Latest Scams Information

Published: 08 June 2020

Good wishes to each and every one of you as you continue to deal with the challenges in our everyday lives the moment.  A very big thank you for everything you are doing to protect others during these times – a time when we all ourselves perhaps feel a little more vulnerable than usual.  If, like me, you feel frustrated that, whilst we are all abiding by new guidance and legislation, fraudsters continue to break every rule in the book to take advantage of the situation, just remember that with your support our communities really are more resilient to these wicked crimes.  So thank you for everything you do to raise awareness of scams.

I would like offer a warm welcome to Cllr Dennis Jones, Peterborough City Councillor for Dogsthorpe ward, who joins our supporter membership this month.  Cllr Jones is our first CAPASP supporter in Peterborough so we are especially excited to have him on board.  Welcome Cllr Jones! 

Cllr Jones is very keen to find a way to reach the most vulnerable residents in his ward with scams awareness information – i.e. those residents who are not online and who are not engaged with any support groups.  Aside from a direct mail to all residents, which is not especially feasible at this time, I wonder if any of you have any experience of identifying those in your community who are the most vulnerable to the persuasive language of the fraudsters* and of providing information to them in a digestible format?  Please let me know of any experience or ideas you are happy to share so that Cllr Jones and all of our supporters can benefit from them.

*(NB.if you haven’t read ‘Scams: The Power of Persuasive Language’, shared last time please find it on our website here ).

I would like to thank another of our supporters, Cllr Lorna Dupre, for sharing information about Test and Trace scams she’s heard about on social media.  These scams involve a telephone call suggesting that the resident may have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus and demanding that the resident have a test for a fee.  Please be aware that the NHS Test and Trace programme will never ask for a fee. The Test and Trace service will be contacting people by phone, text message or email.  Calls and texts will come from one verified NHS number: 0300 013 5000.  However, there’s still a risk of this number being spoofed but calls from any other numbers, or from a withheld number, should be treated as fake. I attach an infographic which gives advice on how to spot bogus test and trace contact and the consumer organisation Which? shares some brilliant advice about spotting scam contact tracing messages here.

Cllr Dupre has raised awareness of this on her blog so why not follow her lead and put something out on your own web pages and social media?

As well as coronavirus scams, we are still hearing of other scams targeting residents of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.  A recent conversation with our shielded support team (for people who are extremely vulnerable to coronavirus) reported that their household was recently targeted by a sophisticated telephone scam.  The resident very helpfully provided an almost-transcript of the conversation that took place which can be found attached.  Please take a read – I am sure you’ll agree that it’s easy to see how somebody could fall victim to this type of scam.

Finally, don’t forget that Scam Awareness Fortnight (15th – 28th June) is fast approaching. The theme this year is coronavirus scams and you can find resources and register your participation by visiting this page.

That’s it for now but watch out for information about the latest round of Innovate and Cultivate funding which I will be sharing soon.  Thank you again for all your amazing efforts to fight back against scammers.