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Won a prize?!

The intended victim received a 'number withheld' call from an Indian person stating that he was calling from VISA card and I had won a two week holiday all expenses paid. The called person, realising that this was probably a scam, said he was not interested, but the caller carried on saying the rewards were genuine; he just needed to check the expiry date on the card and the first number both of which were refused. The caller went on about how safe the call was etc., but the called person had the sense to put the phone down. He called VISA (Alliance & Leicester) who checked - there was no holiday.

Owing you money?!

There are a number of scams going on where someone phones and says you are owed money. There has for some months during 2009 been one that claims you are owed money by BT. Another ploy is to say you are owed money by the local authority.

None of these bodies, telephone companies, electricity and gas companies, or local councils will ever phone or email to tell you that they owe you money. They will always write to you, in the unlikely event that they do actually owe you money! If you are phoned never give out your bank or credit card details.

The latest phone scam in this area has been targeted at Stockport Council. Stockport Council have reported that a telephone scam involving fraudsters posing as local authority staff has also been uncovered in other areas of Greater Manchester.

The scam involves people being contacted by phone and informed that they have 'overpaid' their council tax and then
asked for their bank account details so a refund can be processed and £195 administration fee debited.

Stockport Council's Council Tax section said that local residents should never give out their bank details to anyone
unless they are known to them. Staff from the Council Tax section would never make a phone call of this nature. Stockport residents are asked to report any suspicious calls to the Council by phoning 0161 217 6014. Those in other areas should report such calls to their own council and to Trading Standards, especially if you have further information about the scam such as a name, telephone number or address of the caller.

JANE THIRSK
Watch Officer
Cheshire Police

Macclesfield Neighbourhood Policing Team 0845 458 6371
Police non-emergency number: 101


Another version goes like this ...

The target received a phone call, supposedly from Ofcom, stating that he should have received a letter from his phone line supplier (Virgin in this case) about making his phone digital, and he had failed to respond to this letter. He had not received anything through the post, so was informed that he needed to take action now in order to avoid his phone being rendered useless. Usual rigmarole of hanging up and then picking phone up and finding it had gone dead, wait and pick up again and it is functioning again then followed.

It was then suggested that he pay £6 by credit card to get phone digitalized. On using a NatWest credit card he was informed that it wasn't being accepted due to NatWest Bank having some work done on their line. Had he another card? Unfortunately he gave number of a second card.

After hanging up he became suspicious and phoned Virgin who said they had not sent out any letters and Ofcom wouldn't be involved anyway.

As he informed his credit card companies immediately, no money had been taken in this case.

NEVER give account information to anyone who calls unless you know absolutely who it is - someone you would expect to call about known business.

JANE THIRSK
Watch Officer
Cheshire Police

Macclesfield Neighbourhood Policing Team 0845 458 6371
Police non-emergency number: 101

BT scam | More phone scams


Other Homewatch pages of current relevance: Briefs (recent crimes in the Macclesfield Division including Bollington, Kerridge and Pott Shrigley).

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