HMRC

Guest article – Trading Standards Wales

Trading Standards Wales has been made aware of a text message scam in relation to the national Census.

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Recipients are told that there is information missing from their completed Census and asked to click on a link to complete their form or face prosecution. By clicking the link they are directed to a site which appears identical to the original online census form, on completing the form and submitting the recipient is asked to pay a £1.25 fee.

Helen Picton, Chair of Trading Standards Wales, said: “Scam calls and texts to mobile phones are a serious problem, there is no mobile phone equivalent to a landline call blocker to stop them coming through.

“Some of these messages are very convincing. Remember, that no government agency would send you a notification demanding money via text or via automated telephone message.

“If a company sends you a link via text message to click on, ignore it. If you are unsure because you have an account with that company, contact them directly and don’t use the link provided.”

There are some things you can do to cut down the numbers of scam calls and texts:

  • Most mobile phones have settings to block numbers. Search the internet for “blocking numbers on my (brand) mobile more advice on your phone” or there is usually advice on your mobile phone providers website
  • You can register with the Telephone preference service
  • Report these texts to National cyber security centre – 7726
  • https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/suspicious-email-actions
  • Contact Census 2021 Contact Centre by Ringing 0800 141 2021 for England and 0800 169 2021 for Wales.

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