Refund scammers targeting Warwickshire residents - The Leamington Observer

Refund scammers targeting Warwickshire residents

Leamington Editorial 19th Jan, 2022   0

CRIMINALS claiming to have ‘recovered’ money are targeting residents across Warwickshire.

Previous victims of fraud are being phoned by scammers falsely claiming to represent a range of UK financial protection organisations – some that exist and some that have been abolished – including the Securities and Futures Authority, the Financial Services Authority, Financial Conduct Authority, National Crime Agency, together with police and trading standards.

The victims are told their money has been used to purchase cryptocurrency which is in a frozen account.

The caller claims they need the help of the victim to retrieve the stolen money. It is at this stage the fraudsters begin to ask for access to the victim’s phone and to other personal and financial information.




And eventually, the criminals ask for money to enable them to access the account.

Restaurant owners and employees are also being warned to beware of bogus refund claims for bad takeaways.


It follows a report from one Stratford-based restaurant that received an approach, even though it does not provide a take-away service.

The scam may also involve targeted emails and the scammers may falsely imply they are from the local council environmental health.

Students have also reported being unexpectedly approached on social media by ‘charities’, offering to help them with their loans.

The ‘charities’ offer to transfer money into the student’s account. These sorts of approaches have all the hallmarks of money mule scams – where criminal gangs use young people to launder money obtained by illegal means, so as to conceal its origin.

The student may be told that either some or all of the money was transferred in error and they are then asked to return it, often to a different account from where it came.

Transferring money between accounts – known as ‘layering’ – aims to complicate the financial trail. The money may then be siphoned off into legitimate enterprises, completing the laundering process.

Trading standards warn students to always be suspicious of anyone offering quick and easy money. If an offer seems ‘too good to be true’ it usually is.

Bogus Omicron texts are also circulating.

Text messages state the recipient has been in contact with someone with the Omicron variant and need to order and take a PCR test.

The link in these bogus texts takes the recipient to a convincing but fake NHS website, where they are asked to input your personal information and your bank card details to pay for postage.

Once the criminals have bank details they can make large charges to cards.

Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards for further details.

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