Norfolk scams: Facebook fraudsters and fake tax enforcement calls
- Credit: PA
Callers pretending to be the Ministry of Justice saying recipients will be "transferred live to court" and Facebook posts offering a free holiday are just two of the scams operating in Norfolk.
Here are a list of the ways fraudsters are looking to defraud people in the county of their hard earned cash and personal details.
Cold calls claiming to be from the Ministry of Justice
Trading Standards is warning residents about telephone cold calls claiming to be from the Ministry of Justice after a person was targeted in Norfolk this week.
During the call, which had been spoofed to appear to come from a genuine number used by the government department, the recipient was told there were "five tax offences against them" that were "due to be heard in court today".
The caller then stated that "once the call was put on hold" the person would be "transferred live to the court case" unless they settled the case immediately over the phone.
They then attempted to get the target to pay fees to settle the fake case along with a number of other costs including court and barrister fees.
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Trading Standards is telling people to be very wary of claims made during telephone cold calls, telling those who receive them not to respond and to hang up immediately.
Facebook fraudsters offering free holiday
Scammers offering a free trip to Center Parcs have prompted police to issue a warning over fraudulent competitions on Facebook.
It comes after reports a Facebook page was targeting people in Lowestoft and other parts of Suffolk and Norfolk by making a post claiming readers could win a holiday by liking and sharing it.
Lowestoft police said there is no free holiday and the competition is being used to harvest personal information.
Fake council tax rebates
Following the announcement of the £150 government rebate on council tax for band a to d homes, scammers have been using cold calls, text messages and emails in an attempt to exploit the situation.
Scammers have been known to make these claims:
- "You need to update or confirm personal and financial information to receive your rebate payment"
- "You need to make a small payment to ‘authorise your bank details’ before receiving your rebate payment"
- "You risk losing your rebate payment without giving bank account details"
Trading Standards says that if people pay their council tax by direct debit and are eligible for the rebate, the payment will be made automatically to the account connected.
Advice is for people receiving cold calls to hang up immediately and not interact with the call, if a text or email is received Trading Standards says people should not click on any links in the message.
Doorstep cold callers in Wymondham
Norfolk Trading Standards is warning people to be on their guard after receiving a report of doorstep cold callers in the Wymondham area.
This follows a report of a man cold calling at properties offering driveway repairs and maintenance work.
Trading Standards advises people should not allow doorstep cold callers to undertake any work on their property or pay them any money and instead visit the council's Trusted Trader website.
All of the above scams can be reported to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk Constabulary on 101.