/ Community, Scams

Live event: ask our experts about scams – 2pm 8/7/21

Our experts were live on Which? Conversation on 8 July 2021 answering your questions. Check the comments for their responses.

We kicked off the first in a series of live Which? Conversation events with a Q&A on scams – we were live from 2pm – 3pm on 8 July 2021 in the comments.

📄 Live scams Q&A

🗓 2pm Thursday 8 July 2021

     

We were joined by Which? experts Lauren Merryweather (scams investigations and research) and Michael Tomlinson (Which? Money Helpline). They’ve both answered as many questions as they could in the comments below..

‘Scams’ of course, is a broad area, so we were specifically calling for your questions around:

🗨 The huge rise in text message scams in the past year

🗨 How fraudsters are attempting to take advantage of the pandemic

🗨 Action you can take to spot and avoid scams

🗨 How brands can help: what should/shouldn’t they be doing?

Check the comments for the answers.

Your scams questions answered

Click or tap on each question to expand or collapse each question.

❓ I keep getting text messages from mobile numbers that say I owe return postage on a parcel. Are these scams?

From @lmerryweather

These are likely to be fake texts and you can ignore them. It’s a scam that’s been going round for quite a while now: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2021/06/three-in-five-people-have-received-a-scam-delivery-text-in-the-last-year/

The best way to stay safe from text message scams is to avoid clicking on links in texts. There’s some more advice on how to spot scam texts here: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-to-spot-a-messaging-scam-at2fR9B2E85g

❓ I got a call from a mobile number to say I’m being frauded by Amazon

From @gmartin:

…[this] sounds very similar to the Amazon Prime scam we’ve covered here: https://conversation.which.co.uk/money/amazon-prime-renewal-scam-phone-call/

Amazon’s popularity makes it an attractive target for scammers to impersonate. We’d advise that you check your Amazon account order history to make sure there aren’t any purchases you don’t recognise. You can also turn on two-factor authentication on the account for increased security:

https://computing.which.co.uk/hc/en-gb/articles/360000243980-What-is-two-factor-authentication-and-should-you-use-it-

Thanks to Jean for asking this question.

❓ How do ‘ghost brokers’ operate?

Thanks to @malcolm-r for this question:

”How do ‘ghost brokers’ operate?
Fraudsters lure victims in with the offer of cheaper insurance premiums, usually via social media or by word-of-mouth. These individuals or groups pose as middlemen for well-known insurance companies, claiming they can offer you legitimate car insurance at a significantly cheaper price.

This type of fraud is typically carried out either by forging insurance documents, falsifying your details to bring the price down, or by taking out a genuine policy for you but cancelling it soon after.

Often, the victim is not aware that they have been scammed until they are involved in an accident and try to claim on the policy. 

I wonder how many people have been tricked in this way. Many will not know, as they point out, until they need to make a claim.

@mtomlinson shared this response

Thank you very much for this and how encouraging to see such an informative and valuable service being delivered by your neighbourhood group. Interestingly, the Which? Money magazine published an article about ghost broking in March 2020 and I have copied a link here which takes you to the digital version, from Which? News:

https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/03/car-insurance-fraud-are-scammers-taking-you-for-a-ride/

❓ Why is Facebook allowing scammers to carry on doing what they’re doing? Why can’t social media, phone companies and network providers block these at their source?

Thanks to June Parsons and Gary Greaves for these questions

From Lauren Merryweather:

We agree, there needs to be a more proactive approach towards stopping scammers operating on Facebook. We’re hoping social media sites could be made to take greater responsibility for what’s being posted on their platforms soon when the government’s Online Safety Bill has been finalised.

Read more and share your thoughts about why scams must be included in the Online Safety Bill

❓ I’ve been receiving emails from an unknown company I’ve never dealt with. I suspect they’re a scam, what can I do about it?

Thanks to Eric Strudwick for this question:

I have recently been receiving emails from no-reply-ncbcardalerts@jncb.com

They contain details about card payment transactions. I have never had any dealings with this company and assumed that its some kind of scam.

I guess that there is also a possibility that someone has cloned my identity.

How can I check?

The answer, from Michael Tomlinson:

Yes I would very much agree with you that certainly seems like a scam email. Many scams do seem to originate from ‘out of the blue’ contact – the telephone call, text or email we were not expecting. Certainly we should all avoid clicking on any links in these emails, as this is designed to harvest our personal data and account information.

Best practice is to simply delete these emails, but you can also forward them to the National Cyber Security Centre who have the authority to shut down and websites linked to them:

report@phishing.gov.uk

Many thanks.

Read our Consumer Rights Guide on how to spot a fake email

❓ It’s difficult to determine which emails from my bank are genuine and which are scams. What is Which? doing to address this issue?

Thanks to @beryl for this question, which prompted a good discussion with others, as well as to @alfa, who shared a similar question as well as her discovery of more information from her bank

Browsing recently through emails purporting to come from my bank, it was difficult to determine which were genuine and which were scams. For example, one email was a reminder that I had not paid the minimum amount on my credit card account and was threatened with hefty overdraft charges if I didn’t pay. As I don’t bank online and always pay my credit card balance in full and in time, I assumed this was a scam.

My question is, are we reaching a critical stage where technological advantages are being overshadowed and outstripped by the scammers to the point where people, including myself, are reluctant to open and reply to any email they receive from their bank? What would be the future outcome if this were the case for more and more people and what action can Which? take to prevent this predictable eventuality?

Which? scam expert @chiara-cavaglieri couldn’t join us on the day, but was able to provide an answer in advance:

It is a sad state of affairs that we can’t always trust that an email or a phone call is genuine – scammers are using cheap tech to spoof the phone numbers and email addresses of legitimate companies. But, banks can do more to protect you – and Which? will continue to put pressure on them to do so.

For example, they can stop scammers forging their email addresses using something called DMARC (more on this here https://www.which.co.uk/news/2021/06/banks-missing-vital-protection-against-email-scams-warns-which/) and they can protect their customer facing phone numbers using the DNO database (https://www.which.co.uk/news/2021/06/is-your-bank-protecting-you-from-number-spoofing-scams/).

Customers can do their bit too – vote with your feet if your provider isn’t doing everything it can.

❓ Is it worth reporting well-known scams? Can I just ignore scams that have been well publicised?

Thanks to @wavechange for this question:

I realise that it is worthwhile reporting suspected scams but is there any point in reporting well known ones? For example, it seems pointless to report that I have had an automated call to say that my subscription to Amazon Prime has been renewed at a cost of £79.99.

Can I just ignore a scam that has been reasonably well publicised?

From Michael Tomlinson:

There’s certainly no obligation to report this to, presumably you mean, Action Fraud. The scam you refer to seems to have gone out to most of us – I’ve certainly had this Amazon cold call on more than one occasion. So it’s really our decision if we wish to spend time filling out the reporting tool on the Action Fraud website. It is useful to submit information as it does at least provide Action Fraud with data, which potentially can be used for investigations or to be able to publicise warnings to the public. But yes, I do accept that there have been numerous warnings about this particular scam already. Many thanks.

Even if scams are well known, it’s very helpful to report them to us here at Which? using our Scam Sharer tool. This helps us keep track of what scams are currently affecting people, and to help spread the word on how to protect yourself further.

Comments

I was caught out once, several years ago, and am now very wary. I tend to not answer the phone when it rings (landline) . Why is there not more control and checking, when new phone numbers are allocated.
I have blocked many emails and texts on my mobile phone but they still come through with a message at the top saying this is from a previously blocked number – why?

I get so many disgusting emails on my iPad mini but there doesn’t seem to be a way of blocking them, or reporting them as spam – why?

If by any chance you are a sky customer and have telephone and broadband they do a free service ,if the phone rings and you answer it someone tells from sky tell you who it is .If you know them you press number 1 ,if you don’t then you put the phone down. We have found it is a great service.

[Moderator: we’ve converted this comment into sentence case. Please don’t type in all caps unless you’re intending to shout. For more information see the Community guidelines]

Thanks for sharing Mary. I have a family member who was caught out which was very distressing for us all; and she too is now very wary of the landline, which is a sorry state of affairs. It’s a good question about phone numbers, spoofing and blocking, I hope you can join next week for the live event.

Moderator; please be aware that for some visually handicapped people reading text is much easier when it’s in upper case. Don’t assume that it’s due to ignorance. Many such people write in upper case as that’s the only way they can read what they are writing! Your action was high-handed and potentially insulting.

elsie jones says:
6 July 2021

A brilliant service. Mine is with a BT phone that came with the phone. A call blocking system.

Anne says:
8 July 2021

Yes I just got a new phone and that blocking service is built in

Have Action Fraud and / or the Police the resources and will to investigate scams? I (and many others) was caught out for a large five figure sum in a wine scam, but despite overwhelming evidence of the fraud, AF and the police refused to investigate, claiming insufficient evidence. After much angst and discussion, it turned out that they just didn’t have the resources to do so, and so these heartless criminals (who had committed substantial previous scams) are getting on with their very comfortable daily lives and may well defraud many other innocent people with little or no probability of being brought to justice.

Martin Fisher says:
2 July 2021

Action Fraud have no resources to investigate. It’s a scam in itself.

Andy … You are correct about Action Fraud, sadly I was scammed 2 years ago and made all the correct documented reports to AF and even had a copy of the scammer’s passport, but they weren’t interested even to ask me for it! … AF is purely a government monitoring site so that BoJo can say £XXXmillions have been lost by honest UK citizens to placate the gov ONS reports. Allegedly all reports are passed on to the Met police, but they get 1000’s of reports each week, so it’s no surprise that nothing is done. Scammers are all having a big laugh about it. They could shut down ALL scams quite easily, but don’t bother. One simple change to banking legislation could stop scams instantly, but the Government will not do it.

“Action” Fraud. Probably one of the misnamed organisations ever.

Lorenzo says:
4 July 2021

An oxymoron if ever there was one.

From the Action Fraud website:

“Report fraud and cyber crime crime
You can report fraud or cyber crime using our online reporting service any time of the day or night; the service enables you to both report a fraud and find help and support. We also provide help and advice over the phone through the Action Fraud contact centre. You can talk to our fraud and cybercrime specialists by calling 0300 123 2040.

When you report to us you will receive a police crime reference number. Reports taken are passed to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau. Action Fraud DOES NOT INVESTIGATE the cases and cannot advise you on the progress of a case.”

If funding was available to investigate cases it might be possible to apprehend the criminals and to deter others.

Rather unkindly, on “I’m sorry I haven’t a clue” ( Radio 4 comedy panel game), new definitions round, an Oxymoron was defined as someone who didn’t go to Cambridge. 🙁

Em says:
4 July 2021

I tell people I went to Uni at Uxbridge.

In chemistry we have oxymorons and deoxymorons.

Why are banks insisting more and more to bank on line when it will never be safe to do so. Their apps often crash at weekends and folk can’t get at their money? The banking system started to go wrong many years ago when they axed the EUROCHEQUE. It was so simple and so easy to use. Now they are trying to axe regular cheques and our currency. Have they forgotten why they are in business and who keeps them going? The criminals are rubbing their hands together as more people go on line and the scammers will become more prolific. I think when these criminals are caught they should face serious jail time!

Why are face book allowing scammers to carry on doing what they do even after they have been told what they are doing? I have beencaught twice ,it’sreally my own fault I should have checked them out better. Two different women “Selling ” rings that do not belong to them.

[Moderator: we’ve converted this comment into sentence case. Please don’t type in all caps unless you’re intending to shout. For more information see the Community guidelines]

We agree, there needs to be a more proactive approach towards stopping scammers operating on Facebook. We’re hoping social media sites could be made to take greater responsibility for what’s being posted on their platforms soon when the government’s Online Safety Bill has been finalised.

Martin Fisher says:
2 July 2021

I am unable to attend this debate but I want to alert you to an extensive scam on Tinder, where beautiful young (usually Asian/Chinese) women connect in order to lure men into investing in Cryptocurrency, using links they provide. I was just invited to invest $1,000 dollars using a link provided by one of them. The prior enticement was images of computer screens showing graphs indicating steep rises and big gains.

I think it’s worthy of investigation by your team.

Heather says:
2 July 2021

I am receiving some emails that are obviously scams. When I try to Block or Report some of these as Phishing they don’t go away and keep coming back! I have to repeatedly do this until they go!
Why are they doing this and is there a way I can Block/delete hem more easily?

Many thanks

Heather says:
2 July 2021

When I receive emails that are obviously scams, I Block and Report them as Phishing. For most of these emails this does the trick and they go into my deleted emails and I empty the file. However, I am getting some that do not go away until I have tried several times to Block/Report them. They keep coming back out of the deleted file! I have to repeatedly go through the process until they eventually go. Please can you tell me why this happens and if there is a way to quickly and easily ‘dispose’ of them! Thankyou!

Why can’t social media, phone companies and network providers block these scams at source. We have many vulnerable members of society who believe everything they are told or read, we need to be more pro active. It is no use trying to close the door after the horse has bolted, it has a major effect on the vulnerable persons wellbeing and in some cases stress can lead to loss of life.

Agreed, these industries need to be more proactive at stopping scammers abusing their services, and we’re campaigning for this. There is work being done, but fraudsters are innovative and keep getting ahead. Staying safe from scams will always be down to us keeping ourselves informed, but this is not so easy for many vulnerable people. It’s so important to look out for others.

Have UNHCR been used to scam people? I have received a call today but I think it was genuine.
Thanks

Here is brief information about scams, from the UNHCR website: https://www.unhcr.org/ph/warning-fraudulent-schemes-scams

thanks for sharing wavechange

I have recently been receiving emails from no-reply-ncbcardalerts@jncb.com

They contain details about card payment transactions. I have never had any dealings with this company and assumed that its some kind of scam.

I guess that there is also a possibility that someone has cloned my identity.

How can I check?

Yes I would very much agree with you that certainly seems like a scam email. Many scams do seem to originate from ‘out of the blue’ contact – the telephone call, text or email we were not expecting. Certainly we should all avoid clicking on any links in these emails, as this is designed to harvest our personal data and account information.

Best practice is to simply delete these emails, but you can also forward them to the National Cyber Security Centre who have the authority to shut down and websites linked to them:

report@phishing.gov.uk

Many thanks.

Who can I send all the scam email s I’ve had or shall I just delete them?

We can forward scam emails, commonly known as phishing emails, to the National Cyber Security Centre:

report@phishing.gov.uk

They receive thousands and so won’t be able to reply to each one individually. However they do have the authority to shut down any websites and URLs linked to these emails and infact have closed down thousands over the last year alone. Many thanks.

This is a handy email address to have, thanks Michael

I wonder about the credentials of Whisky Scotland Ltd. I’ve had an email inviting me to invest in whisky. Their website says ”OUR INVESTORS SEE AN AVERAGE TAX-FREE RETURN OF 20%+ PER ANNUM. CAPITAL GAINS TAX EXEMPT””.
As far as I can see there is one director, the company was incorporated in Nov 2019, so this claim seems a little premature.
I hasten to add I have no intention of investing – and anyway, I don’t like Whisky – but was interested whether anyone had heard of what would appear to be this too-good-to-be-true offer?
If I did invest, do you think I am entitled to ask my bank to refund me if it all goes horribly wrong?

From Whisky Scotland’s website –

“Whisky Scotland Limited offers a full turnkey service where we look after every element of whisky investment for our clients. We wish to develop long term relationships with our clients where the target is to develop a whisky portfolio which sits alongside their existing investment portfolio. Rest assured that the savings from the impressive economies of scale that result from our company’s tremendous buying power are passed onto investors.

“After 3, 5, 8 or 10 years of maturation, there are a growing number of proven exits for investors to make a decent potential profit on their casks in the current buoyant market.”

Note the term “decent potential profit”. That will entirely depend on the existing value trend continuing at an above inflation rate over the duration of the holding.

Like fine wines investments, there will no doubt be ongoing storage and management costs because your barrels will have to be kept and insured in a temperature-controlled and bonded store.

If I were interested in investing in whisky I should be more inclined to support our local whisky producer, the English Whisky Company which is the oldest whisky distillery in England being founded in Norfolk in 2006. Very little of its production has yet appeared on the market for it is still undergoing maturation. Reportedly, the local Breckland barley and water from the River Thet make a very good spirit.

I never touch the stuff so I shall carry on nursing my remaining brewery shares which have not had a good time over the last eighteen months [although the asset value of the tied estates should not be discounted].

A very interesting question and there are certainly plenty of alternative investments advertised online – renewable energy or green bonds are something I see quite regularly, for example. I would say that Which? prefers investments that are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and this organisation doesn’t appear to be on the FCA Register. Therefore, if is genuine, it would certainly be something of a high risk investment and it is doubtful there would be much in the way of consumer protection if the investment didn’t perform.
Which? have been contacted on numerous occasions by people who have lost money to various investment scams sadly. If the loss of funds has arisen as a result of a bank transfer, they can at least try to get their money back as a result of the APP Scams Voluntary Code, set up in May 2019. However, as we have previously reported, banks are not refunding in many cases and so people are having to go down the Financial Ombudsman route and of course, there is no guarantee that they will get all of their money back. Many thanks

If I fall for a likely dodgy investment like this – 20% return??????? when you are lucky to get 1% from your bank, 4% from stocks and shares – I would expect to be regarded as, at best, naive. I would deprecate any attempt to get the bank to refund money. Otherwise everyone could take on such ill-considered investments, possibly to make a lot of money, but knowing that if it all goes wrong they could just get their money refunded by the sensible depositors at their bank – no risk. Reward for greed and irresponsibility.
A more sensible approach is needed.

My instinct tells me that the Whisky Scotland promotion is genuine albeit worth interpreting very carefully. There are several upstarts in this business but their pitch is always about the future rather than the past. It seems that investment in whisky by the barrel has become a major business in the last few years as other forms of investment have started to pale, so there are not many firms that have much of a track record. It is a relatively young market for the personal investor and, in essence, a gamble.

I have read of someone who splashed out on a cask on the off-chance and over twenty years got a stonking return. It was a rare single malt, but a second investment in a more popular line brought only a normal investment yield.

There is a considerable degree of wastage in a cask of whisky during the maturation process due to evaporation, which is why there is no capital gains tax to pay as HMRC do not recognise it as a lasting asset. In the adverts for whisky investment, the appeal of paying no tax is rarely counterbalanced by the reasoning behind it.

There was a large spread on Scotch whisky investments in one of the quality weekend papers a couple of weeks ago and the conclusion of one of those ‘in the know’ was that buying cases of bottled whisky was a better [i.e. less risky] way to invest. The Scotch whisky investment market seems to be predicated on infallibly rising international demand especially from territories we might not understand enough in order to make a fully informed judgment.

I would rather acquire a nice painting and admire it without any expectations of a fortune.

What are the government doing to prevent scam calls, e-mails and messages?

What are the consequences for scammers if identified?

Hi Sharon, Which? has been pushing this year for the Government to include scams/fraud in the Online Safety Bill. You can read some of the progress made here:

https://conversation.which.co.uk/scams/online-safety-bill-open-letter-anabel-hoult/
https://conversation.which.co.uk/scams/app-scam-victim-protection-psr/

With regards to consequences, if identified fraudsters will face arrest and criminal charges:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-57226704

Treena Benyon says:
5 July 2021

Hi I have a quick question how do you find the feed for the live an event. I think this is a great idea
Thanks
Treena

Hi Treena, we’ll be answering them in the comments, as well as posting the ones we answer at the top of the page. Look forward to having your questions for the team 🙂

Browsing recently through emails purporting to come from my bank, it was difficult to determine which were genuine and which were scams. For example, one email was a reminder that I had not paid the minimum amount on my credit card account and was threatened with hefty overdraft charges if I didn’t pay. As I don’t bank online and always pay my credit card balance in full and in time, I assumed this was a scam.

My question is, are we reaching a critical stage where technological advantages are being overshadowed and outstripped by the scammers to the point where people, including myself, are reluctant to open and reply to any email they receive from their bank? What would be the future outcome if this were the case for more and more people and what action can Which? take to prevent this predictable eventuality?

That is certainly a realistic concern. My bank includes a partial postcode identifier in any e-mail correspondence but that on its own is not a particularly strong protection. Alternatively, for greater security it sends an e-mail message informing me that there is a message for me waiting within the on-line banking system for which I have to log in securely.

My bank also enables me to change my contact preferences so that e-mail or text correspondence is not authorised.

It is not my intention to use the internet indefinitely for a number of reasons so I am hoping that original ways of communicating will still be available for banking and for all other commercial interaction. It worries me that many commercial organisations with whom it is necessary to engage for the necessities of life [e.g. utilities, insurance] are making it impossible to proceed on their websites without providing a smart phone number or using their app while at the same time not offering a landline or written contact alternative.

You could always avail yourself of the excellent and free ProtonMail, Beryl. About the safest email service out there.

Em says:
5 July 2021

I use ProtonMail for certain emails to protect my privacy, but it would not prevent me from receiving scam emails, if my ProtonMail email address is widely known. (Its not, because I only give it to a few select contacts.)

What I do is have a personal domain name – gmail.com is an example of a domain name – but because I own the entire domain I can use anything I choose before the @ sign to create an email address. It’s a bit like having all the gmail.com email addresses in the world available for my personal use.

Every company is given a different email address – but they all redirect to my real email address. If I receive an email sent to lloyds@ … I’m pretty sure it has come from Lloyds Bank because they are the only organisation I have given that addess to. Similarly edf@ had probably come from my electricity supplier.

How does this help? If I receive an email from a “banK” addressed to my edf@ email address, it immediately tells me:

1) That it’s a scam, and
2) Not to trust EDF with my personal details.

Even an email going to my real forwarding email address cannot be trusted, because I don’t give that out to anyone.

Sadly, the email address I registered with Which? for this Convo has been used to send me spam emails, which is why use a different one and am no longer prepared to sign in with a password.

I received a scam Amazon email today addressed to info@[mydomainname]. I’ve never given that email address to anyone, so it went straight to trash.

Hi Beryl, Barclaycard send me an email every month. It addresses me by my first name and gives the last 4 digits of my credit card.
Hello name,
Your minimum monthly payment of £5.00 is due on 21 June 2021. As a reminder, your outstanding balance on 11 June 2021 is £16.00.

I also always pay my balance in full every month, so for me, the email is just a reminder to make sure I have set up the payment.

I never click on the links, but at least they do look genuine when I hover over them.

Thanks alfa, your Barclaycard reminder is very similar to the one I received from ‘my bank?’ but the wording was slightly different, inasmuch as it stated that I hadn’t paid the £5.00 minimum payment with a warning of interest charges if I didn’t pay. This is one example of how a scammer can dupe you, using ominous threats to obtain their rich pickings. I ignored it and heard nothing more from my bank.

My question:
Do you talk to the banks?

I recently found a very informative page on APP scams on First Direct. Then it occurred to me – why didn’t I know about it?

I have found many valid emails online in my Yahoo spam folder that disappear after a week. When you automatically download emails to Outlook many will disappear unseen. Digital info is increasing, much of it lands as SMS on a tiny screen, so much of it will go unread.

When it comes to scams, there is far too much information and too little education.

Most spam info beats around the bush when basic do’s and don’ts need to be in your face and the start of every piece of scam info. I gave some examples here:
https://conversation.which.co.uk/scams/sharer-tool-reporting-insights/#comment-1626556

Scams seem to be a total surprise to many people so to reach them I think all the banks need to educate customers the old fashioned way – by post and suggest something like:

Hi Alfa, the short answer would be yes, Which? does. Chiara has added some detail in a reply to VynorHill here: https://conversation.which.co.uk/community/which-conversation-live-scams-event/#comment-1631500

A question for our experts:

I realise that it is worthwhile reporting suspected scams but is there any point in reporting well known ones? For example, it seems pointless to report that I have had an automated call to say that my subscription to Amazon Prime has been renewed at a cost of £79.99.

Can I just ignore a scam that has been reasonably well publicised?

There’s certainly no obligation to report this to, presumably you mean, Action Fraud. The scam you refer to seems to have gone out to most of us – I’ve certainly had this Amazon cold call on more than one occasion. So it’s really our decision if we wish to spend time filling out the reporting tool on the Action Fraud website. It is useful to submit information as it does at least provide Action Fraud with data, which potentially can be used for investigations or to be able to publicise warnings to the public. But yes, I do accept that there have been numerous warnings about this particular scam already. Many thanks.

Thanks Michael. I chose the Amazon Prime scam as what must be one of the best known scams. My approach is to find out if a scam that is unfamiliar to me is well known. For example, when I received the new payee HSBC scam text I forwarded it immediately but when I discovered that it is mentioned on the HSBC website I just deleted the text next time it arrived.

If concerns me that pressure to report scams can make us lazy and not report new and uncommon scams. I have discussed this with people who know that they can report scams but see so many that they don’t see the point. I would like to see some simple guidance about how to decide whether it is worth reporting scams.

Amazon are also guilty of running a Prime “scam”. I am well aware that, when ordering from Amazon, I must avoided getting sucked into the Prime trial. Yet the other day I got to the checkout and found I was getting free next day delivery. I then received an email telling me I had signed up for the free trial. I had to track down the cancel button.
I did not consciously choose the 1 month trial and am not particularly stupid so conclude I was rather tricked into doing it by a deliberate ploy. Time it was stopped.

You certainly need to have your wits about you to avoid getting caught in an Amazon Prime trial. I try to avoid making a habit of ordering from Amazon and get myself in the right state of alertness before doing so; they change the ordering format from time to time just to trip you up.

I have not reported any scams to ActionFraud since I have never had one that hasn’t already been notified in the weekly feed I get from Norfolk Trading Standards. Furthermore I cannot truthfully say a call is a scam attempt as I don’t let them get that far before terminating. As soon as I hear a recorded announcement start I cancel the call.

Very occasionally there are still some personal scammers active on the old BT “suspicious internet activity” trick. If I ask on answering “who do you wish to speak to?” the question seems to baffle them. There is thus no point in proceeding. This spares any embarrassment all round.

A reminder that Jon, Chirag and I will be joined by Lauren and Michael at 2pm today.

Thank you to everyone who’s left a question so far – we’ll aim to answer as many as we can.

I have recently received an email with the heading
McAfee Care. It purports to come from an office in New York and is about a subscription renewal. On checking the URL of the sender, the email address is [edited] @gmail.com
I can find no references on McAfee’s parent website to McAfee Care.
Should I delete the email?

[Moderator: we’ve edited this comment to remove a personal email address. Please do not post personal contact details or other personally identifiable information – this is for everyone’s privacy. For more information see the Community guidelines]

Peter Brewin says:
8 July 2021

Under The Proceeds of Crime Act….and Money Laundering Regulations…all the funds obtained through scams….leaves the victims bank account and is transmitted to other bank accounts controlled by the offenders…..these bank accounts ..used to receive the stolen funds must be managed under due diligence and compliance by the home banks….and therefore the account holders must be eknown and verified by the holding bank…as with scam telephone calls from offenders…the telephone accounts holder must be known and traceable….