Coventry Trading Standards launch scams email alert
Thursday 20 September 2012
An email alert system has been set up by Coventry City Council's trading standards team to inform people of the latest scams hitting the area.
The free scheme is available to any city residents and interested organisations that want to sign up.
The idea is to inform and warn people of the common scams trading standards officers are dealing with, or rogue traders that may be operating in the area, in an effort to ensure others do not fall victim.
According to Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud reporting centre, fraud including scams costs the UK economy £30 billion every year.
Councillor Phil Townshend, Coventry City Council's Cabinet Member for Community Safety, believes the new system is a simple but effective way of making a difference.
He said: "The email alert system is a quick, simple and cost effective way to alert interested individuals, community organisations, businesses, charities and others to the latest trading standards issues and scams.
"The people who do this sort of thing are becoming increasingly clever and all kinds of people from all walks of life can be duped.
"If you let down your guard, you too could become a victim. Access to all sorts of personal information can be obtained, such as passwords and pin numbers. Being taken in by a scam can be very distressing and very costly."
Anyone wanting to receive email notifications and alerts should send an email with the words: 'SCAM ALERT SIGN UP' in the subject heading to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Within the email write your name and if you represent an organisation, write the name and address of the organisation.
For general advice on how to avoid falling victim to a scam visit www.coventry.gov.uk/scams
- Don't give out any personal details like your address or 'confirm' details like your bank account number over the telephone
- Never enter into the telephone handset or share your PIN with anyone - your bank will never ask you to do this
- Do not be pressurised to make a quick decision or pay money especially by a money transfer service as the caller may be outside the UK
- Check the credentials of the company that you are dealing with. Search the Internet for any information on them
- Do not give out your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source
- If you receive a phone call from an organisation you have had dealings with but they are asking for personal information, ask for their name and terminate the call. Verify the information by calling the company's head office yourself
- Do not reply to unsolicited texts, e.g. texts referring to accident claims even to get them stopped. Simply delete them
- Do not respond to missed calls that come from numbers you do not recognise. It could be a premium rate number & be very expensive.
Help stop scammers by telling friends and family and by making Trading Standards aware of any scams that you have encountered. Send scam letters to: 'Scamnesty' - Trading Standards, Freepost (CV681) Coventry CV1 1BR.
Alternatively telephone Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud reporting centre on 0300 123 2040.