News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 13 August 2019

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News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 13 August 2019

In this issue:

Amazon vouchers now the new iTunes vouchers in latest telephone fraud

Male phone

In the past, Trading Standards have reported various phone scams which have involved the purchase of iTunes vouchers in order to claim a ‘refund’ for things such as bank charges or PPI.

We have now had a report of a new on a variant, now asking for Amazon vouchers to claim a reward for loyalty…

A Stoke resident received a call advising they were due a refund of £1,700 for being a loyal ‘Sunlife Insurance’ customer. In order to get this, £50 would have to be paid by Amazon vouchers to cover admin costs, and then a courier would deliver the cheque at 2:30pm on the same day.

Thankfully the resident realised this was no more than a scam and had no connections with a company of that name. Questions were asked of the caller to confirm the length of the insurance policy and other personal information. The caller then terminated the call.

As with the iTunes vouchers, fraudsters are using Amazon gift cards to collect money from victims because they can be easily redeemed and sold on. The scammers don’t need the physical card to redeem the value, just the serial code on the back, which no doubt would have been requested to confirm a purchase had been made.

Trading Standards advise that if you receive any call out of the blue and are asked for personal information play it safe and hang up. It is better to hang up on a genuine call and do your research than to risk your personal details and lose your money to a scam.

Amazon have issued their own common gift card scam information for customers

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And another old favourite returns - the 'winning' lottery letter scam!


This week, Trading Standards have had two reports from local residents alerting us to a letter they received claiming to be from the International People’s Postcode Lottery.

The letters states that the residents have won in a recent draw and needs to contact an ‘Agent’ in order to claim their prize.

The letter also states that for ‘security reasons’ you should keep this win ‘confidential’.

These letters are a scam and no prizes are available!

Anyone contacting the ‘Agent’ will be persuaded to part with personal details and money as part of an ‘upfront processing fee’.

If you send any money you will get nothing in return; and if you send one payment, they will contact you again and try to con you out of even more.

Our advice is if you receive this letter dispose of it without responding in any way.

Many examples of lottery scam letters have bad spelling and grammar – see this as a warning that fraudsters are at work!

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Telephone cold calls about ‘credit card transactions’ continue


We are continuing to receive reports from concerned residents about recorded message telephone cold calls regarding bank accounts and credit cards.

Recent variations of these calls have included:

  • This is an emergency call about your credit card
  • This is Visa Secure - there is an unusual transaction on your account for £600
  • This is an urgent call from Visa / Mastercard

Following these initial claims, the message will then give press button options which have included:

  • ‘To prevent further transactions’
  • ‘To speak to security’
  • ‘To speak to our fraud team’

We always advise people to be very wary of claims made during telephone cold calls. If you receive this or a similar recorded message call, our advice is do not interact with the call and hang up

It is likely there are a number of variations of these calls stating different amounts and reasons for the call.

If you are concerned about the security of a bank account or credit card, contact your card provider directly using the customer service number printed on the card, never use details provided in a cold call.

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Product Recall: Sainsbury's Deliciously Free From 4 Fruity Hot Cross Buns


Sainsbury’s is recalling Deliciously Free From 4 Fruity Hot Cross Buns because they may contain chocolate chips which are milk free but contain traces of soya which is not declared on the label.

This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy to soya.

Customers who have purchased this product and have an allergy or an intolerance to soya, are being asked to return it to their nearest Sainsbury’s store, where they will receive a full refund.

Product: Deliciously Free From 4 Fruity Hot Cross Buns by Sainsbury’s

Pack size: 280g

Use-by dates: August 16, 2019

No other Sainsbury's products are known to be affected.

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Product Recall: Lidl SPEEDFEAST Quarter Pounder with Cheese


Lidl GB is recalling its SPEEDFEAST Quarter Pounder with Cheese because an incorrect base label has been applied to the product.

The product contains egg, milk and sesame which are not mentioned in the ingredients list.

This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy or intolerance to egg and/or milk or milk constituents and/or an allergy to sesame.

Product: SpeedFeast Quarter Pounder with Cheese

Pack size: 195g

Use-by dates: August 23, 2019

If you have bought the above product and have an allergy or intolerance to egg/or milk or milk constituents and/or an allergy to sesame, do not eat it. Instead return it to the store from where it was bought for a full refund.

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For more information on scams, visit:

How to report scams