For information on fraud alerts

Latest Scam Alerts

Latest Scam Alerts

Scam Alerts

Dear Kent Residents,

As the number of scams continues to increase, this is our regular round-up of the latest scams reported by Kent residents. Anyone can be a victim of a scam. It is important to stay alert and follow our guidance. 

⛔ Reputable traders and contractors do not cold-call for business and they will NEVER ask you to go to the bank or cash point.
⛔ If you receive a scam phone call, hang up and don’t return their calls. NEVER disclose any personal information such as bank details, no matter who the person claims to be.

Thinking of selling some of your belongings via an online app?

Watch out! We have heard sellers in Kent being targeted by a potential buyer, who then asks if they can take the conversation off the platform.

The buyer also suggests using a different payment method to pay for the items, using the sellers email address to send fake shipping details. However, the seller never gets the payment.

Be careful when selling online, scammers are trying to target vulnerable residents due to the #CostOfLivingCrisis.

Always use reputable banking apps such as PayPal to transfer money. Never take conversations of the platform.

A resident in Kent received an email claiming to be from Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency or Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

The email stated your vehicle is no longer taxed due to a debit card transaction being refused – and contained a hyperlink for you to click to renew your vehicle tax.

This is a SCAM❗ Do not respond to any unexpected emails – they will almost certainly be criminals trying to con you.

If you receive any unexpected emails from DVLA or DVSA, use great caution. You can check whether your car is taxed on the GOV UK website.

A resident in Kent found a property they wanted to rent, with the landlord asking for a deposit before renting. However, once the deposit has been paid, the property does not exist and the landlord refuses to return your deposit.

Beware when renting❗ Scammers are using fake property listings to lure you into giving deposits.

Read more about private renting from Shelter UK

Kent residents are being pressured into buying Cryptocurrency investment, with sellers not responding once the payment has been made.

The buyer also tried to claim on the insurance which was sold by the seller, however that was also fake.

Beware❗ Scammers are trying to profit during the #CostOfLivingCrisis

If you want to find out more investing in cryptocurrencies safely, visit the Financial Conduct Authority website.

We have received reports of residents buying items through Online Marketplaces, however the seller requests £350 for the item to be delivered using a courier. The seller may also request for your email address to send you fake emails to let you know the item is shipped.

Watch out when buying online❗

Be vigilant when giving personal or financial information online.

GET FREE ADVICE FROM CITIZENS ADVICE
REPORT SCAMS TO ACTION FRAUD
ACTION FRAUD: 0300 123 2040
CITIZENS ADVICE: 0808 223 1133

Energy Bills Support Scheme

Did you know that households will receive a £400 discount on their energy bills in six instalments from October? There is no need to apply for the Energy Bills Support Scheme and you’ll never be asked for your bank details. If you receive any suspicious calls, text messages or emails claiming you have to enter your personal or bank details – do not click.

Visit GOV UK to find out more about the Energy Support Scheme Grant.

Trading Standards Checked carries out checks on traders so customers can have peace of mind when choosing a tradesperson to do work in their home.

Please help to keep your family and community safe. If you need work done in your home or garden, visit the website to find a safe local tradesperson.

Alert – Rent Deposit Scam

Kent residents are being targeted by rent deposit scams
A resident in Kent found a property they wanted to rent, with the landlord asking for a deposit before renting. However, once the deposit has been paid, the property does not exist and the landlord refuses to return your deposit.
Beware when renting❗ Scammers are using fake property listings to lure you into giving deposits.
If you have been targeted by this scam, report to @Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or get free scams advice from @Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133. You can read more about private renting from @Shelter UK👉 https://bit.ly/3SQL06F
Due to the Cost of Living Crisis, there has been an increase in scams. Please share with friends and family! #ConnectedCommunities #ScamAware #CostOfLivingCrisis
Kent County Council Trading Standards Alert - Rent Deposit Scam.

Graphic contains image of terrace houses,

Alert! Doorstep Criminals in Canterbury

An elderly resident was cold called by three men wearing hi-vis jackets, using scare tactics to scam the victim.

hat happened?

  • Three men wearing orange hi-vis jackets knocked on the resident’s door.
  • They used scare tactics – claiming a tree was over hanging and dangerous.
  • Cold callers may use other scare tactics including your roof tiles are missing or the roof is leaking.

What to do?
Watch out❗ Never respond to cold callers knocking on your door.

If you need work done in your home or garden, find safe traders on Trading Standards Checked or call Ask a Kent Librarian on 03000 41 64 38 (9am to 6pm on weekdays and 9am to 5pm on Saturdays).

Latest Scam Alerts August 2022

Rise in scams. More details below. You can report scams to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Free advice from Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133Alert Scams Aug 2022

Who is that knocking at my door?

There has been an increase in sellers knocking at your door. sometimes causing anxiety to residents, particularly those living alone. Doorstep sales are nothing new having been a very common method of trading many years ago. Before advertisements, shopping centres and the Internet it was quite normal to buy goods at the door from a friendly, but often persuasive and persistent salesmen. There will be many stories of such activities in villages and towns and the characters who travelled to find customers. In the 21st Century is this still a safe and acceptable method of selling and who are the people behind this trade?

I sometimes receive reports of doorstep sellers who purport to be ex-servicemen or ex-prisoners who are trying to make an honest living. They are neither and are simply using this story to gain your attention, sympathy and support. The ID cards carried often with a Union flag logo and references to our Armed Services are not valid. This is both fraudulent and in my opinion an insult to those genuine ex-serviceman or ex-prisoners who do need our support.

Those using this method of selling will be working for an organiser and are transported together in groups to villages and towns. They will work the area for a short period of time and then move on.
The goods sold from a holdall will have been obtained cheaply, and then sold at the door for a “bargain” price that will often exceed that available elsewhere. Although cash is always preferred some sellers are even using Debit card machines to make the sale! Substandard goods are impossible to return for a refund and the protection provided under the Sales of Goods Act and the Consumer Rights Act are very difficult to enforce. There is also the possibility that goods particularly electrical may not comply with testing and safety standards.

Despite the many myths there is currently only one legitimate method of doorstep selling and that is with a “Pedlar’s Certificate” issued by the Police. The Pedlars Acts of 1871 and 1881 is the legislation. The applicant must comply with certain conditions and be subject to a basic Police check before a certificate is issued. The certificate is valid for one year and can be used throughout the UK.

I have challenged several sellers in our area and have yet to find one with a Pedlars Certificate!

Based on the above, if you do not wish to engage with doorstep sellers please remain calm, polite and firm when declining to make a purchase. Do not invite the seller into your house or make any other donation. If you feel threatened contact the Police on 999 otherwise, please report such visits to the Police on 101 or on-line. Remember the ABC of scam awareness:

• A – Assume Nothing
• B – Believe Nothing
• C – Confirm Everything

Please contact me if you have further concerns or wish to discuss a specific case. Stay safe.

Peter Gill / Kent Community Warden Service – Community Warden/Sandwich, Eastry and Ash.
Public Protection service / Environment Planning and Enforcement / Growth, Environment and Transport | Mob. 07703454190 www.kent.gov.uk/communitywardens.

Household Support Fund Scam

Residents are being called and told they are eligible for the Household Support Fund. This is a scam. Genuine contacts will never ask for your bank details.

Household Fund Scam alert Aug 2022

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My community voice 2022

 

Warning: Rogue Traders Capitalise on Storm Damage

Warning to Residents: Rogue Traders have been capitalising on the impact of recent storms across Kent
brown roof tiles
The three storms that recently hit Kent have highlighted the need for residents to be aware of rogue traders who use this as an opportunity to inflate costs for substandard work.
Example: an elderly gentleman was charged over £3000 for roof repairs that were of a poor standard and took four hours to complete. When he tried to withdraw the cash from his bank, they became concerned and referred the case to me for verification. Working together with KCC Trading Standards, Kent Police, the bank and a reputable builder the work was discredited, and no money was paid. Trading Standards continue to investigate the case.
Choosing a reputable, reliable and trusted tradesman can be difficult particularly if you live alone and the repair is urgent, however keep calm and use the ABC of scam prevention:
never Assume
never Believe
always Confirm
Please consider the following factors:
Is the repair covered by house insurance? If so, report and follow their advice.
  • Discuss the repair with a relative, neighbour or friend and seek personal recommendations. Do not be reluctant to ask for advice.
  • Local and reliable tradesmen often obtain their work through recommendations. It is good business for them to build this trust.
  • Obtain an estimate in writing. Three estimates are recommended however any written estimate is unlikely for an urgent repair.
  • Does the estimate include VAT? If so, the trader must be VAT registered with HMRC. The VAT number should be identified on a written estimate.
  • Avoid cash transactions of large sums of money as it has no audit trail. Most legitimate tradesmen and companies should accept other forms of payment.
  • Do not accept advice from tradesmen randomly calling at your home. Make an appointment with a legitimate tradesman who are always willing to provide free advice and estimates, with no pressure to accept. Do not be reluctant to ask questions no matter how basic.
  • Stay in control of the situation. It is your home, your money and your decision.
KCC Trading Standards Checked are the only traders vetted by Kent Trading Standards. Details are available on-line with Kent residents also receiving an information leaflet. If you do not have Internet access contact Ask a Kent Librarian on 03000 416438 (office hours Monday to Saturday). They will access the Internet and search on your behalf.
If you still feel unsure having considered the above, please contact me for advice. I am unable to recommend specific tradesmen but will listen and provide guidance and support where necessary.
Stay safe and enjoy the Spring and Summer months.

Peter Gill / Kent Community Warden Service – Community Warden/Sandwich, Eastry and Ash.

Public Protection service / Environment Planning and Enforcement / Growth, Environment and Transport |  Mob. 07703454190 

www.kent.gov.uk/communitywardens.