Watch out for scam phone calls purported to be from HM Customs threatening legal action or ‘your internet provider’ threatening disconnection, scam emails, hoax domain name renewals and hosting charges.
With the collapse of Thomas Cook and Flybe, as well as holidays cancelled due to Coronavirus restrictions, lots of people have applied for refunds for cancelled holidays. Criminals are sending phishing emails, making scam phone calls and fake adverts offering refunds from airlines and travel companies. Scams include links to fake websites that steal personal information and can install malware. Criminals offer immediate payment of refunds into your bank account. Once your bank details have been shared with the criminal, they have access to your money.
Criminals are taking advantage of demand for ‘staycations’ in the UK this summer, by advertising fake listings for holidays – and for caravans and motorhomes. Criminals take deposits for holidays that don’t exist – and advertise caravans and motorhomes on auction sites.
Fraudsters are also very good at imitating organisations – they are expert at designing websites that look professional using photos of items that don’t exist – they can be very convincing – website names with subtle differences in the URL – fake social media accounts that look and sound like real ones. Be alert and remember:
If an offer sounds too good to be true – it most probably is.
Research sellers and read reviews.
Never assume an email or call is from who they say they are. Ring the company back on a number you know is correct.
Don’t click on any links or attachments in emails or social media posts.
Always access the website you are purchasing from by typing it into Google (we recommend entering it into the search bar in case you make a typing error – and you will get Google’s top choice)
Pay via PayPal or Credit Card – never by bank transfer
Another warning: Just recently fraudsters have been requesting payment via PayPal. The PayPal invoice then fails to arrive, and the buyer is contacted by someone pretending to be from PayPal with a reference number and bank account details for payment to be made into. In effect, making the payment by bank transfer, not PayPal, so there is no guarantee of delivery and no protection – the goods never arrive and the buyer has no recourse – through Paypal or their credit card company.
If in doubt – ring us 01948 840102 – advice is free.