News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 12 June 2017

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News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 12 June 2017

In this issue:

HMRC ‘Legal Action’ phone call


Coventry Trading Standards is again warning the public to be wary of bogus telephone calls claiming to be from HMRC.

There have been a number of reports countrywide of attempted HMRC frauds starting with a telephone call or recorded message rather than the more typical email or scam texts.

A resident in the Radford area has reported receiving a recorded message in which they were advised that HMRC were filing a lawsuit against them and to press '1' to speak to an advisor.

Thankfully the resident realised that this was a scam and hung up on the call. It would appear that this was an attempt to obtain personal information which would have included bank details.

This latest scam is being investigated by HMRC’s fraud section. HMRC has published advice with genuine HMRC contacts and how to recognise scams.

HMRC also advise that if any details are inadvertently disclosed, contact them immediately on

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'FIFA Lottery' scam letter warning


We have had a report from an Earlsdon resident who has received a letter suggesting that the recipient is the winner of £725,000 from The FIFA Lottery. Recipients are persuaded to submit personal information or to part with money as an upfront payment, or forward money to enable them to enter the tender process.

Protect yourself against lottery fraud

  • Never respond to any such communication. If you haven’t entered a lottery then you can’t have won it.
  • Official lotteries in other countries operate in much the same way as the UK’s National Lotto. No official lotteries that we know of contact people to tell them of their win.
  • We don’t know of any official lottery operators who ask for fees to collect winnings. Any request for a fee or payment is a good indication that someone is trying to defraud you.
  • Never, ever disclose your bank details or pay fees in advance.
  • If they’ve provided an email address to respond to, be very suspicious of addresses such as or or numbers beginning with 07 because these are free and easily to get hold of.
  • Genuine lotteries thrive on publicity. If they ask you to keep your win a secret it’s likely to be a fraud.
  • Many fraudulent lotteries have bad spelling and grammar – see this as a warning that fraudsters are at work.

If you receive any such correspondence that you think maybe a scam, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 20 40 or at

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Information alert – Social media users warned about the risk of ID theft


We are highlighting a warning from Action Fraud that fraudsters need just three pieces of personal information to steal your identity, and for many people most of this can be found on your Facebook profile.

All it takes is your name, date of birth and address for fraudsters to steal your identity and access your bank accounts, take out loans or take out mobile phones in your name.

Recent YouGov research from Equifax has revealed that a high proportion of social media users risk identity theft by giving fraudsters easy access to this type of personal information.

The survey found that almost 30% of adults with a social media account include their full name and date of birth on their profile pages.

Even if you don’t publicly show your age on your Facebook profile, fraudsters can still work out your age from people wishing you well on your timeline. Once they have your date of birth, they can find out where you live too.

Remember, if you are using social media sites make sure you protect yourself and your information online. The website Trusted Reviews offers advice on their site for Facebook users, check out 18 simple ways to check and change your Facebook privacy settings.

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Recall: Mars Chocolate UK


Mars Chocolate UK has taken the precautionary step of recalling a number of its chocolate products because the products might contain salmonella.

Risk: The products listed above might be contaminated with salmonella. Symptoms caused by salmonella usually include fever, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps.

Advice: If you have bought any of the above products do not eat them. Please keep the product(s) and contact the Mars Consumer Care Team:

UK Consumers:
Telephone: 0800 952 0084

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Curry house served beef in 'lamb' balti

The manager of a Coventry curry restaurant has been fined after Trading Standards officers ordered a lamb balti – and ended up with a meal made only of beef. Read more

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Safety Alert: Beko Condenser Tumble Dryers


Home appliances company Beko has issued a safety warning for its condenser tumble dryers.

In rare circumstances the 8kg and 9kg Beko and Blomberg models could fail and overheat, which could lead to a fire risk.

Beko will be contacting owners of the condenser tumble dryers to offer them a home check-up.

The company will also modify any affected products to remove any potential risks.

Beko said: "This is completely free of charge and will take no longer than 30 minutes."

If you have purchased an 8kg or 9kg Beko or Blomberg condenser tumble dryer, between May 2012 and May 2013, follow the steps outlined:

1. Check the model and serial number of your 8kg or 9kg Beko or Blomberg condenser tumble dryer.

2. If your product is within the potentially affected range, please register online for a qualified engineer to visit your home to check and repair your product, if required

Alternatively, call Beko on 0800 917 2018 to speak to a member of the Customer Service team.

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For more information on scams, visit:

How to report scams