Manor Farm Community Clean up & B.B.Q (B.B.Q for helpers only)
Wednesday 15th April 10am – 1pm
Meeting up at Henley Green Community Centre

Pushy door to door tree surgeons

Trading Standards have had reports of door to door cold callers operating in the Westwood Health area. They are offering to carry out gardening work such as cutting down and trimming trees and cutting back hedges.

Their van had ‘Tree Surgeon and Landscape Gardening’ on the side. The report suggests that the men were very pushy in their approach.

Our advice: Never deal with doorstep traders as this is the favoured approach used by rogue traders who will provide a poor service and charge more than a reasonable price. If they give any contact details this will invariably be an accommodation address where the traders will not have any physical presence.

Also, be wary of leaflets posted through your door offering services, this can be just another way an unscrupulous trader will attempt to persuade you to have work done. We have received reports that some suspicious flyers have been distributed in Allesley Park this week.

Although it is not illegal for traders to go door to door, unless there are specific restrictions within that location, most agreements entered into must come with written cancellation rights unless the cost is under £42.

Stop Cold Calling Campaign.

Thinking of having a flutter on the Grand National this weekend?

Trading Standards are advising horse racing fans to beware of betting scams after a Coventry resident reported this week that he has received a letter in the post from someone purporting to have inside information from ‘some of the best stables up and down the country’ and that this information gives him an edge over the bookmakers.

The sender of the letter claims to have valuable, highly sensitive information which he will only share with a few people. As part of a ‘Free Trial’ he offers to send a text message explaining which horse to back.

Last month Police revealed that a Dumfries and Galloway man had been conned out of more than £20,000 after becoming embroiled in a betting scam. After initially gaining the confidence of his victim with some small successes, the scammer persuaded the man to hand over large sums of cash which have now disappeared along with the scammer.

More information about betting fraud.

We are holding a parcel in your name!

Scam postcards are being delivered to Coventry residents’ homes claiming that a parcel containing “jewellery” is waiting for the homeowner.

So far residents in Broad Lane and Allesley have reported receiving the personally addressed postcards with an Indonesian post mark and return address.

The cards say:

“The office is attempting to reach you. To claim this parcel and accept this offer, you must telephone the number below immediately and arrange for a delivery. The item is prepaid, but a processing and delivery free of £10 must be remitted. This fee can be paid only by telephone and only with a credit card (VISA or MasterCard). This is your only notification”

The phone number is a 0800 number and Action Fraud have already received reports from across the UK of people paying the £10 fee but have not received anything.

Our advice:

  • Do not call the number provided
  • Do not give your card details

Report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or by using the online reporting tool.

Beware the lure of ‘Free Trials’ or products!

Try before you buy offers sound good but we continue to receive complaints from residents responding to adverts for ‘free trials’ of services, including beauty treatments, slimming products and health products.

Residents may have selected the ‘free trial’ option on a website or via leaflets received in the post, and give their bank details to pay a small amount for postage and packaging. They later find out that a much larger amount has been taken from their account without their knowledge; some people losing up to £100 per month.

These ‘free’ trials may also require you to return goods or cancel the agreement at the end of the trial period. If you do not then even more money will be taken from your bank account to cover this. It can often be difficult to actually return the goods because you are asked to send them abroad, or to get a returns number from a telephone number that no one answers.

If you can actually find the small print on the website you will find that a monthly subscription contract has been signed up to which can be difficult to cancel and consumers may be locked into a Continuous Payment Authority, which is tricky to get out of.

Our advice:

Check the small print of any offer very carefully as the terms may not be clear and are only accessible via a link at the bottom of the webpage, or are on the back of any postal adverts. If there is any doubt, don’t sign up to the offer;
Just because a UK address is prominently advertised doesn’t mean they are based here, often such firms will be based overseas;
Never give out your bank details unless you are certain that you can trust the person contacting you;
If contacted out of the blue – be suspicious.

In addition to the potential for consumers to lose out financially, the products themselves are often of little use.

New ‘Microsoft’ scam call warning

Trading Standards continue to receive reports from residents who have received calls from people falsely claiming to be from Microsoft stating there is an error with their PC which needs to be fixed, often for a fee, and also requiring remote access to the computer.

In the latest report from a Westward Heath resident, the caller alleged that a fault had occurred with their PC at 4am that morning, and it needed to be sorted. It was also alleged that the resident should have had an email explaining this, which of course, had not happened. Upon questioning the caller, the resident was provided with a telephone number of 0203 2899079 and a vague London address for authentication.

As you can now buy local town and city telephone numbers to create a virtual presence anywhere within the UK, this would not confirm it was a UK based business. Scammers take advantage of 0203 numbers to give the appearance of being based in London whilst potentially operating from anywhere in the world.

Allowing remote access to your PC may lead to the caller installing an antivirus programme that you could most probably download from the internet for free. Alternatively they may interrogate your PC for personal information which could then be used for fraudulent purposes. Malware that may damage your PC could also be installed.

Our advice as with any unsolicited call from someone offering a service etc. is not to deal with them no matter what they say or claim.

Read the Microsoft warning on its website.

Iceland is recalling its Blackened Salmon Portions

Iceland is recalling its 2 Blackened Salmon Portions due to paprika used in the manufacture being contaminated with almond protein which is undeclared on the packaging. This means the product is a possible health risk to anyone with an allergy to almond.

  • Batches affected: Best Before 29/07/16 Lot No. L5029,
  • Best Before 02/08/16 Lot No. L5033,
  • Best Before 05/09/16 Lot No. L5064,
  • Pack size: 260 grams

If you have bought the above product and have an allergy to almond, do not eat it. Instead, return it to the store from where it was bought for a full refund.

For more information on scams, visit: www.coventry.gov.uk/scams

If you've received a potential scam message or computer virus but no money has been lost or you haven’t responded to it, contact Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.
If you have been a victim of a scam, contact Action Fraud (UK’s National Fraud Office) on 0300 123 2040.

An important message for our communities, local partners, businesses and charities (April 2015)
 
In 2014, West Midlands Police ran a campaign to raise awareness of a phone scam known as ‘courier fraud’ following a number of incidents in the region where vulnerable older people were persuaded to hand over their bank cards and PIN numbers to fraudsters impersonating bank or police officials.
Our message is: Fraudsters want your PIN and bank card – don’t let them scare you into giving these away. It’s a con, call 101.
 
Please share this message as widely as you can to help prevent other people from becoming their next victim. Together we can stop courier fraud. Here are a few more details about the scam…
 
What is courier fraud?
 
Phone scammers cold call you claiming to be a bank employee, police officer or other official. They say your account has been hacked and that they need to seize the cards and security details, including PIN numbers, to stop further fraudulent transactions. In some cases, a courier arrives to collect the bank card from your home. These fraudsters often suggest you hang up and call the number on the back of the bank card – but remain on the line to intercept the call.
 
Protect yourself
 
Your bank or police will NEVER send a courier to your home to collect bank cards
Your bank or police will NEVER ask for your PIN number
If you receive one of these calls, end it immediately
Always be wary of any unsolicited callers – if in doubt, hang-up the phone or close the door and call police
 
Report it immediately
 
Call police on 101 if you are contacted by someone asking for your PIN number, your bank card or both
Already handed your details to a suspected fraudster? Call your bank and cancel your card immediately
Call your bank from another telephone – the fraudster may still be on the other line
 
Remember: Card collect is a con... Help police, pass it on.
Thank you for your time and assistance in reading our message and spreading the word.
 

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