Do you think that you know all the tell tale signs of a scam? Let’s see…..

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Many people think they would never fall for a scam. Why not try the Citizens Advice Bureau’s ‘scams game’ to see how well you actually know the methods these criminals use to extort your cash?

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/campaigns/current_campaigns/scams-awareness-month/scams-game/

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Fake invoice scam alert as small business fraud reports soar

fake invoice scam

Action Fraud has reported that instances of small businesses falling victim to fake invoice scams have rocketed to 749 between January and July 2015 alone. These are only the reported cases.

The con works by fraudsters pretending to be a legitimate supplier and contacting the business to say that the account details have changed. An innocent employee amends the account details and money is subsequently paid to the criminal. The more a fraudster knows about the company it is easier for them to perpetrate the deception. Therefore, businesses should keep all details of their transactions as confidential as possible.

See the full article here:

http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/news/scam-warning-for-small-businesses-as-fraud-reports-spike-aug15

It is hard enough to make a go of a business these days without criminals taking your hard earned money. If you suspect that you have been a victim of this type of crime call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040

Spotlight on The Financial Ombudsman

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Did you know that The Financial Ombudsman can help you with unresolved complaints about your bank, insurance company or finance firm?

  • The Ombudsman was set up by parliament to sort out individual complaints that consumers and financial businesses aren’t able to resolve themselves.
  • Its a free service, impartial service.
  • depending how complicated a case is, they can sort out some complaints in just a few months. But some cases – for example, complaints about mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) – can take much longer.

Click here to find out more about The Financial Ombudsman Service

Helping vulnerable consumers in Solihull

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A little know aspect of our work at Solihull Trading Standards is that we help vunerable residents to try and settle contractual disputes with traders to avoid the costly and often stressful experience of court. We apply our knowledge of consumer law to help mediate between the parties and attempt to reach a reasonable, amicable conclusion.

A recent example of this is when we helped an 83 year old woman who was having problems getting a considerable volume of building work completed on her property. When we visited the lady we were shocked by the condition of her house. The builders had just not returned one day over eight months ago during the middle of the job and she was unable to live downstairs amid the clutter and mess. All their tools and equipment were strewn everywhere and she was unable to contact them.

We knew that she could not go on living like this and we wanted to get the matter resolved as quickly as possible. We contacted the trader and explained our severe concerns. The trader has now returned to the property and is completing the work.

Our assistance for vulnerable Solihull consumers can be sought by telephoning 03454 04 05 06.

Airport parking firm that left cars with windows down and unlocked is fined £6,000

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A West Sussex airport parking firm has admitted charges of misleading consumers and has been fined £6,000.

Air Parking Ltd promised consumers that their cars would be securely parked in an area that would be manned 24 hours a day. The reality was that consumers’ vehicles were left in insecure fields and many were left with their windows open and doors unlocked.

See the full article here:

http://www.wscountytimes.co.uk/news/crime/airport-parking-firm-left-cars-in-fields-with-windows-down-and-doors-unlocked-1-6908225

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 states that it is a criminal offence to mislead people. It replaced the more well known Trade Descriptions Act as the overarching piece of legislation that trading standards services deal with.

Scamp sniffs the illegal goods out once again in Warwickshire

Scamp the illegal tobacco sniffer dog with the seized goods from the raid in Rugby

Sniffer dog Scamp has come up trumps yet again by nosing out a stash of counterfeit cigarettes worth £8,000 in Rugby, Warwickshire.

Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards and Scamp’s handler from B W Y Canine were taking part in a community demonstration when the team received a tip off from a member of the public. They went to the premises with Warwickshire Police, and discovered illegal tobacco and suspected counterfeit vodka. The shop owner was arrested and is currently being questioned so the details of the premises cannot be released.

See the article in full here:

http://www.rugbyadvertiser.co.uk/news/local-news/illegal-tobacco-sniffer-dog-finds-8k-of-counterfeit-goods-hidden-in-ceiling-of-rugby-shop-after-tip-off-1-6915436

If you think illegal goods are being sold in Solihull please contact us on 03454 04 05 06.

New ‘phishing’ scam attempts to snare Amazon customers

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(photo credit – http://www.lavasoft.com)

Scammers never sit still and will be constantly at work coming up with new ways of parting you with your hard earned cash.

A new ‘phishing’ scam is targeting the customers of the online giant Amazon. You will receive the below e-mail:

Dear Amazon.com Customer,

Amazon.com has recently updated our customer database and new security feature has been added to our website for effective shipping and order. Please click the link below to update your account information within 24-hours.

Click Here.

Thanks

Amazon.com

Once you click on the link you will be taken to a fake Amazon website where you will be asked to enter your details.

Stay clear of this latest scam and always beware what you e-mails you open. See the full article here:

http://www.lavasoft.com/mylavasoft/company/blog/new-phishing-scam-targets-amazon-customers

Claims management company fined over £200,000 for making millions of nuisance calls

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In the first punitive measure taken under new claims management regulation powers a company has been fined £220,000 following hundreds of complaints from people who were bombarded with nuisance calls.

The Hearing Clinic have been penalised under strong new measures where companies can be fined up to 20% of their annual turnover, as well as having their trading licenses removed.

See the full article here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/first-fine-issued-against-rogue-claims-management-company

Beware of distraction burglary…

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Criminals can use all sorts of ruses to try and gain access to your house and possessions. Burglars won’t go to the trouble of breaking in if they can just knock and get invited in.

See the below guide to staying safe from these people made by West Midlands police:

http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/saferhomes/distraction_burglary/