A call to scamming

Trading standards are urging people to beware of two scams.
Trading standards are urging people to beware of two scams.

THERE are two new scams doing the rounds in East Renfrewshire, residents are being warned.

East Renfrewshire council’s trading standards team are urging residents to be careful over the two which can costs residents potentially hundreds of pounds.

The first involves the victim signing for a package, which they must for.

When they open it, they find a brand new mobile phone.

A little later they receive a phone call from a well-spoken man who apologises that the phone has been sent to the wrong address.

He goes on to tell the victim that the phone will be collected if the person tells them of their movements that day.

Once collected, the phone is used and the victim is then billed for all calls.

Trading standards cannot confirm if a further scam is in operation since they cannot fathom why the scammer would need to know the victims whereabouts during the day.

Consumer advisor Eleanor Griffiths says that residents should watch out and be very careful about what they sign for.

She said: “The couriers seem to target certain areas at a time and unfortunately it’s now happening in East Renfrewshire.

“Once a small amount of personal information is obtained by scammers, it becomes easier to obtain further information which can lead to a chain of events causing financial devastation.”

Environment convener councillor Vincent Waters added: “Our trading standards team is always on the look-out for scams like this and are grateful to residents who let them know what has happened to them.

“Once again trading standards are ahead of the game and want to ensure no one gets caught out by this terrible scam.”

The other con doing the rounds involves people’s debit cards.

One woman received a phone call from someone calling himself Stewart and claiming to be from the Bank of Scotland, who asked her if she had been using her debit card that day.

When the woman said she was not with the Bank of Scotland, he apologised and said he meant the Royal Bank of Scotland.

At that point the woman hung up the phone and dialled 1471 – but the number was withheld.

According to Steve Fox, the principal trading standards officer: “We are on to this scam but we would urge residents to be on their guard.”

As ever, this con is a way of getting personal details from you, so the cold caller says he’s from your bank and, if you say you’re not with the bank he mentions, he will go through a list until he hits the right one.

He will then ask if you have used your debit card today and, if you say yes or no, he will ask for card details to confirm that the use was okay or just to check your details have not been stolen.

If you question them about the validity of their call, they will give you a number to call to alleviate your concerns.

If you give them your details, they will say it is not the number on the card and that everything is alright.

After that, they will use your details to buy good, for which you will be charged.

Trading standards officers are quick to point out that bank staff will never ask a customer for card details.

Councillor Waters said: “Our on-the-ball trading standards team wants to ensure no one gets caught out by this scam.

“The main advice they want to give to people is never, ever give bank or credit card details in response to a received telephone call or e-mail.”