Road signs showing Fraud Alert

Scamming You out of Goods and Services

Recently we, Milton Keynes Trading Standards have seen an increase in social media scamming. A social media scammer scams people out of goods and services.

By Claire Kendall, Milton Keynes Trading Standards

In one instance we saw a large number of complaints. They all related to a scammer who entered into conversation with people on Facebook Marketplace and E-bay. The scammer wanted to buy unwanted tech, such as smartphones and iPads, etc. He convinced the sellers that the money was coming through the Bank of America. Of course, he confidently explained this would take longer to show in their accounts. Unsurprisingly, they sent their items to him in good faith, but none of them ever received a payment.

If you do come across someone trying to buck the payment system of the platform, simply walk away. Walking away is the safer option. Take note, as you won’t have the protection of the platform operator.

Parcel Delivery Scams

Changes in the way we live following the outbreak of Covid have prompted a large number of scams relating to parcel deliveries. Scammers send text and email alerts claiming to be from many of the large parcel delivery companies (including Royal Mail, DPD, Hermes etc). The message will ask you to click on to a link to a site. If you do, you may download malware onto your device. This could give the scammer access to your data, including your financial details. If you receive an unexpected contact from one of these companies, log directly on to the website. Do not use the link provided. Track your parcel directly from the website. If the message about your parcel is genuine, you will find it there.

Money-Saving Scams

During the lockdown, many of us were able to save money because we simply were not able to spend it on holidays, celebrations, and leisure activities. Over the months these savings increased and some people are looking for ways to invest their money. This, in turn, has led to an increase in investment scamming attempts.

Investing your savings can be risky, especially if you happen across a scammer. The Financial Conduct Authority has a register of financial service firms that are authorised to operate in the UK. Check to see if the business you are dealing with is registered.

The Signs of Scam

Warning signs to look out for are contacts out of the blue. In other words, if you receive an unexpected offer it is probably a scam.  Time pressure is another red flag. If the business offers you discounts or bonuses to join before a certain date you are probably talking to a scammer. If they offer you unrealistic returns on your investment this is a sign that they are not legitimate.

Some will ask you for remote access to download software.  Be very aware as this allows them to access and use your bank account. Don’t be taken in by feedback on social media sites. It is well known that, in this day and age, feedback can be fake. This type of scammer will use fake feedback to give the appearance of a legitimate business as part of his scamming plans.

More Information

You can find more information on the FCA website .

If you wish to invest your savings please carry out the correct research to help you to pick the right investments.

Greenwashing Scams

Finally, we have the newest type of scam – Greenwashing. We all want to make informed choices to help us to make ‘greener’ purchases. This new form of scam occurs where a claim is made that the product or service does more to protect the environment than it actually does. For example, something may be described as being eco-friendly at its disposal, when it is not.

These types of claims may encourage a consumer to buy it. At the time of purchase, they may not realise the product on the shelf next to it, with no green claims, is actually less harmful to the environment.

Click here to find more information about how to Squash the Greenwash

Report a Scamming Attempt

Local Trading Standards Officer can deal with false claims that mislead consumers.  If you think you have found an example of greenwashing scamming please report it to:

0808 223 1133.