Islanders are being urged to be very wary of any unsolicited phone calls, emails and texts and to remember to never click on links in any messages!
Trading Standards have received reports of some common scams doing the rounds again:
- Reports of adverts, emails and Facebook postings telling you that you have won a fantastic prize. These quite often purport to be one of the main supermarkets but can take many forms. They will ask you for details and information and are generally phishing exercises. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true it probably is. Don’t respond and don’t share just delete!
- Be wary of “pop up” adverts that appear on your device. These may be adverts for miracle face creams or slimming tablets that will offer a free trial and all you will pay is postage. To pay the postage you have to use your debit card and what they won’t tell you is that you will then be debited monthly and sent additional products for a contract that you don’t know you have entered into. Again, if it sounds too good to be true…
- A resident has been in touch to say that she had a phone call about the COVID-19 Vaccine and that it would cost her £299. The vaccine is free and you will be contacted by the NHS. The NHS may text you to invite you to book a vaccine appointment. You can trust your text message is genuine if it comes from ‘NHSvaccine’, includes a link to the NHS.uk website and gives you the option of phoning 119. If you are still unsure this will be followed up by a letter – if the text is genuine the letter should be delivered a few days later.
- There is an increasing number of reports around home insulation phone calls, the caller will tell you they will visit and check out your home insulation in the roof and then offer you a onetime only deal for providing insulation. Similarly calls about asbestos in your property, they will arrange to call and check your property for asbestos and will almost certainly “find” some, they will then overcharge you for the removal and disposal of the non-existent asbestos. Do not engage with anyone who calls you out of the blue and remember any work that these companies are likely to do will be over priced and of a poor quality.
- A couple of email scams have been reported that may catch out local businesses. One purports to be from the HSE and says they will be carrying out an inspection on your premises. There is an attachment which you are asked to open and may contain viruses that could infect your computer. Check the senders email address – this won’t be a valid HSE email address. The other claims to be from Xero (accounting for small businesses) and is an invoice due for payment. This could be seen as legitimate by a busy trader, so please be cautious with any correspondence you receive like this.
If you have a vulnerable relative, friend or neighbour you should share this information with them – it could save them from falling victim to one of these, or any other scam.