TRADING STANDARDS ALERT

13/02/2013 Business ‘Collapse’ Scam
A Warwickshire consumer reported to Trading Standards receiving an unexpected phone call from someone who claimed a business the consumer had a contract with was ‘closing down’ and the consumer was due a ‘refund’.
The caller offered to send the consumer a cheque for £350 and was then asked to send £100 further on to India.
This is a scam. The cheque would initially clear and the money appear in the consumer’s account. The consumer would then send £100 on to India. However, the cheque would almost certainly be stolen or counterfeit and when this was spotted by the bank, they would remove the money from the consumer’s account, leaving the consumer £100 out of pocket.
13/02/2013 Loan Scam
A Warwickshire consumer reported to the Trading Standards Service receiving an offer of a loan after being phoned unexpectedly by someone he had never spoken to before (the consumer has been looking for a loan previously).
The caller (who was phoning from abroad) offered the consumer a £3000 loan over 2 years with a monthly repayment of £94 per month. The caller even sent the consumer a loan agreement, despite the loan repayments covering less than the total cost of the loan!
Consumers looking for loans are warned that they may become targets for fraudsters.
The fraudster will offer the consumer the loan but the consumer will often begin their loan repayments before they receive the loan. The fraudsters never do send the money but keep taking the repayments for as long as they can.
In some cases the fraudsters ask for an admin fee to be paid up front before the loan can be released and again, it never is, leaving people who already have difficult financial circumstances, even worse off.
13/02/2013 Timeshare Owners Targeted
Timeshare owners, often those who have been desperately trying to sell their timeshares, are being targeted by fraudsters warn Warwickshire Trading Standards. One Warwickshire timeshare owner reported receiving an unexpected phone call to tell him that he was owed over £5000 as a victim of a timeshare scam. The caller claimed that the money would be couriered to his door, but that the consumer would have to first pay a £860 transfer fee.
This has all the hallmarks of an advance fee fraud and consumers are advised not to send any money if they are contacted in this way.
The email alert system is a quick, simple and cost effective means by which Warwickshire Trading Standards can alert interested individuals, community organisations, businesses, charities and others to the latest Trading Standards issues/scams etc.

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