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Latest scams doing the rounds

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Dudley residents are advised to be extra vigilant as scammers claiming to be from the TV licensing company and HMRC target the area.

In recent months, Dudley Council’s scams unit has seen a rise in the number of coronavirus related scams targeting residents in the borough.

One of the most recent has seen residents receive a call from a hoax HMRC officer claiming they are entitled to a tax refund related to the furlough scheme.

The caller asks for bank details and says they must process the refund over the phone. This is in fact a fraudster and people are urged to not share their bank details over the phone.

Scammers are also emailing some residents pretending to be from the TV licensing company either claiming residents need to make an urgent payment or they are entitled to a refund or cheaper licence.

If it is a legitimate email from the TV licensing company it will include a person’s name and postcode and be sent from donotreply@tvlicensing.co.uk or donotreply@spp.tvlicensing.co.uk

People will never be asked for their mother’s maiden name, their date of birth or their card details to make a missed payment until they have signed in using their licence number, surname and postcode.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:

Our scams unit is working really hard to put a stop to financial crime in the borough and constantly have to be aware of the latest scams doing the rounds.
Typically, it’s our most vulnerable residents who are targeted but these most recent scams, particularly the HMRC one, are targeting a broader proportion of the general population.
We want to make it as difficult as possible for scammers to target Dudley residents, so please be on your guard and call our scams unit for advice if you have any suspicions about a potential dodgy call or email.

If someone believes they have been contacted by a scammer they should report it to Dudley Council’s scams unit on 01384 818871 or via trading.standards@dudley.gov.uk

Find out how to spot genuine correspondence from the TV licensing company at https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/faqs/FAQ288

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