Initiative to beat fraudsters joined as Porthcawl resident comes close to losing £3000
10 October 2016
Following recent revelations that a Porthcawl resident came close to being scammed out of a large sum of money by a convincing phone scam, Shared Regulatory Services (SRS) is supporting the Friends Against Scams initiative in order to raise awareness of the financial and emotional impact of mass marketing scams.
Shared Regulatory Services is a partnership between Bridgend, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Council, and has taken steps to support residents at risk of being scammed.
This move comes after a lady from Porthcawl received a telephone call from someone claiming to be from Talk Talk. She granted the caller remote access to her computer after being told there had been unusual activity on her modem. The caller said someone had tried to hack into it, and so the modem would need to be changed. The fraudster eventually offered £200 as an apology for the problem.
The caller then asked the resident to log into her bank account, where she would see that £3200 had mistakenly been put into her account. The caller claimed to have made a terrible mistake and convinced the resident to send a cheque for £3000. Her suspicions became aroused, however, when the caller asked the resident to go to the post office and send a money order, in dollars, to Georgia. She went to her bank’s local branch, where they confirmed that no such refund had gone into her account.
As a result, the resident has since refused calls from the caller, who she had thought was representing Talk Talk, and has taken other sensible steps: getting the bank to monitor her account; adding anonymous call barring to her telephone; having her computer checked over to confirm there is no malware on it.
This is one of the reasons why, as an official Friends Against Scams partner, Shared Regulatory Services has joined the National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team in a national network to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams.
Friends Against Scams aims to enable people to protect themselves by increasing their knowledge and awareness of such suspicious occurrences, thus empowering communities to ‘take a stand against scams’. The National Trading Scams Team, when working in partnership with other agencies, identifies and supports victims of mass marketing fraud.
Cllr Gwyn John, Chairman of the joint committee for Shared Regulatory Services, said: “Unfortunately, it’s often the most vulnerable people within our communities who fall for scams, with many losing thousands of pounds and even life savings. Scams damage lives and can affect people financially and emotionally, so we are very pleased to partner with the National Trading Standards Scams Team, and others, who are working together to inspire positive action.
“Our dedicated Safeguarding Team is passionate about protecting residents in Bridgend, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, and we urge family members, friends or neighbours to contact us with any concerns about individuals who appear to be receiving a high frequency of phone calls, or receiving a lot of junk mail. These are indicators that a sum of money may have been sent to a fraudulent business, and is something we can try to stop if the matter is reported to us.”
Shared Regulatory Service’s Major Investigations and Safeguarding Team works with partners, such as South Wales Police, to investigate incidents of doorstep scamming, and also works closely with Social Services to monitor and support vulnerable consumers across Bridgend, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.
If you have concerns about relatives, friends or neighbours in this situation, report the matter to Shared Regulatory Services, and call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.