Home > Uncategorized > Norfolk Police – Latest Consumer & Scam alerts from Norfolk Trading Standards

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep Cold Callers offering to undertake house maintenance – 16 July 2020

We are warning residents to be on their guard after two cold calling incidents in the Norwich area this week offering to undertake house maintenance.

In the first incident a Sprowston resident was doorstep cold called by a man who claimed to have ’30 years roofing experience’, and that he could see issues with the roof and chimney.

The resident declined the offer and asked the cold caller to leave.  The man was seen to be wearing some form of photo ID, and returned to a beige car with ladders on the roof.

In the second incident, there have been reports of three men cold calling at properties in the Hellesdon area offering to undertake work on properties.  The three men were seen to be using a white Ford Transit van with ladders on the roof.

We always advise:

  • Never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property    
  • Never agree to have work done by somebody who is ‘just passing’ or take their word that it needs to be done at all
  • Never allow a cold caller access to your home, roof or gardens even if they are offering to do tasks for a small fee or free
  • When looking to have work done on or around your property, only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself.  Obtain a written quotation from before starting the work

These doorstep cold callers could move on to other areas around Norwich and Norfolk.

if you see these cold callers in Norfolk, contact us through the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

If you feel intimidated, or see these cold callers and are concerned for vulnerable neighbours, call 999.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep Cold Callers offering to ‘clear and clean gutters’ – 16 July 2020

We are warning residents to be aware following reports of doorstep cold callers in the Old Palace Road / Dereham Road area of Norwich.

Two men cold called at a property saying that the property’s gutters ‘needed clearing and cleaning’ and that they could ‘start work straight away’.  The resident declined the offer and reported the incident.

We always advise:

  • Never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your property
  • Never agree to have work done by somebody who is ‘just passing’ or take their word that it needs to be done at all
  • Never allow a cold caller access to your home, roof or gardens even if they are offering to do tasks for a small fee or free
  • When looking to have work done on or around your property, only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself.  Obtain a written quotation from before starting the work

These doorstep cold callers could move on to other areas of Norfolk.

If you see these cold callers in Norfolk, contact us through the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

If you feel intimidated, or see these cold callers and are concerned for vulnerable neighbours, call 999.

Looking for a Trader you can Trust?  Try a Norfolk Trusted Trader.  To search our directory and read feedback from their customers visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/trustedtrader.

Could your community help stop doorstep cold callers from targeting vulnerable people by becoming a No Cold Calling Zone?  To find out more about the scheme or to apply visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/nccz.

Information Alert – Prevent the spread of false information about coronavirus – 15 July 2020

The Government have released a new checklist to help protect yourself and your friends from false information about coronavirus.

When shared, false information can take on a life of its own and have some serious consequences.  It can lead to health scares, false accusations and potentially damaging hoax stories.

Recently there has been a lot of this kind of false information about coronavirus.  It’s not always easy to spot, so use the SHARE checklist to make sure that the information can be relied upon:

  • Source – Rely on official sources for medical and safety information. Check the facts about coronavirus on the NHS website and GOV.UK.
  • Headline – Headlines don’t always tell the full story. Always read to the end before you share articles about coronavirus.
  • Analyse – Analyse the facts. If something sounds unbelievable, it very well might be. Independent fact-checking services are correcting false information about coronavirus every day.
  • Retouched – Watch out for misleading pictures and videos in stories about coronavirus. They might be edited, or show an unrelated place or event. Check to see who else is using the photo.
  • Error – Look out for mistakes. Typos and other errors might mean the information is false. Official guidance about coronavirus will always have been carefully checked.

More information is available at sharechecklist.gov.uk.

Scam Alert – Green Grant Telephone calls – 14 July 2020

Within hours of the Chancellor of the Exchequer announcing a ‘Green Grant’ being made available for homeowners, Norfolk residents reported receiving scam calls from fake companies advising them that they were eligible.

If you receive such a call just hang up and do not give the caller any personal details.

The scheme is not due to start until September, so any calls related to the Government announcement will be a scam.  The rollout of the scheme will be run locally and details of how to apply will be provided.

If you have received a telephone cold call which you believe to be a scam you can report it to us via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline, on 0808 223 1133

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls offering mortgage rebates – 13 July 2020

We are again warning residents to be on their guard for telephone cold calls claiming to be offering mortgage rebates.

This follows a report from a Norfolk resident who received a call during which the cold caller claimed to be ‘calling from a Government scheme’ which was ‘processing rebates for mortgages’.  The cold caller then attempted to gather information on the call recipients current or former mortgages.  When the resident said they would not give them any information the cold caller became verbally abusive.

If you receive this or a similar call, do not give or confirm any information and hang up.

If you have received a telephone cold call which you believe to be a scam you can report it to us via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133

Scam Alert – Fake Argos returns ‘TV giveaway’ – 9 July 2020

We are warning Facebook users to be wary of fake ‘Argos returns’ pages which hold scam competitions and giveaways as a way of gaining personal details. 

One particular post claims to be giving away free 65” curved TVs and asks the Facebook user to follow a link in order to register for the gift.

These posts are a scam and have no connection to Argos. 

If you see one of these giveaway posts, don’t be tempted to participate. You have no chance of winning the promised prize, and you may risk your privacy and security by sharing your personal information with online scammers.

Rogue Trader Alert – Doorstep cold callers selling household cleaning products – 8 July 2020

We are warning residents to be on their guard after receiving reports of doorstep cold callers trying to sell household cleaning products.

This follows an incident today where a young man cold called at a property in Diss claiming he was was from a ‘youth offending team’ and was selling items ‘donated by charities to gain marketing skills’. The resident declined the offer and reported the incident to us.

Our advice is never deal with anyone who cold calls at your property offering to sell something.

It is possible these sellers will continue to move onto other locations in Norfolk.

Anyone spotting these sellers in Norfolk please contact us through our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133 or to Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

If you feel intimidated or sight these cold callers and are concerned for vulnerable neighbours call 999.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold caller claiming to be from ‘Tesco Bank’ – 7 July 2020

A Norfolk resident has received a cold call from a man claiming to be from ‘Tesco Bank’. 

The caller advised the resident that their card had been victim to a number of fraudulent charges and stated he was required to send a single use code via text to the resident. However, the caller ended the call when these text messages failed. The resident then contacted their bank directly and was told that there were no fraudulent transactions present. 

Our advice is always be very wary of claims made during a cold call and never give or confirm personal or financial details unless you are 100% sure you know who you are talking too.

There are likely to be a range of this type of scam calls being made using the names of well-known financial service providers in the coming days and weeks.

If you receive this or a similar call our advice is hang up, wait five minutes and then contact your bank using the customer service number on your card, a recent statement, on the genuine website or app.

If you have received a telephone cold call which you believe to be a scam you can report it to us via our partners, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline, on 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls offering ‘investment opportunity’ – 6 July 2020

A Norfolk resident has been persistently contacted via telephone by an individual claiming to represent an ‘art society’ requesting they invest £2,000 into their company. When the resident explained that they did not have this amount to invest the caller asked for their card details and stated that they ‘would only take £50’. The resident did not provide any details and ended the call.

Our advice is always be very wary of claims made during a cold call and never give or confirm personal or financial details unless you are 100% sure you know who you are talking too.

If you have received a telephone cold call which you believe to be a scam you can report it to us via our partners, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline, on 0808 223 1133.

Scam Alert – Scam heir hunter letter – 3 July 2020

We have received a report from a Norfolk resident who has received a letter stating they are the sole beneficiary of a late relative’s estate. The letter mentions Covid-19 restrictions as a way of appearing more authentic.

The letter requests the recipient provide their personal details so that the funds can be released to them.

The following are easy ways to spot an inheritance scam letter:

  • The amount of money on offer and the percentage claimed that is available to you will be extremely large
  • Letters/documents provided by the fraudsters are generally badly written with spelling mistakes and poor grammar
  • Look out for webmail addresses such as @Yahoo or @Hotmail. They are freely available making them easy to set up and equally easy to shut down
  • Fraudsters often claim that the person who has died was the victim of a well-publicised incident, such as plane crashes and natural disasters. To add credibility, they may even use the identity of someone who really did die in the incident

If you receive this, or a similar letter it is a scam and should be disposed of. Do not reply with personal details.

If you have received a letter which you believe to be a scam you can report it to us via our partners, the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.