News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 10 July 2017

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 10 July 2017

In this issue:

Scam Awareness Month - Week Two


July saw the start of Scam Awareness Month and this week, the focus is on young people aged between 18 – 24 as new figures recently released show a 52% rise in young people falling victim to identity fraud.

Whilst the evidence suggests that the number of victims in this age group is rising, they are also more unlikely to report a scam so we want to encourage young people to report and talk about scams which may help others from falling victim to one.

Week 2 (10 July) - Young People 18 - 24

Whilst young people do not represent the largest group of people falling victim to scams, they are more likely to use all the technology that is available to them such as Facebook, Twitter and other online platforms which are fast becoming a hunting ground for identity thieves.

Having grown up surrounded by technology they are often confident in their ability which may possibly make them complacent and therefore vulnerable. However, by taking a few steps and checking privacy settings to see what information they share could reduce the risk of falling victim to a scam or fraud.

Research shows this group are most susceptible to become victims of online subscription traps, especially those that pop up on Social Media sites, identity fraud and job fraud.

To a fraudster, the information we put online is a goldmine!

Back to Top

Watch out for online "free trial" subscription scams


‘Free Trial’ scams encourage online shoppers to sign up to receive a free sample of a product but you also have to supply credit or debit card details to cover a small postage charge. However, by signing up you may find that you have automatically subscribed to a membership costing between £70 to £90 a month.

The most common products offered in this way are cosmetic products, teeth whitening kits, diet pills and nutritional supplements which may be advertised on Facebook and website pop-ups.

Victims then face difficulties in recovering subscription fees as they may be considered to have agreed to the terms and conditions of the free trial even if they did not read them.

In some cases there may be a tick box which may already be prepopulated to say you have read and understood the terms and conditions. It can then be extremely difficult to cancel and often victims have to approach their bank to try to stop further payments being taken.

Consumers also face the additional problem that many of these companies are located outside the UK, which makes it difficult to take any action against them.

Back to Top

Shared postal mailboxes create potential for identity theft


Identity theft occurs when your personal identification information is used without your knowledge or permission. Criminals use it to obtain credit cards, products and services, loans and mortgages and commit other types of fraudulent or even criminal acts in your name, leaving you to pick up the pieces and show you are not responsible.

Trading Standards advise that students or young people living in accommodation with a communal entrance and shared mailboxes are at a high risk as it is easy for post to fall into the wrong hands. One bank statement is all a potential fraudster needs to commit identity theft.

Identity thieves don't just steal your money; they steal your name and reputation for their own financial gain. This can seriously jeopardise your financial future.

Keep yourself safe from identity theft; never throw away entire bills, receipts, credit or debit card slips, bank statements or even unwanted post in your name. Instead destroy them, preferably by shredding them before placing in the bin.

If you think that you may be a victim of identity theft contact one of the credit reference agencies listed below for a free ‘victim of fraud’ service. The Agency will contact lenders on your behalf where fraudulent applications have been made or fraudulent credit accounts opened in order to restore your credit history to its former state.

Back to Top


Job scams warnings


It is now estimated that a growing majority of job seekers head online to find new careers.

SAFERjobs a non-profit, joint industry and law enforcement organisation designed to support job seekers, calculates that the most likely age group to be targeted is 18-24.

Trading Standards warn that the most common scams include taking money to write CVs, or carry out security and police checks. Some offer expensive training programmes that do not exist!

Another scam involves holding a phone interview which ends up costing the applicant in expensive call charges.

Our advice

Be wary of unsolicited emails or social media posts promising ways of earning easy money. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Don’t be afraid to question the legitimacy of any businesses that make you a job offer, especially if the recruitment procedure strays from the conventional.

Never give the details of your bank account to anyone that you do not trust.

No legitimate company will ever ask you to use your own bank account to transfer their money so don’t accept any jobs that ask you to do this.

Back to Top

For more information on scams, visit:

How to report scams