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Common Scams and Hoaxes
Below are some of the common scams and hoaxes that we have come across and those that members have made us aware of.
Nottinghamshire Police Magazine Scams and Sponsorship
It is not uncommon for businesses to be approached by agencies purporting to be from Police or other Emergency Services; or working on behalf of local Police or Fire Service. There are varying angles agencies may approach, for example; it may be for a desk planner, wall chart, crime prevention booklet or diaries etc.
Nottinghamshire Police Donation Scam
In the past we have received reports from local businesses informing us of phone calls they have received requesting donations on behalf of Nottinghamshire Police.
The caller calls with a withheld number and states that they are calling from `Nottingham or Nottinghamshire Police` and that they are collecting donations. When the caller is asked for their name and phone number, the caller states that in order not to inconvenience them, they will call back later and do not provide any details.
Nottinghamshire Police do not cold call in order to request donations. Please also be advised that any representative from Nottinghamshire Police should always state their full Name, Job Role and give their contact details. The representative should also give the person they are calling the option to call them back through the main Nottinghamshire Police switchboard to authenticate their call.
If you are suspicious of such calls and are unable to authenticate the call you are advised not give out any personal details, bank details or funds.
Microsoft Computer Scam
We would urge individuals to remain vigilant when receiving phone calls from any individual purporting to be from any of the companies named above or any others. It is highly unlikely that Internet providers or Internet security providers will contact you via telephone to rectify a security issues with a householder/business computer. The security of the computer sits with the owner.
AVG Internet Security Provider Scam
DVLA Email Scam
Please remain vigilant when receiving emails from any source that you are unfamiliar with. It is not common practice for such organisations and banks to communicate via email with regards to updating personal information; the usual method is via letter.
If you are in doubt always check the sender information, and if you are unsure make contact with the organisation to confirm whether the email is genuine.
You are advised not to give out personal details via email or the Internet unless you are sure this is a genuine site and has the necessary Internet security measures in place to protect your personal information.
Mobile Phone Scam
Users of other mobile networks who get regular spam messages should contact their network provider for advice.
BT Phone Scam
In some areas across the country, incidents have been reported by BT customers who have received a phone call purporting to be from BT, usually on the pretence of an outstanding bill and is told if they don`t pay straight away, their line will be disconnected.
The suspect appears to have some knowledge with regards to the BT customer, for example, if they have recently changed supplier, or have ongoing problems with a bill.
If the victim challenges this or becomes suspicious, the suspect tells advises them that they can prove during the call that they are able to disconnect the line.
Under the threat of losing their phone connection, the victim is then duped into providing bank account details. During some calls the suspect states there is a problem with the card details provided and the victim then gives details of other bankcards.
Although BT confirm they do have debt handling procedures which may involve calling customers, please note that BT never carry out disconnections during the call by way of proof – if this happens, you are likely to be speaking to someone totally unconnected with BT. Do not pass any personal or financials details.
If you have any concerns, terminate the call and contact BT directly.
The parcel scam has taken place in numerous forms such as those outlined below.
The delivery of a package for a neighbour that requires payment. The unsuspecting victim, pays for the delivery in good faith only to find out when they pass the parcel on that it contains worthless junk and the neighbour knows nothing about it. The Victim received a call beforehand from a person claiming to be a solicitor who politely requested that the victim receive and pay a taxi driver for the urgent package as the neighbour may not be available. The amounts paid where in excess of 50 pounds each time.
A second method is where a delivery slip is left at the property with a premium rate number to call to rearrange delivery of the package. Please do not call this number as it is a scam.
Both of these methods are Scams. Please be aware of this scam and the different methods that are being used to target the community, and inform your friends, family and neighbours. Please be cautious when receiving any calls and / or literature regarding the delivery of parcels. If you are not expecting a parcel then it most likely is a scam. Before accepting any parcels for neighbours, please ensure that you check to see if your Neighbour is awaiting a parcel delivery.
Protected Trademarks Scam
Please be aware that if you are thinking of applying for trademark protection for your business, there are certain scammers out there who try to get money from you when registering your business details.
This type of scam has been around for a number of years and in recent years applications and owners of some UK trademarks have been contacted by the bogus `European Institute for Economy and Commerce (EIEC). They send out invoices that look official but in fact are fake, claiming for their services in adding your company to a `protected trademarks register`.
It has been confirmed by the Intellectual Property Office that UK businesses do not have to submit this information as part of an application for a trademark. Businesses are advised to disregard these invoices as they are a scam. The Intellectual Property Office also claim that there is no such organisation as the EIEC.
Please be aware that there may be other companies that are sending out such scam mail, so ensure that all invoices are checked before payment is sent.
The only bodies that have any ability to provide legal protection for patents, designs and trade marks in the UK are the IP, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Community Trade Mark Office.
If you have received one of these scam invoices, this should be ignored.
If you would like to take a look at examples of scam invoices these can be found on the websites of the European Patent Office, the Community Trade Mark Office and the World Intellectual Property Organisation.
This scam has been active for some time now and has recently been active within Nottinghamshire.
The caller states that they are calling from the `Crime Prevention Unit` and states that it has been some time since they have made contact and is checking that things are OK.
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