Newsletter

Jersey Consumer Council

Scams Category

Fraudsters are manipulative opportunists who can cause untold personal and financial damage to their unsuspecting victims. They cleverly build trust and extract personal and financial information, by asking seemingly innocent questions, often over multiple calls or emails. We need to work together to keep everyone in our community safe from scammers. Read our advice on how you can avoid being scammed!

The world is at your ‘keyboard’ when using the internet to research or book your holiday or other travel arrangements.

April 20, 2016 Consumer Skills, Home life, Scams, Travel and Transport No Comments

Take a moment to check out all the risks even if you think you may be aware of them all.

 

The risks

 

  • Fraud resulting from making payments over unsecured web pages
  • Flight scams:
    • Where you book a flight and receive a fake ticket, or pay for a ticket that never arrives.
  • Holiday scams:
    • Fake websites and email offers for holidays or villas that do not exist. They require you to pay a deposit, which you never see again.
    • Fake competition scams defrauding you out of a fee to secure a holiday.
  • Inadvertently advertising the fact that your house will be empty when you are away, by posting on social networking or travel tracking sites. Some insurance companies are now rejecting claims if homes are targeted by burglars while the owners are away on holiday and made reference to it on social networking sites.

 

Safe Booking

 

  • Ensure that any holiday or travel company unfamiliar to you is reputable by researching them online. Ensure that they are a member of a recognised travel authority which offers financial protection and a complaints service.

 

  • When possible, pay for holidays and travel using your credit card as this offers additional financial protection over other methods. Please note that your holiday or travel company may levy a surcharge for credit card payments.

 

  • Double check all details such as travel dates, itineraries, destinations and travellers before confirming payment, as you may be charged for amendments.

 

  • Take out travel insurance adequate for your destination, activities and everyone in your party.

 

  • Do not reply to unsolicited emails from companies you don’t recognise.

 

  • If renting a private apartment or villa, call the owner/agent directly to ensure that it is legitimate. If the number is not provided, email and request it. Check reviews on TripAdvisor or similar sites.

 

  • Get the full address of the property and find it on Google maps to check its location and legitimacy.

 

  • Prior to payment, obtain a contract setting out terms and conditions of the rental, deposits, payment terms etc.
    • Before entering payment card details on a website, ensure that the link is secure, in three ways:
    • There should be a padlock symbol in the browser window frame, which appears when you attempt to log in or register. Be sure that the padlock is not on the page itself … this will probably indicate a fraudulent site.
    • The web address should begin with ‘https://’. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’.
    • If using the latest version of your browser, the address bar or the name of the site owner will turn green.

 

  • Some websites will redirect you to a third-party payment service (such as WorldPay). Ensure that these sites are secure before you make your payment.

 

  • Safeguard and remember the password you have chosen for the extra verification services used on some websites, such as Verified by Visa.

 

  • When making a payment to an individual, never transfer the money directly into their bank account but use a secure payment site such as PayPal, where money is transferred between two electronic accounts.

 

  • Always log out of sites into which you have logged in or registered details. Simply closing your browser is not enough to ensure privacy.

 

  • Keep receipts for all online holiday or travel bookings and payments.

 

  • Check credit card and bank statements carefully after booking to ensure that the correct amount has been debited, and also that no fraud has taken place as a result of the booking.

 

  • Before you post details of your travel dates on social networking or travel tracking sites, ensure that the correct privacy settings are in place.

 

  • Ensure you have effective and updated antivirus/antispyware software and firewall running before you go online.

 

More Information

Please refer to the following websites for more information:

ABTA Association of British Travel Agents

ATOL Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing

AiTO Association of Independent Tour Operators


Holiday fraud: look before you book

April 20, 2016 Consumer Skills, Home life, Insurances, Money Matters, Scams, Top tips, Travel and Transport No Comments

Holiday fraud: look before you book

Get Safe Online is joining forces today with ABTA (the UK’s leading travel association), Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) to warn you about the dangers posed by holiday booking fraud. Anyone booking a holiday either in the UK or abroad is at risk.

For information and advice on safe holiday and travel booking, click here

 

We all look forward to our holidays, and often they can cost a considerable amount of money, which most of us simply cannot afford to lose. Unfortunately, more and more people are being affected by holiday fraud, which means that not only do you not get your holiday … you normally end up losing your money too. The holiday, accommodation or flight they paid for doesn’t exist, or the booking hasn’t been made.

Read More

The 12 Online Frauds of Christmas

November 16, 2015 Scams No Comments
christmas-fraud-JCC

The 12 Online Frauds of Christmas

In the countdown to Christmas lots of Islanders will be going online to buy presents for friends and family, search for holidays, book tickets for a big gig or send an electronic Christmas card.

Read More

SCAM Letters …are Attempted Fraud

November 16, 2015 Scams No Comments
scam-mail-JCC

SCAM Letters …are attempted fraud

Do these look familiar to you or is someone you know receiving similar letters?

Here are some simple steps to follow to minimise the impact of these unwanted and nasty letters
Read More

What is the Jersey Fraud Prevention Forum?

November 12, 2015 Scams No Comments

What is the Jersey Fraud Prevention Forum

The Jersey Fraud Prevention Forum will seek to develop a coordinated and strategic approach to the protection of the Island’s general public from investment frauds and scams between the agencies concerned. J

A number of local agencies have joined forces to help protect islanders from fraud and scams. The launch will initiate the first of many campaigns to highlight and raise awareness of the dangers of fraud in particular phone and mail scams.

Read More

Protecting your Personal Data

November 12, 2015 Scams No Comments

Protecting your Personal Data

Do you really know what you’re doing?

In this fast moving and sometimes expensive world in which we live, it is no surprise that we do whatever we can to make life easier, more efficient and more cost effective for ourselves. We subscribe to online newspapers and magazines so we don’t have to take a trip down the road in the rain to buy one off the shelf. We fill our wallets with loyalty cards because ‘points make prizes’ (or savings on our weekly shop at least).

Read More

P.O.Box 500

October 27, 2015 Scams No Comments
p o box photo

Featured on Bailiwick Express

P O Box 500

No Stamp Needed

A brave lady presented bundles of her SCAM mail to us earlier this year; she is receiving up to 8 letters a day mostly tempting her to buy her magical lottery winnings, how to secure inheritance monies & psychic help. Pat says…

’If you are receiving any of these SCAM letters please, please do not be too embarrassed to come forward & USE THE P O Box 500, so that Jersey Post & the Police can gauge the extent of the problem, The scammers are targeting the elderly and vulnerable people and it needs to STOP’

We firmly believe that Pat is just a number of Jersey residents who are being bombarded by SCAM mail – Age Concern members confirmed that many of them are also targets for these attempted fraud letters.

Read More

Ticket Websites

October 23, 2015 Scams No Comments

Top Tips for Spotting a dodgy ticket website

  • Check on a sporting event’s website to see whether it has official sellers. If it does, only buy from them
  • Look at reviews across a number of sources that aggregate customer feedback, such as Feefo, Trustpilot or sitejabber. It is important you don’t rely on just one source and instead look at several to minimise the risk of fake reviews.
  • Does the company have a regularly updated social media presence? It’s increasingly rare to find a legitimate company that neglects this
  • There should be a padlock symbol in your browser bar when you attempt to log in or register. When paying, check that the website uses https:// at the start of its url

Thank you to Which for these top tips

Read More

Top Tips for Avoiding Scams

October 23, 2015 Scams, Top tips No Comments

Dealing with Scams

Top tips for dealing with SCAMS

  1. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
  2. It you haven’t bought a ticket – you can’t win it.
  3. You shouldn’t have to pay anything to get a prize.
  4. If in doubt, don’t reply. Bin it, delete it or hang up.
Read More

Scambusting Help

October 23, 2015 Scams No Comments

SCAMBUSTING HELP

NO SHAME

Worried that you’ve been scammed or even tempted to share your information?

DO NOT be ashamed or embarrassed. Scammers are so clever now a days that everyone is at risk. Report the scam or ‘possible’ scam to help try to stop the scammers.

MANY DISGUISES

There are hundreds of scams – fake lotteries and prize draws, get-rich-quick schemes, bogus health cures, investment scams, clairvoyants and psychics, on-line dating, career opportunities, work from home schemes and the list goes on….

Read More