows participants to be notified by email about any scams targeted specifically at businesses.
To be included please complete the online Business Scam Alert registration form.
How to report a scam email
(National Fraud Authority)