Be Scam Aware – The 12 scams of Christmas…

Please read this important advice from the SAFER team regarding current telephone scams – Please also pass on the information to friends / relatives that may not have internet access.

With the festive season upon us, we would like to draw your attention to our twelve scams of Christmas.

At this time of year people can let their guards down as the festive fun starts and the criminals try to take advantage.

We hope you keep scam aware this Christmas and have a fun filled, scam free new year!

  1. Subscription Trap: Offering a free gift or trial offer in return for Postage and packaging and your bank details…
  2. Bogus Charities: Make sure the marketing you receive is genuine.
  3. Pop-up shops: Often sell counterfeit and/or faulty items.
  4. HMRC: Phonecall claims you have over/underpaid taxes. Never give out bank details and hang up immediately.
  5. Bank scam: Call claims to be the bank, reporting suspicious activity. Hang up and phone your bank on a trusted number.
  6. Police scam: Similar to the bank scam, it will claim suspicious activity of your bank account. Hang up immediately, WAIT 15 minutes or use another phone and call 101.
  7. e-Greeting/online cards: They can contain malware
  8. Bogus gift cards: Be sure you are buying from a trusted retailer as they can be illegitimately replicated.
  9. Seasonal travel scams: Only use trusted online travel agents.
  10. Delivery scams: ‘Sorry we missed you!’ card with a premium number. Check it is a genuine delivery card. Trusted retailers will name the courier delivering your parcel.
  11. Smishing: Text messages pretending to be the bank requesting immediate response. Never contact your bank via text.
  12. Romance scams: Only use well established and trusted dating websites. Do not contact anyone away from the website. Trust your gut feeling.

For the detailed list, download the PDF: 12 Scams of Christmas

Also be aware of the following:

  • Internet Provider  (Whomever that may be) – If you receive a phone call telling you that there is something wrong with your laptop / computer. Simply tell them you don’t have internet – If in doubt, you can always confirm later by contacting your internet provider yourself.
  • Call from your bankNow this is probably the most dangerous one – You might get a very convincing call from someone claiming to be your bank. You may think you’ve put the phone down to contact your actual bank when in actual fact the other caller has intercepted this call and you end up talking back to the scammers.

There are a number of FREE apps available to download to your smartphone which can detect and block unwanted calls as well as automatically identify & stop spam, scam and fraudulent calls. One of those is Mr. Number – Caller ID & Spam Protection

Mr. Number is the most powerful call blocker on the market. Block calls from people, businesses, and hidden numbers. Browse comments from other users when you get a spam call. Automatically block potential fraud and suspected spam calls.

Available for FREE (offers in app purchases) on both the Apple Store and devices that support Google Play

If you have been a victim of a scam or have come across suspicious behaviour, contact The Safer Team – West Yorkshire Joint Services for advice.

As a rule: If something seems too good to be true… it probably is.

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