News from our Village Agent – October 2018

Scams!  We do talk about them a lot but it is important to do so as they can be really disturbing to receive and potentially very expensive and there has been some recent activity to mention.

A recent call is from a well-spoken lady who tells you that there is a court case pending against you.  It is often for unpaid tax.  She will ask you to call her back on a given number.  This is usually a premium number and will be costing you lots of money while they slowly ask for all your details!

The advice from us hasn’t really changed, put the phone down quickly and don’t talk.  Chat to a neighbour or call me or citizen’s advice if you are anxious about what you did.  You can also report it on the Action Fraud website www.actionfraud.police.uk  phone number 0300 123 2040.  The latter also have information about recent scams to watch out for.  You can also tap the phone number into your search engine (google it!) and it will tell you what type of phone number it is.  According to Which,  www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/premium-rate-number-scams  “To avoid being ripped off in this way, you should firstly never use numbers beginning with 084, 087, 090, 091 or 098 when calling government advice lines”

Purchases of coin collections and figurines can often be a costly mistake so do your research before any purchase also check that the website you are buying from displays the padlock item before the https//www, before sharing details.

A new number Call 38 provides you with the phone number 033388888888 (three 3’s eight 8’s) that you can put into electronic (or paper) forms so that the box is filled.  The number will answer and say“TrueCall38 is handling my calls. I prefer not to be contacted  by phone, so please contact me via my email address. Goodbye!”

Don’t forget that you can buy phones with a call blocker service or use the BT call blocker service.  This means that the phone will only automatically answer numbers that you have previously agreed to.  It will ask the caller to put in who you are and display it so that the call recipient can decide whether to take the call.

This is also useful if you care for someone with Dementia because they are less likely to share all your bank details with the caller if they have to press the correct buttons to release the call.

The last and most disturbing scam is when people who are helping us by picking up our money from the bank are really helping themselves to your savings. This is called “Mate Crime”. Get them to take you to the bank rather than giving them your card and pin. Get help from CAB or Age Uk  to put your bills on direct debit and use phone or internet access to your bank accounts.  Check your statements for any strange activity.   Make sure that any private carers have a current DBS certificate.  I can support you with this.

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/reports-and-publications/reports-and-briefings/safe-at-home/rb_april15_only_the_tip_of_the_iceberg.pdf

If you are online, do have a read of the above to reveal the statistics and types of fraud. You can also phone Age UK Advice: 0800 169 65 65 Lines are open seven days a week from 8am to 7pm. www.ageuk.org.uk for one to one advice and to order their really interesting booklet.

October is also time to register for your warmer homes discount – phone your electricity and gas supplier.  It is also time to book your flu vaccination!

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