There a number of scams in the Lancashire area at the moment aimed at obtaining cash and bank details from unsuspecting members of the public. The Office of Fair Trading has issued warnings about the following:
Calls purporting to be from the Office of Fair Trading and/or the VAT Department claiming that the consumer is due to receive a refund of VAT, of around £2,500. The caller advises the money will be received once a deposit of £250 is paid.Payment was to be made via a money transfer, the consumer was to collect the money transfer form from the post office and someone would ring him to help him fill in the form.Once filled in someone would call at his home to collect the money gram and the £2,500 handed over when the paperwork had been processed.
Checks with the OFT have confirmed the telephone number given by the caller is not one of theirs, but the legitimate OFT address was given
Lancashire residents have again been receiving phone calls allegedly from their bank asking for bank details using reasons such as 'there have been problems with your card'.Within a short space of time substantial amounts of money have been spent, in one instance an item purchased for £6,500.
As the weather turns colder owners of prepayment electricity meters are being warned not to be duped into buying discount prepayment cards on the doorstep. Prepayment meters allow customers to put in a key or card, which can be ‘charged up’ with cash, criminals are using cloned keys to top up credit illegally and con members of the public into buying them.Over 114,000 households throughout Britain have already been affected by this scam with customers of all of the leading energy companies (British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, npower, Scottish Power and SSE) being affected.
Electricity companies do not sell top-up electricity door-to-door they only use official outlets displaying the Paypoint or Payzone logos.
Refer any complaints to Lancashire Trading Standards Service, 55 Guildhall Street, Preston, Lancs PR1 3NU via Consumer Direct tel 08454 040506.