Sandwell Trading Standards issue urgent warning about new scams

Following an increase in scams in which people are contacted by individuals who falsely claim to be representatives of legitimate organisations, Sandwell Trading Standards has issued an urgent warning.

These individuals are scamming members of the public by telling the person they are calling that they may be owed money – often by a court settlement or for repayment of PPI (Payment Protection Insurance) or bank charges. As part of the scam the victim is asked for an upfront payment so that they are able to receive the money.

Area trading standards officer, Mark Beesley, said that the callers have no connection with Action Fraud, HM Courts & Tribunals, leading banks, Ministry of Justice or any other genuine articles.

The fraudsters have already succeeded in tricking victims into giving them thousands of pounds. Organisations which are genuine do not ask customers their personal bank details or for a money transfer as an upfront payment.

Mr Beesley continued by saying that those people who have given out their bank details should call the bank immediately to check for unauthorised transactions. He advises against transferring money unless you are sure it is a legitimate company. The callers, he says, target vulnerable consumers who should be wary of giving any information out unless they are sure the caller is legitimate.

These bogus callers often use Paysafecard, Ukash vouchers and other electronic money transfer services for consumers to pay them. At times it is possible to block the payments if the companies are promptly alerted. Both have 24 hour helplines: Paysafeguard can be called on 0845 021 3059, Ukash can be contacted on 00800 0008 5274.