Scams Awareness September 2023 November Update from IWASP We have received a report about a particularly nasty scam. People on social media are offering property to rent and taking deposits for properties that they don’t own. It is a challenging climate but if you are desperate for somewhere to live don’t be rushed or pressured into making unwise decisions. Carry out checks to ensure that the offer is genuine and legitimate. Beware of fake websites. These can pop up on social media and Google and look very convincing. The most recent was an offer for up to 90% off goods at Wilko, which has been in the news as closing down. This could make this look genuine. Never rush into offers like this. Take some time to look at the site checking the website address and checking for reviews. We’ve had a report about a potential scam call from the AA to ask for payment for renewal of membership. The resident knew that this wasn’t about to expire so realised it was a scam. Always be aware when any subscriptions, insurances or memberships are due to expire so that you don’t fall victim to scams like this. We are being warned to be vigilant with increasing reports of Courier Fraud. Police have received 17 reports since the beginning of August with one couple losing £70,000. One victim reported receiving a phone call from someone claiming to be a police officer at a London police station who told him his cards had been cloned and he needed to withdraw money from two bank accounts for collection. Others have been told that their cards have been involved in fraudulent activity involving counterfeit notes. In each case the victims were told to withdraw cash from their banks which would then be collected by a “courier”. If someone calls claiming to be a police officer, ask for their ID number, police force and station. Wait at least five minutes before verifying details with the appropriate Force by calling 101. Do not use any number the callers provide. Ensure the call has disconnected as scammers will often leave the line open or use another phone altogether. A genuine police officer will not mind waiting while you check their identity (it’s a sign that it is a scam if the person becomes pushy or stresses urgency). Beware of delivery scams. A member of the team received an email claiming that their parcel had experienced some “hiccups”. She hadn’t ordered anything but one look at the email address proved that this was a scam as it hadn’t come from a legitimate delivery company.