Derbyshire County Council Scams Bulletin - December 2019

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Welcome to the thirteenth edition of the Derbyshire County Council Scams Awareness Bulletin 

December 2019 - Edition 13

This bulletin gives details of scams and tricks that our Trading Standards Department and other council staff have been made aware of in recent weeks. Please feel free to share this bulletin far and wide - you can send it to colleagues, family members or friends as it is a public bulletin.

New digital MOT launched to help people stay safe online

Digital MOT

Cybercrime is becoming an increasing threat in our more digital society and criminals are finding new and inventive ways to try and get personal data and information.

To help people feel safe and secure when they’re online, Safer Derbyshire are launching a brand new Digital MOT service which is available for employees and people in the local community.

It’s an online risk assessment tool that has been designed to help people review their online safety and identify any actions they can take to protect themselves.

All you have to do is answer a few simple questions about your online habits and you’ll be able to see the most important steps you can take to avoid falling victim to cyber-scammers.

Complete the Digital MOT now and find out how you can be more secure online.

Website that checks to see if you have an account that has been compromised in a data breach

Have I been Pwned is a website that allows you to see if your email address / account has been compromised in a data breach.

To check your email address visit

12 Frauds of Christmas

These are the top 12 frauds of Christmas and ways to avoid them.

You can report scams and suspected scams to Action Fraud  or tel: 0300 123 2040.


Fraudsters Targeting Social Media

Be Aware

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has received intelligence to suggest that fraudsters are contacting social media influencers, based in the UK and abroad, offering them the opportunity to market a bogus product, service or investment opportunity. Fraudsters will present professional and credible pitches to the social media influencers and try to convince them to feature the opportunity for a fee on their social media profiles in order to entice unsuspecting followers of the influencer to sign up or make a purchase. Additionally, fraudsters are using the names of well-known public figures, implying that their opportunity or product is endorsed by the figure when it is not. The public should be aware that any apparent endorsement by celebrities, influencers or personalities does not necessarily mean that an investment, product or service is genuine. The public is urged to exercise a cautious approach to any such offer of investment, product or service with the same caution they would at any other time.

What You Need To Do

  • If you are purchasing goods from a company you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, or ask friends or family for advice before completing a purchase.
  • Professional-looking websites, adverts or social media posts do not guarantee that an investment opportunity or product is genuine. Criminals can exploit the names of well-known brands or individuals to make them appear legitimate.
  • Avoid paying for goods or services by bank transfer unless you know and trust the person or company. Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud. Instead, use your credit card or payment services such as PayPal as they offer you greater protection if you become a victim of fraud.

Netflix account freeze – don’t click, it’s a scam!


Here’s what you need to know about this particular scam:

  • If you deleted the original email without clicking anything, you did the right thing. The crooks have tried and failed, so you win.
  • If you clicked through to the fake login page but bailed out without entering anything, you’re also safe.
  • If you went as far as trying to login on the bogus site, the crooks know your password. Get yourself to the genuine Netflix login page as soon as you can and change your password.
  • If you gave away your credit card details, the crooks know those too. Call your bank as soon as you can to cancel your card. (Look on the back of your actual card for the number to call, for safety’s sake!)
  • If you think your card was compromised, keep a close eye on your statements. You should keep your eye on your financial records anyway, but you might as well step up your scrutiny after a security scare of this sort.

What to do:

  • Never login via web pages that show up in an email. If you always find your own way to login pages, for example via a bookmark or your password manager, then you never have to worry whether a login link is phishy or not, because you won’t be clicking it anyway!
  • Use a password manager. Your password manager won’t put your Netflix password – or, indeed, any password – into a bogus site for the simple reason that it won’t recognise the site and won’t have a password to submit in the first place.
  • Measure twice, cut once. The scam above has plenty of giveaways, including obviously fake URLs; the use of HTTP instead of HTTPS in the email; and spelling errors. Getting scammed is bad enough without the pain of realising afterwards that all the signs were there for you to spot easily, but you were in too much of a hurry to stop and check.

For further information about the Netflix scam:


Scams you have told us about

Council Tax Scam

"We have been alerted by residents who have received a text message from an account called 'City Council'. The message says the recipient is due to receive a refund for overpaid tax and then gives a link. THIS IS A SCAM. Do not give any of your details". – Chesterfield Borough Council.

TV Licence refund

We have been alerted about emails and texts about TV licence refunds.

We will always:

  • use (or to email you. On a mobile device select the sender’s name to reveal the email address.
  • include your name in our emails (unless you told us you don’t need a licence and didn’t provide a name).

If you are still unsure you can find out more about how to spot a TV licence scam.


If you have a scam you want to tell us about to go into the next bulletin please email the details to us at

Become a Friend Against Scams


Would your team or community group like to become Friends Against Scams?

The short Friends Against Scams training course takes no more than an hour and can be delivered presentation style to groups. The training will teach you more about the different kinds of scams and how to avoid them. It will also help you recognise if people you work with, support or simply know are falling victim to scammers.

If you'd like to book a training session please contact Ruth Shaw on tel: 01629 532503 or email

Alternatively you can become a Friend Against Scams by completing the online eLearning course. If you work for Derbyshire County Council you can complete the training on the Derbyshire Learning Pool and it will be added to your training record.

Get scams info on Facebook and Twitter


Criminals are clever and regularly come up with new ways to scam people out of their money. A good way to keep up with the latest scams and tricks is to get notifications on your Facebook or Twitter timeline.

Follow these accounts for up-to-date information:

Action Fraud: or

Derbyshire Scamwatch:  or

Friends Against Scams: or

Reporting scams and getting advice


Get advice from Citizens Advice Consumer Service, tel: 03454 04 05 06 or visit:

Report scams and suspected scams to Action Fraud  or tel: 0300 123 2040.

Send potential postal scams with a covering letter to Royal Mail at FREEPOST Scam Mail, email: or tel: 03456 113 413.

Report unsolicited marketing calls to the Information Commissioner's Office  or tel: 0303 123 1113.

Register phone numbers with the Telephone Preference Service or tel: 0845 070 0707.

The Mailing Preference Service (MPS) is free and can help reduce unsolicited mail by calling 0845 703 4599.

Contact the Age UK Derby and Derbyshire Information and Advice Line on tel: 01773 768240. Age UK also have a downloadable guide on recognising and dealing with all kinds of scams.

Derbyshire Scamwatch is a project funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire. The aim is to raise awareness, particularly amongst older residents, of the potential harmful effects of mass-marketing, internet, doorstep and telephone scams and to provide one-to-one advice and support where potential scam/fraud victims are identified.

The Think Jessica website has lots of information and advice about all different types of scams and tricks.

Sign up to receive the Scams Awareness Bulletin by email (you'll be asked to provide your email address, set a password and then you can select the Scams Awareness Bulletin from the social care and health section).

Tell a trusted friend, relative or neighbour.    

Support for scam victims

Falling victim to a scam/s can be very upsetting. If you or someone you know has been scammed and you need support you can contact:

Derbyshire Victim Services offer free and confidential support to victims of crime, tel: 0808 612 6505.

Think Jessica is a Derbyshire-based charity set up to help and support people affected by scammers and also to highlight the effects on victims.

Age UK Derby and Derbyshire which can provide a wide range of support for local older people and carers. Residents can call the local service, tel: 01773 768240.

The Derbyshire Trusted Befriending Network helps isolated and vulnerable adults find befriending services. For more information contact the network coordinator, email or tel: 01283 219761.