Trading Standards Alert – Plastic Card Scams

Scams can take many forms and one prominent scam involves the use of credit cards. This is where customers give credit card details to buy a genuine product/service and those details are sold to a scammer. The scammer sets up a fraudulent purchase of, for example, an expensive mobile phone. They then send you something of no or little value by tracked delivery so that when you challenge the purchase, they have a delivery receipt.

Plastic card fraud can include frauds perpetrated by use of a card online, over the phone or by mail order, and counterfeit card fraud.

Protect yourself against plastic card fraud

Keep all your cards and financial details safe:

  • always look after your cards and card details. Try not to let your card out of your sight when making a transaction.
  • check receipts against statements carefully. Contact your card company immediately if you find an unfamiliar transaction.
  • store your statements, receipts and financial documents safely and destroy them, preferably using a shredder, when you dispose of them.
  • sign any new cards as soon as they arrive.
  • cut expired cards through the magnetic strip and chip when replacement cards arrive.

Secure your PIN:

  • memorise your PIN and destroy any paper notification as soon as you receive it.
  • ensure that you’re the only person that knows your PIN. Never write it down or record it. Your bank or the police will never phone you and ask you to disclose your PIN.
  • when entering your PIN, use your free hand and your body to shield the number from prying eyes or hidden cameras. If you think someone has seen your PIN or if you want to change it to something more memorable, you can change it at a cash machine (ATM) or by contacting your bank.

Take care when using cash machines:

  • put your personal safety first. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, cancel the transaction and use a different machine.
  • if you spot anything unusual about the cash machine, or if there are signs of tampering, don’t use it. Report it to the bank concerned immediately.
  • be alert. If someone is crowding or watching you, cancel the transaction and go to another machine. Don’t accept help from seemingly well-meaning strangers and never allow yourself to be distracted.
  • once you’ve completed a transaction, put your money and card away before leaving the cash machine. If the cash machine doesn’t return your card, report its loss immediately to your card company. Destroy or preferably shred your cash machine receipt, mini-statement or balance enquiry when you dispose of them.

Contact your bank immediately if you think your card or personal information has been compromised.

If fraud has been committed, report it to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040 https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime.

Trading Standards Scams Awareness Campaign – Doorstep Selling & Cold Calling

Scams can start with an unsolicited cold call door knock, often from people trying to sell their services or products. One of the most common in Croydon is rogue traders trying to push consumers into having expensive home improvements carried out that are either not necessary or where some work may be required but they then grossly overcharge and carry out sub-standard work.

We would encourage you NEVER to engage with a cold caller and NEVER to sign up for any work or services from your home without taking time to seriously think about what you actually need and to research the trader in question.

ALWAYS get several quotes in writing before having any work done, ensure you have time to think about the quote and ensure the companies or traders are legitimate by finding traders using Approved Trader Schemes such as:

 

Trust Mark www.trustmark.org.uk/find-a-tradesman
0333 555 1234

 

 

Buy With Confidence www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk  01392 383 430

 

 

 

Which? Trusted Traders https://trustedtraders.which.co.uk/  0117 405 4689

 

 

For further information please see the Croydon Trading Standards link below:
https://www.croydon.gov.uk/advice/tstandards/busadvice/taschemes

Read more information on the Citizens Advice website about consumer’s rights if you think you have been mis-sold items on the doorstep or have been pressured into signing a contract:

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/changed-your-mind/if-you-were-misled-or-pressured-into-buying-something-you-didnt-want/

Please remember to report to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040 https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime if you have actually been the victim of a scam or fraud.

Call Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline 0808 223 1133 or visit https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ to report a scam or if you require further advice in regards to scams or consumer matters.

Look out for Pension Scams

Scammers usually contact people out of the blue via phone, email or text, or even advertise online. Or they may be introduced to you by a friend or family member who is also unknowingly being scammed.

Scam offers often include:

  • free pension reviews
  • higher returns
  • help to release cash from your pension even though you’re under 55 (an offer to release funds before age 55 is highly likely to be a scam)
  • high-pressure sales tactics – the scammers may try to pressure you with ‘time-limited offers’
  • unusual investments – which tend to be unregulated and high risk
  • complicated structures where it isn’t clear where your money will end up
    arrangements where there are several parties involved
  • long-term pension investments

4 simple steps to protect yourself from pension scams:

Step 1 – Reject unexpected offers
If you’re contacted out of the blue about a pension opportunity, chances are it’s high risk or a scam.

Step 2 – Check who you’re dealing with
Check the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Register to make sure that anyone offering you advice or other financial services is FCA authorised.

Check to see if they are registered with Companies House and for the names of the directors.

Check the FCA Warning List – to check the risks of a potential pension or investment opportunity.

Step 3 – Don’t be rushed or pressured
Take your time to make all the checks you need – even if this means turning down an ‘amazing deal’.

Step 4 – Get impartial information or advice
You should seriously consider seeking financial guidance or advice before changing your pension arrangements.

The Pensions Advisory Service provides free independent and impartial information and guidance.

You can also use a financial adviser to help you make the best decision for your own personal circumstances.

If you suspect a scam, report it
Report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or by using our online reporting tool.

Report to the FCA – you can report an unauthorised firm or scam to the FCA by contacting their Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768 or using the Action Fraud reporting form at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/guide-to-reporting

If you’ve agreed to transfer your pension and now suspect a scam, contact your pension provider straight away. They may be able to stop a transfer that hasn’t taken place yet. If you are unsure of what to do contact the Pensions Advisory Service for help.

 

Safer Neighbourhood Team Crime Report – May 2022

The Shirley North Safer Neighbourhood Team has an update with the crime report for May 2022.

The Safer Neighbourhood Team will continue to patrol the ward as usual. In case of an emergency, please do not hesitate to call 999.

Let’s try and be vigilant and lookout for each other.

Report crime by calling 101 or in an emergency call 999.
Remember, you can also report crime online on our website: https://www.met.police.uk/