Tag Archives: fraud

Don’t get caught out by this Council Tax “scam”

counciltaxFraudsters have been phoning victims telling them that they have been placed in the wrong council tax bracket for a number of years and are entitled to a rebate.

They normally say that this rebate should be worth about £7,000.

Once the victim is convinced, the fraudster tells them that in order to receive the rebate they will need to pay an administration fee in advance. The payment they ask for varies between £60–£350.

The victim provides the details and makes the payment, but then is no longer able to make contact with the person they spoke to on the phone.

When they phone their council about the rebate and the fact that they are in the wrong tax bracket, the council will confirm that they know nothing about it and that they have been contacted by fraudsters.

The fraudsters have mainly been targeting both male and female victims who are aged 60 and over and live in the Sussex area, but it is likely that the fraudsters will also start to target victims in other areas.

Protect Yourself:
Never respond to unsolicited phone calls.
Your local council won’t ever phone out-of-the-blue to discuss a council tax rebate. If you receive a call of this nature, put the phone down straight away.
No legitimate organisation will ask you to pay an advanced fee in order to receive money, so never give them your card details.
If you think you have been a victim of fraud, hang up the phone and wait five minutes to clear the line as fraudsters sometimes keep the line open. Then call your bank or card issuer to report the fraud. Where it is possible use a different phone line to make the phone call.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud
or by telephone 0300 123 2040.

Whetstone mum convicted after claiming over £26,000 in benefits

A whetstone mum has been prosecuted and fined for dishonestly claiming more than £26,000 in benefits after she hid the fact her partner was living with her for nearly 18 months.

Kelly Holland, 34, of Shelduck Close, Whetstone, was convicted of three counts of benefits fraud when she appeared at Leicester Magistrates Court on Wednesday 5th June 2013.

Mother of four children, she failed to inform authorities that the father of her youngest child was living with her.

By the time the fraud had come to light Kelly had taken £26,377.99 in benefits she was not entitled to.

The court heard that her claims for income support, tax credits and council tax benefit were originally legitimate because her boyfriend was not living there.

However by late 2010 he had moved in and by October 2012 the couple were married.

Kelly pleaded guilty and was ordered to serve an eight week jail sentence, suspended for a year, with 120 hours unpaid work.

She was told by magistrates the offences were custody threshold, but credit had been given for her early guilty plea.

She was also ordered to pay £100 prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £80.

Councillor Terry Richardson, Finance and Efficiency portfolio holder at Blaby District Council, said:

“Benefits are designed for those in need and not to be regarded as a pool of wealth into which people can dip their fingers.

“We will continue to work with other agencies to root out fraudsters who cost hardworking tax payers millions of pounds each year.”

Benefit cheats in Blaby district can be reported online at www.blaby.gov.uk/fraud or by calling 0116 272 7733.

All calls are confidential and callers can remain anonymous.

police carbenefit,

‘Cold Call’ alert…

Leicestershire Trading Standards has been contacted about a resident in the Sileby area receiving a cold telephone call from someone claiming to be from Leicestershire County Council’s ‘Finance Department’ and requesting the resident’s bank details.

It has been confirmed that the County Council has not contacted this resident in relation to any finance matter. The Finance Service Centre would not call residents to ask for their bank details over the telephone.

We have also been advised of another resident in the Barwell area who received an unsolicited call from a company that implied it was working with Age UK who wanted to visit and discuss financial matters, particularly that they could protect their house from having to be sold should they need to go into a care home.

Although an appointment was initially made, the resident then cancelled it and no visit took place.

Trading Standards advises all residents to never disclose any of their banking details or other financial information over the telephone to anyone, even if they claim to be from that person’s bank.

If you receive any reports of similar activity or callers please contact Trading Standards on 08454 04 05 06 or use telltradingstandards@leics.gov.uk

phone call

Ten Tips to stay safe on Cyber Monday from the National Fraud Authority

Today (3 December) is “Cyber Monday,” the busiest day of the year for UK online retailers who are bracing themselves for up to 115 million visits to their sites.

During the first two weeks of December, consumers are forecast to spend £4.6bn online, up from £3.7bn in the same period last year [3 December 2012]

But shoppers surfing the web from the comfort of their homes or offices are being warned to look out fraudsters.

Action Fraud and the Police are urging online shoppers in Enderby and around the country to think about security, especially when using unfamiliar websites offering deals that appear too good to be true.

Christmas is a prime opportunity for fraudsters waiting to relieve customers of their hard-earned cash

By following these simple tips you can keep fraudsters at bay this Christmas:

1. Trust your instincts – if an offer looks too good to believe then there is usually a catch. Legitimate popular technology and designer items are rarely discounted.

2. Check the URL in the web browser. Don’t be fooled by spoof websites where the fraudsters slightly change the address.

3. Ensure the website address begins ‘https’ at the payment stage – this indicates a secure payment.

4. Don’t access links in unsolicited emails – always type in the website address or use a search engine to find a site.

5. Only deal with reputable sellers – only use sites you know or ones that have been recommended to you.

6. Avoid paying by money transfers – they aren’t secure. Use an online payment option such as PayPal, which helps to protect you.

7. Watch out for pop-ups appearing asking you to confirm your card details before you are on the payment stage. Never enter your PIN number online.

8. If your bid for an online auction item is unsuccessful, don’t be tempted to trade off-site if another seller approaches you with a similar item. This is likely to be a scam and you won’t be covered.

9. Keep security software and firewalls up-to-date. Regularly update your internet browser when a new patch is released.

10. Keep receipts and check these against your statement – if you spot a transaction you did not authorise speak to your card company immediately. If you are the innocent victim of any type of card fraud you will not suffer any financial loss.

To stop the criminals ruining your Christmas be careful when shopping online, always checking the sites legitimacy and make sure it has a secure payment facility.

It may feel like a pain at the time but it could make the difference between putting your presents under the tree and sitting there with on the big day with nothing to give.”

If you or someone you know has been a victim of this type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud so that the incident can be passed on to the police.

View Action Fraud website

Police wish to identify man after fraud offences at service stations

Officers investigating a number of incidents of fraud in Leicester have released CCTV images of a man they wish to identify and trace in connection with the incidents.

Police have received four reports since the beginning of February of a man filling his vehicle with fuel before making off without paying.

Incidents have occurred at service stations in Leicester Forest East, Baines Lane, Fosse Park and Leicester Road, Melton.

All the incidents are being linked and officers are appealing to anyone who recognises the man in the images to contact them.

Police Community Support Officer Liz Ayres, said:

“We would urge the man in the images or anyone who knows who he may be to contact us. Even if you’re not 100% sure I would still advise you to come forward as we can quickly eliminate people from our enquiries.

“I would also ask anyone who may have witnessed any of the incidents to contact us. Any calls received will be treated in confidence.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact PC 1921 Paul Anderson on 101*, follow the instructions to leave a message for a police officer and when prompted key in the officer’s identification number 1921. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, which is free** and anonymous, on 0800 555 111.

* Calls to 101 cost 15p for the entire call from both mobile phones and land lines

** Please note some mobile ‘phone service providers may charge for this call