News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 8 December 2017

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News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 8 December 2017

In this issue:

The PC scam, yet again


Trading Standards have been issuing warnings around ‘computer fault’ cold calls for over five years but there seems to be little decrease in their number. Fortunately, the majority of the reports we receive now are from residents who are aware of the issue and have terminated the call without giving access to their computer or making payment. The latest report being from a Westwood Heath resident.

These callers claim to work for well-known computer software, telecoms or broadband suppliers and advise there is a problem with the user’s computer or broadband equipment. They often make claims about viruses or that they will be ‘cutting off' broadband access if the recipient does not agree to immediate remedial work.

The caller will then attempt to gain remote access to the computer giving the opportunity to plant malicious software onto the computer or access personal information including account log-in information and bank details, which can then be used to commit fraud.

Victims can also end up being asked to pay for the ‘fixes’ the scammer has made to their computer.

If these people do not succeed at the first contact, they are known to try calling again repeatedly. Also, where they have been successful in charging a fee, the scammers have targeted people again telling them the ‘problem’ has returned.

Well known computer companies or broadband providers never cold call offering to fix problems with computers, or request personal information or financial details.

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More telephone cold calls claiming to be from HMRC


Coventry Trading Standards are again receiving reports about telephone cold calls claiming to be from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

These reports include further incidents of automated recorded message calls saying - ‘This is Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.  We have been trying to reach you to let you know we are filing a law suit against you’. The call then goes on to provide a list of ‘options’ including ‘Press One to speak to your case officer’.

HMRC state that if you receive a suspicious call or voicemail from ‘HMRC’ about a lawsuit being brought against you, it is a scam. HMRC advise not to comply with any instructions given in the call and hang up.

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Rogue traders in the City offering roof jet washing


Trading Standards have been alerted by the Police of uninvited doorstep callers in the Stoke and Wyken areas of the city.

The report suggests that residents are being cold called by two males going door to door offering roof jet washing work. They are driving an unmarked white Transit van.

This appears to follow on from a leaflet drop in these areas.

We would also ask that if you have any elderly or vulnerable neighbours that you keep a look out for rogue traders especially if you notice cold callers in your area or anyone acting suspiciously. It would also help if registration numbers of vehicles being used by any cold callers are noted down and reported.

Our advice as always is not to deal with cold callers as this is a favoured approach used by rogue traders whose sole intention is to extract as much money from residents as possible.

REMEMBER - a trader who ignores any request by you to leave your home and not return commits a criminal offence.

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Recall: Marks & Spencer Girls’ Hoodie Check PJ


Marks & Spencer have released the following recall:

M&S has established that the nightwear pictured has been affected by a design fault.

Whilst no injuries have been reported, there is a possibility that the position of the drawstring on the garment could present a potential safety hazard. As a result, we are recalling the product and advise customers to stop using the item.

Customers who have purchased this product or received it as a gift are asked to return it immediately to any M&S Store (except Simply Food and Outlet stores), where a full refund will be given.

  • Description:  Girls' Hoodie Check PJ  Age 7-8   Age 15-16
  • Product codes T86/2027 On sale since - September 30, 2017
  • Price: £18 - £22

No other M&S products are affected.

Any customers who have further questions regarding the product should contact Customer Services on 0333 014 8555.

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Recall: Toys R Us Toy Ball


Retailer Toys ‘R’ Us is recalling a toy ball as it could be a choking risk.

The Bruin Wiggle Ball is being recalled as the ball's rubber knobs and plastic back could detach from the ball and be a choking hazard to small children.

The toy is identified by item number 067369 and model number 5F6342E.

Toys ‘R’ Us has said customers who have purchased the wiggle ball should stop using the product immediately and return to the store - either Toys R Us or Babies R Us - for a full refund.

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