Category Archives: News

Warwickshire Trading Standards Scam alert: Bogus puppy sellers, fraudulent online traders, test & trace scams and scam phone calls

Scam Phone Calls

Residents are warned to beware of scam phone calls after a spate of bogus calls were reported recently to Warwickshire Trading Standards. They included:

  • Phone calls from fraudsters claiming to be calling from Amazon, saying that the resident owes money for an order or that there has been an unauthorised purchase on the resident’s account.
  • Bogus phone calls from people falsely claiming to represent HMRC, stating that they have either defrauded the Government or owe money to the Government and will be arrested if they don’t immediately resolve the problem.
  • False threats to cut off utilities, in particular broadband because of unpaid debts.
  • Fraudsters claiming to be calling from ‘Scotland Yard’ to say that the resident’s bank account had been cloned and money used to purchase consumer electricals. The caller asks the resident to dial 999 on their keypad.

In all cases residents are encouraged to reveal personal and financial information, including passwords, or send money, often via bank transfer or gift cards. Trading Standards advice is to put the phone down. It is highly unlikely that you will receive an unsolicited genuine phone call from any company or Government department. If you believe a call to be genuine, phone them back on a publicly listed telephone number.

Bogus Puppy Sellers

During lockdown, the popularity of buying a puppy has increased and this has encouraged scammers to take advantage of the increased demand. Buyers have reported attempting to purchase puppies via Internet small adds and social media websites where they are often asked to pay hundreds of pounds up front. Prospective owners are shown photographs or video of the puppy before fraudsters then take the money and disappear; no puppy is forthcoming. Buyers should also beware of purchasing illegally bred puppies (including illegal imports) and stolen puppies. Guidance is available from the RSPCA: https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs/puppy and Dogs Trust: https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/help-advice/buyer-advice/

Fraudulent Online Traders

COVID-19 has led to a boom in online sales and with it have appeared bogus sellers. Their websites appear glossy and professional and advertise what at first glance appear to be good quality products. The companies themselves claim to be based in the UK or Europe. In reality, these websites are selling poor quality products. The traders are often based in the Far East and many consumers have reported that products either don’t arrive at all or take months to be delivered. They have been unable to get their money back when problems are found, including damaged, poor quality and counterfeit goods.

Shopping online advice: https://www.getsafeonline.org/shopping-banking/shopping1/

Investment Scams

Residents interested in investing are warned to beware of bogus ‘celebrity endorsement’ advertisements that often appear on the Internet and social media, directing people to scam investment websites that take money but deliver little or nothing. The Financial Conduct Authorities’ Scam Smart website has advice on how to avoid investment and pension related scams: https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart

Be Alert to Test and Trace Potential Scams

Stratford-on-Avon District Council has issued a warning to residents to be vigilant after being alerted to new reports of fraudsters posing as people from the NHS Test and Trace programme, launched to help control the COVID-19 virus.

The District Council is concerned that the system is being targeted by scammers, who are pretending to be contact tracers in a bid to trick people into parting with their personal information.

People will be alerted by the NHS Test and Trace service if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

Contact tracers will:

  • call from 0300 013 5000
  • send text messages from ‘NHS’ · ask people to sign into the NHS test and trace contact-tracing website
  • ask for full name and date of birth to confirm identity, and postcode to offer support while self-isolating
  • ask about the coronavirus symptoms
  • ask people to provide the name, telephone number and/or email address of anyone they have had close contact with in the two days prior to symptoms starting (as with your own details these will be held in strict confidence and will be kept and used only in line with data protection laws)
  • ask if anyone they have been in contact with is under 18 or lives outside of England

They will not ask:

  • for bank details, or payments
  • for details of any other accounts, such as social media
  • set up a password or PIN number over the phone
  • to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087

Find out more about the NHS Test and Trace service by visiting – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/nhs-test-and-trace-if-youve-been-in-contact-with-a-person-who-has-coronavirus/

If you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime you can report it to Action Fraud at http://www.action.fraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Tackling Inequalities Fund

Think Active Tackling Inequalities Fund 

Think Active are pleased to be able to re-open their Tackling Inequalities Fund, funded by Sport England.

This pot is aimed at a range of communities and issues surrounding access to physical activity and hopes to tackle the divide that lockdown has brought between those that can, and those that have found it difficult to start, or continue to be, physically active.

Applications are now open and will close on the 4th October 2020.  All applicants should receive a decision by the 31st October 2020.

Priority groups that we are looking to have a positive impact on are:

  • Minority Groups
  • Low socioeconomic backgrounds
  • Long-term health conditions
  • People with a disability

Applications should address at least one of the below challenges:

  • Young Peoples Mental Health, particularly during the summer holidays and for those young people who are/have been shielding
  • People who are unable to access online physical activity opportunities due to lack of access or confidence
  • Supporting people who are nervous or anxious to return to or start activity within their community as a result of shielding
  • People recovering from Covid-19 who would benefit from being more active to help their recovery
  • Projects which target people living in communities within Nuneaton and Bedworth, North Solihull, North Warwickshire and Coventry.

Applications  should clearly demonstrate how this project will support the adverse effects of Covid-19 and how it will specifically support our priority audience.

Please see here for full guidance notes: http://www.thinkactive.org/clubs-and-groups/tackling-inequalities-fund/

Apply here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DWPQYWD

Consultation on Integrated Risk Management Plan for Fire Service

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Authority has a statutory duty under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004, to prepare an Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP). As part of the IRMP process we regularly review and assess the full range of foreseeable risks impacting the communities of Warwickshire to ensure that we have the plans, people, processes and equipment in place to ensure that Warwickshire remains a safe place to live and work.

The draft IRMP 2020 – 2025 summary document sets out our proposals for the next five years for keeping Warwickshire safe. It is now available on our website, together with all the appropriate supporting documents.

We are keen that all our residents and stakeholders have an opportunity to have their say on any proposals which may impact them.  With this in mind, we are inviting residents and stakeholders to take part in our consultation survey and to give their views on the following proposals as outlined in our IRMP summary document.

  • Ensure our workforce and ethos reflect the diverse communities we serve
  • Assess our capabilities to improve our ways of working in response to any future pandemics
  • Assess our overall resource capacity to ensure our personnel and physical assets are in the right place and at the right time to deliver our statutory duties
  • Develop further opportunities to support the wider community health outcomes and help to protect Social Care and the NHS
  • Implement digital solutions to enhance our service delivery.

To complete the online survey, please click on the link below and let us know what you think of our proposals.

 Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Integrated Risk Management Plan 2020-2025 Consultation Survey 

It is really important to us that we reach out to all our communities and as many people as possible have the opportunity to give their views on how we deliver our services. Therefore, can I also please ask you to share this e-mail and the link to the online survey with your network of contacts, partners, and customers.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch should you require any further information or wish to provide any observations on our proposals.

Regards

Kieran Amos (He/Him)

Chief Fire Officer

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service

Warwickshire County Council

T: 01926 466233

M: 07880 479349