Online Safety Bill – Scam Adverts

The Online Safety Act 2023 is an act of the Parliament of the United
Kingdom to control online speech and media. It passed on 26 October
2023 with a view to being able to deal more effectively with harmful
online content including scams and scam adverts.

Speaking on The Martin Lewis Podcast, the money-saving expert
himself said he was ‘heavily involved’ in the campaign to get scam
advert regulation included in the Online Safety Bill.

He said: “Always be vigilant when you’re approached by a person or
company selling you something you have not requested, cold calling is a
warning. Never click links or call numbers, emails or texts, if you don’t
know who it’s from.

For further information and advice on financial issues
and saving money please visit the Money Saving Expert
website: www.moneysavingexpert.com

Please pay extra attention to adverts or ‘sales’ that
are too good to be true! The Christmas and New Year
sales are tempting but if you never receive the item
you have not saved any money!

If you have been scammed or misled into contracting with a business or a
trader and parted with money, please report to Citizens Advice Consumer
Advice Line on 0808 223 1133 or go to the following website to report online:
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/if-you-need-more-help-about-a-consumer-issue/

 

Trading Standards Warning – Guttering Scammers Active in Croydon

A resident of central Croydon has reported that two males cold called at his home offering to clear his gutter for £39.00 and replace a seal for £25.00.

After a while the men knocked at the door and advised that they had actually replaced 10 seals at £25.00 each and cleared the gutter for £39.00. They demanded cash payment and became aggressive when the resident advised that he only had sufficient cash to cover the original amount that they had quoted and agreed upon.

Croydon Trading Standards reminds all residents not to deal with traders who cold call at your door and to look out for your neighbours who may try to engage these types of trader to do work for them.

If you are a victim of doorstep crime, or wish to report cold callers, please ring the Citizen’s Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

Croydon Trading Standards – No Blame No Shame Campaign

What Can You Do?

Talk about fraud, scams and financial abuse with your friends and family
Share your experiences and make fraud, scams and financial abuse part of day-to-day conversations. This will help to break down the stigma and shame which is so often felt by victims, and will encourage victims to report and get the help and support that they need.

Recognise the impact that this crime can have on its victims
Victims of fraud, scams and financial abuse are not stupid, naïve, or greedy – they are victims of a crime.

Do not victim blame. Put the blame on the criminal where it belongs.
Phrases such as ‘how could anyone fall for that’ implies that it’s obvious and puts blame on the victim for not realising and responding. The criminals behind fraud, scams and financial abuse use coercive and controlling behaviour to defraud victims – the blame should be on the criminals, not the victims.

The phrase ‘fall for a scam’ is often used, but you don’t hear ‘fall for a burglary’. This kind of language puts blame on the victim. We need to change the language we use when talking to, and about scam victims, to take away the blame and shame.

Research showed that when people realised they’d become a victim of a scam, the most common feelings were being ‘angry’ with themselves, (46%), feeling ‘stupid’ (40%) and ‘embarrassed’ (38%).

The language we use when talking to, and about scam victims is really important – No Blame. No Shame.

Trading Standards – Christmas Shopping Scams

Photo by Dima D

Offers too good to be true!

Leading up to Christmas please be aware of scam adverts online and social media for popular Christmas presents that are just too good to be true and not advertised by an official retailer. An example of an offer too good to be true has recently been investigated by Which?

Which? found active scam ads promoting the £350 Jo Malone advent calendar for around £30. The official limited edition Jo Malone advent calendar retails for £350 and includes lotions, perfume, toiletries and candles.

Clues to look out for in these scam adverts are the bad spelling and grammar, and that the sellers use a random profile name unrelated to the actual brand, in this instance the Jo Malone brand. Some of the adverts led to malicious websites phishing for personal details.

The scam sites include a countdown timer and notifications about purchases in ‘real time’ and list the number of advent calendars in stock. These are typical tactics used to make victims act under pressure, without taking the time to verify the authenticity of the information.

Here are a few more tips to avoid shopping scams:

  • Browse the website – look out for bad spelling and grammar, as well as the absence of terms and conditions and contact details.
  • Check the URL – if it’s not the brand’s official website, it could be a scam page.
  • Check how long ago the website was created by using a domain checker such as who.is – a newly created website should raise suspicions.

To report a scam ad on Facebook, select the three-dot icon on the right-hand side of the page and press ‘report’. Scam websites, like these dodgy phishing websites, can be reported to the National Cyber Security Centre.

Do not be tempted to give the scammers any further details, even if they claim to be ‘refunding ‘ you. If you think you may have been scammed, call your bank immediately using the number on the back of your bank card and report it to Action Fraud.

For the full article please follow this link: Watch out for scam Facebook ads for bogus Jo Malone advent calendars – Which? News which.co.uk