Beat the Scammers

Scam phone calls are annoying, frustrating and sometimes scary. Criminals are currently pretending to be from HMRC and claiming they owe you a tax refund or that there is an issue with an unpaid bill. Others are claiming to represent a number of high street banks asking your for personal information and there are lots of others.

These days scammers have access to technology which allows them to mimic a legitimate telephone number, that comes up on the caller ID on your phone making them seem more plausible.

Protect yourself

• Official organisations will not ask you for your personal data including bank account details, over the phone.

• If you get a call from your bank, tell them you will call them back. Call the number on the back of your bank card from another phone or, if you don’t have another phone, leave it 10 minutes before you call them back.

• Nuisance calls about pensions are illegal, report cold calls about your pension to the Information Commissioners office on 0303 123 1133.

• Register your number with the Free Telephone Preference Service Calls
asking you to pay a renewal fee for the service are scams – say no! tpsonline.org.uk//tps/index.html

• Invest in a call blocker which blocks incoming calls, preventing scammers from getting through to your number. Speak to your phone provider to organise services they offer to prevent your elderly or vulnerable relatives, neighbours and friends from being caught out.

As a victim of a scam you have not been foolish, you have been the victim of a sophisticated crime committed by a criminal. Please report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit actionfraud.police.uk

Claire Kendall, Trading Standards, Milton Keynes

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