Rogue traders and scams

Scams

Scams are dishonest ways of tricking people out of their money or getting them to pass over private information.  They come in many different forms including via the post, the internet and over the telephone. 

Be aware and protect yourself against coronavirus scams

Be aware of people offering or selling:

  • Virus testing kits – these are only offered by the NHS
  • Vaccines or miracle cures – there is currently no vaccine or cure.
  • Overpriced or fake goods to protect yourself from coronavirus such as anti-bacterial products.
  • Shopping or medication collection services.
  • Home cleaning services.

Coronavirus - How to identify a scam caller

NHS Test and Trace

People over 18, will be contacted by text message or email, and then by phone if there is no response. If only a landline number is available, NHS Test and Trace will contact that number.

The service uses a single phone number:  0300 013 5000

If you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace:

Reason for call: Mr/Mrs X known to you has tested positive for coronavirus and provided your number as a person s/he had been in contact with.

Possible questions are:

  1. What is your full name (to confirm identity)
  2. What is your date of birth? (to confirm identity)
  3. What is your postcode (to offer support while self-isolating)
  4. How are you feeling? Do you have any coronavirus symptoms? (You may be feeling well, but you need to follow the advice we give you).
  5. It is essential that you self-isolate for 14 days (as you may be infectious to others at any point up to 14 days)
  6. Do you live with other people?
  7. Which places have you been to recently?
  8. Do you have internet access? (You will be asked to log onto the NHS test and trace website).
  9. If you do not have internet access, a call handler will call you and provide information and advice
  10. Do you need help while you are self-isolating? for example with food shopping,

Contact tracers will NEVER ask you:

  1. To make any form of payment
  2. To purchase a product of any kind
  3. For any details about your bank account
  4. For any passwords or PINs
  5. To set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  6. For your social media identities or login details or those of your contacts
  7. Ask you to dial a premium rate number e.g. those starting with 09 or 087
  8. To disclose any of your personal or medical information of your contacts
  9. To download any software to your PC or hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  10. To go to any website that does belong to the government or NHS

Contact tracers will not provide medical advice on the treatment of any potential coronavirus symptoms.

You may be directed to the council for:

  • Practical or social support for yourself
  • Support for someone you care for
  • Financial support

Mass marketing scams

These scams are mass-produced letters made to look like personal letters or important documents, in the hope of tricking the person who receives them into sending cash in exchange for a prize or large cash sum; making money transfers or disclosing personal information such as bank details.  Remember - it is not possible to have won a prize or a cash sum for a competition or draw that has not been entered into.

Internet scams

You may be sent an unsolicited email encouraging you to click on a link or open an attachment which may infect your machine with a virus or direct you away from an official website.  The most current internet scams concern dating, concert and event tickets and vehicle hire. 

Telephone 

Fraudsters often contact victims via a cold telephone call. Many of these calls come from overseas and are intent on stealing personal and financial information and conning people out of their money.  

The fraudsters sound convincing and may claim to be from the Police, HMRC, your bank or a well known business. They may pressure you to act quickly, either because they want to trick you into believing you will miss a golden opportunity to make money or that you will suffer some sort of loss if you decline their offer.

Further information

Scams can be directed towards anyone but often target older and more vulnerable people who are persuaded to part with large amounts of money, sometimes over and over again.  

One of the best defences is being forewarned so that you, your family, friends and neighbours can spot a scam and take appropriate action. 

Citizens Advice - check if something might be a scam

Friends Against Scams - e-learning

How to report a scam

  • Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline : 0808 223 11 33
  • To report a scam call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040
  • Contact your bank if you think you have been scammed.

If you or someone you know are thinking of giving or sending money in suspicious circumstances call our Rapid Response team on 07903 852090 first.

This Rapid Response Service is for Bromley residents only; if you live outside the borough, please contact your local Trading Standards Department through your local council. 

Rapid response number

Tel: 07903 852090