Residents are being urged by Northumberland County Council’s Trading Standards to be on their guard over phishing email scams.
Trading Standards have recently been made aware of two types. The first relates to an email claiming that parking fees are owed. The hoax email purports to be from a national company but asks consumers to reply to an email address that does not resemble the genuine one.
The second scam email appears to come from a national online internet company, stating that your ‘Payment attempt has been declined’ and that the purchase was made ‘from a computer or device that had not previously been associated with that I.D’. The email directs consumers to a webpage that asks you to update your personal details.
Councillor Liz Simpson, Deputy Business Chair for the Council with responsibility for Public Protection, said: “These scams are changing all the time as criminals work out new ways to separate residents from their money.
“People have to be wary when they receive an e-mail from an unknown source because, all too often, these are part of a scam.”
David Sayer, the council’s Business Compliance and Public Safety Unit Manager, added: “We advise all consumers to be wary and don’t be pressured or tricked into providing your bank details.’
To reduce the risks of falling for email scams Trading Standards has the following tips:
- Be wary of unsolicited emails suggesting or implying that you are owe money or have won money
- Don’t be pressurised into giving personal details or bank details.
- Don’t respond to unsolicited emails when you are busy in order that you can give it your full consideration when you have time.
- Watch for bad spelling and/or poor grammar in an email claiming to represent a company, royalty, a prize agency, etc.
- Always consider that a request for money is to be treated with suspicion until proven otherwise.
If you receive one of these calls and would like further advice you can contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0345 404 0506, or report any potential fraud to ‘Action Fraud’ at www.actionfraud.org.uk/