Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service works hard to warn and inform consumers across the county about how they can stay safe from scammers. Here are five scams to be aware of at the moment.
Resurfacing drivewaysBe wary of cold callers at the door offering to surface driveways. Reports have been received from the Langrish/ East Meon area, but the warning applies to all of Hampshire.
Trading Standards recommend residents do not buy goods at the door. Read about Your rights when buying at the door.
Suspicious telephone call: accident claimA suspicious telephone call is being received by Hampshire residents, particularly in the Basingstoke area.
The call is from a person claiming to be calling on behalf of NHS and Hampshire County Council, about a recent accident suffered by the resident.
The telephone number being used is 0115 95 00 00 01 and investigations reveal that this is a genuine number belonging to a Taxi company in Nottingham. It would appear the company’s telephone has been spoofed and is being used without their knowledge or permission.
Trading Standards recommend not engaging with the caller, not giving any personal information and not calling the number back.
Websites offering Blue Badge parking applications onlineThere are some websites offering Blue Badge parking applications online and charging a fee of £49. The websites are not affiliated or associated with any local council, or any other official body or organisation.
It is not obvious from entering the websites that they are not official, or that an application fee is charged. However, the information is contained in the terms and conditions, and it is recommended that these are looked at before deciding whether to use the sites.
It is possible to apply for a Blue Badge online through the official Blue Badge website or via Hampshire County Council’s website. There is a fee of £10 per application, but no other charges.
Hampshire residents wishing to find out more information on how to apply for a Blue Badge can visit the County Council’s Blue Badge website, call 0300 555 1376 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unsolicited telephone call: Council Tax ratesThere have been reports of unsolicited cold telephone calls whereby the caller claims that you may be in the wrong Council Tax band, and are paying too much. Furthermore, for a fee they can look into matters for you.
Any resident wishing to check their Council Tax band can do this by calling the Valuation Office Agency on 0300 0501 50. There is no fee for the checking service.
Further information about Council Tax Appeals.
Telephone scam: good citizen awardAction Fraud has been receiving reports of an advanced fee fraud whereby suspects phone a member of the public and claim to be calling on behalf of the UK (or British) Government Grant Department.
They go on to state that the individual has won a Good Citizen Award of typically £8,000, and that the grant can be released for a fee (of around £210).
There is no genuine ‘Good Citizen Award’ scheme in the UK that operates by cold calling “winners” and asking for an upfront fee to release a grant.
If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040.
Want further advice or to report a scam?For further consumer advice or to report a scam to Trading Standards, please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040 506.
If you, or anyone you know, has been affected by any of these scams, report it to Action Fraud