Warning is issued about phone scams

Trading Standards officers have warned of a surge in complaints about scam telephone calls.

Northumberland County Council’s Public Protection Team has been made aware of three scams that claim to be offering refunds.

In one case the caller says their victim has overpaid council tax, or been placed in the wrong band, and is due a refund. In another they claim that the victim has overpaid a bank and will receive a refund by cheque for a 10 per cent charge, and in the third the caller tell the victim they are due a refund for PPI claims and payment for releasing the cheque must be made in UKash vouchers.

Head of Public Protection Phil Soderquest said: “Please be vigilant. These are unscrupulous scams being carried out in the hope of deceiving vulnerable or unsuspecting residents.

“Be extremely wary if you receive one of these calls and if you are in any doubt don’t provide any personal details and end the call.

“If you think you may have been a victim of a scam then notify your bank or building society immediately.”

Advice to reduce the risk of falling for cold call scams includes:

l Be wary of unsolicited callers, particularly if they suggest that you are due money.

l Never provide personal details or bank information.

l Do not take unsolicited calls when you can’t give the caller your full attention.

l Do not agree to something just to get rid of a caller.

l If you are unclear about who you are talking to, end the call.

For further advice, contact Citizens’ Advice on 0345 404 0506. To check the identity of someone claiming to be from the council, call 0845 6006400.