As Christmas approaches Public Protection’s Trading Standards team here in Wrexham is asking everyone to be careful of any cold calls asking you for your bank details or to download any sort of app.
If you get such a call, hang up and report it to Action Fraud. If you have the slightest concern that it may be a genuine alert, still terminate the call and contact the relevant bank, building society or trader direct on their published numbers.
One recent example is a scam that has cost people in South Wales a considerable amount of money. Victims of that scam have received an automated call telling them a fraudster has used their personal details to sign up for an Amazon Prime subscription. They are then instructed to press 1 to cancel the transaction. If they do this, they are then connected directly to the real scammer who poses as an Amazon customer service representative.
The scammer tells the victim the Amazon Prime subscription was purchased fraudulently and that they need remote access to the victim’s computer in order to fix a security flaw that will prevent it from happening again. The victim is instructed to download an application called Team Viewer and asked to log onto their online banking account. The software download grants the fraudster remote access to the victim’s computer and allows them to see the victim’s personal and financial details.
This is just one example, the scammer may say you are due a refund or it maybe that they say they are from the taxman and you are due a tax rebate. There are countless variations, but all of them end up with the victim following instructions permitting access to bank details allowing criminals to steal their money.
In this particular case Action Fraud has received 200 reports from people who have lost money to the scam and a further 300 reports from people who received one of the scam calls but did not follow the fraudsters instructions.
“What can you do to protect yourself?”
Roger Mapleson, Trading Standards and Licensing Lead, said: “So far we’ve had no reports of calls of this type in Wrexham – but we’d really like to keep it that way so please be very careful. Be scam aware and NEVER let anyone talk you into allowing remote access or downloading any apps or software to your computer, tablet or phone. If you do get caught out and think you may have been scammed, contact your bank or building society as soon as you realise. It might still be in time to stop illegal withdrawals. All of them should have a 24hr hotline for fraud. Look on their website, it should be easy to find.
Don’t download any apps or software. Always ask yourself – is this a scam? If in doubt hang up and contact the company direct by using a known phone number.”
If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, or think you may have been, speak to your bank or building society and report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.
If we get a bad settlement, we’ll have to look at further cuts.Have your say.DWEUD EICH DWEUD