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Kent police are warning retailers to be alert to four current scams and has provided advice on spotting the danger signs and keeping safe.

Alert One – Phishing Email TV License

These emails pretend to be from TV licensing, claiming that the recipient’s direct debit has failed and that they need to pay to avoid prosecution. Recipients of the email are also told that they are eligible for a “COVID19 Personalized Offer” of six months free. The email contains many links to websites that look genuine but are designed to steal personal and financial information.

Alert Two – HMRC Phishing Email

CIFAS (the UK’s leading fraud prevention organisation) are warning of a new HMRC email scam. The scam tends to be targeting those who are currently out of work or working less due to the coronavirus, and is offering thousands in grants. The recipient is told to click on a link and check their eligibility, and the questions they ask are designed to steal personal information. The scam comes from the email address ‘HMRC@hotmail.com’ however, as new frauds pop up daily, this could easily change.

Alert Three – HMRC Phishing Email

A resident in Ashford recieved another email from HMRC from an email which was not the official .GOV email address.

Alert Four – Bereavement Scams – From CIFAS

Around the country, fraudsters are targeting families who are currently organising funerals for loved ones. They are contacting them and purporting to be from the local authorities bereavement services team and asking for card details in order to pay the funeral director. They then tell the families that the funeral will be cancelled if they don’t pay immediately. As a result many councils have put out urgent warnings over their social medias to warn of this threat.

Anyone recieving this call should hang up immediately and report the incident to Action Fraud.

To try ensure you are not a victim of this please take a moment before giving out important information. Never assume that emails or calls where they ask for details are genuine, double check they are genuine by confirming with a friend or family member or contacting your banks fraud department or the police.

Report scams at www.actionfraud.police.uk

Phishing emails can be forwarded to report@phishing.gov.uk

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