The latest news from the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Safer Newsletter Issue 14 is below:

Holiday scams set to increase as UK lockdown is eased.

Holidaymakers be warned: Several holiday scams are being advertised on social media. Criminals will try and take advantage of the uncertainty surrounding travel.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Criminals will often set up fake websites offering ‘cheap travel deals’ which are used to obtain your money and information. Always check the URL in the top left corner, as this can indicate if the page is fraudulent.

Fake listings online for caravan and motorhomes. Always be wary of any requests to pay by bank transfer when buying goods or services online. Instead opt to use secure payment options recommended by reputable websites.

Criminals are creating fake social media accounts imitating that of the real organisation, often claiming to assist with refunds. Ensure you contact the real organisation directly to confirm requests using the contact details found on their official website.

Thinking about making some home improvements? Do your research beforehand

Please exercise caution when agreeing for work to be carried out by  doorstep traders. Here at Trading standards, we receive many complaints from consumers who want shoddy work repairing/redoing by another trader, and are seeking a refund from the original trader. This can often be unrealistic and can be avoided by careful research prior to entering into a contract for thousands of pounds.

Scams Trending Regionally & Nationally

Reports of consumers being contacted online via Facebook stating that they have won the ‘Powerball’ lottery in the US- criminals ask for money upfront before the ‘winnings’are released.

Recent reports suggest that people are being targeted by compromised emails that look like they have been sent by a friend. The email explains that the sender is currently in hospital and asks the recipient to purchase  Amazon Gift cards on their behalf. The amount is usually around £300-£400.

Fake messages to O2 customers claim that payments have not gone through, so customers need to update their payment details. The link leads to a fake website, where criminals will steal your bank account details

Reports of a believable phishing message pretending to be from Instagram’s help centre, threatening to close your account if you don’t hand over personal information.

Fake phishing email offering national insurance refund. The message informs the recipient that according to their National Insurance contributions, they are eligible for a tax refund as part of measures to alleviate the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.

The week in stats…

West Yorkshire = 6 COVID-19 intelligence logs submitted
from 22.06.2020 – 28.06.2020 and 7 complaints / enquiries
COVID-19 intelligence logs for Yorkshire & Humber Region from 22.06.2020 – 28.06.2020 =28

Total Amount of National Trading Standards Sanitised Intelligence Logs – 5838 (01.03.2020- 28.06.2020)

REPORT TO US: Mailbox to deal with reports of Covid-19 Scams in West
Yorkshire: Covid19.Scams@wyjs.org.uk

Forward scam emails to report@phishing.gov.uk