Scams, News, and Items of Interest.

Here you will find news of interest regarding Scams, Government and anything else useful

Latest news from Which? Campaign
From dating scams to auction fraud, we've exposed the biggest scam hotspots in England and Wales. Under the Freedom of Information Act, Which? requested and obtained thousands of fraud reports made by victims during 2014-16 to Action Fraud.
Our analysis revealed that 2,883 people in Sussex reported an online shopping or auction scam - the most commonly reported type of fraud in that area.
Across the UK, 264,204 scams were reported to Action Fraud in 2016 - up by 10.7% on 2015. As rates soar, we're calling on the new government to prioritise fighting scams.
We've created an interactive map (link on this page) so you can see the types of scam most commonly reported in Sussex.

Are you being "scammed"?

*Many victims will be too embarrassed to admit they have fallen victim to a scam but there is no shame in it
*If a tradesperson offers to escort an elderly person to the bank to withdraw money this is likely to be a scam
*We don't want to scaremonger. We don’t want everyone to live in fear but we do want to encourage people to stop and think
*Encourage them not to store cash under the bed
*Encourage them to consider a trueCall device if appropriate
*If they are being persistently targeted they should: change their numbers, make sure their new number is ex-directory, register with the Telephone Preference Service
*If you have not entered a lottery you cannot win. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is
*NEVER give out your PIN number to anyone, or type it in to a phone or computer - scammers can still retrieve the number this way
*If you believe you have been scammed call 101
*If a crime is in progress (if a courier is on the way or a rogue trader is at your door for example) always call 999

URGENT - Photographs on U3A websites
Recently several U3As have been approached by an organisation called LCS (Licence Compliance Services) because they have published photographs which are protected by copyright on their U3A websites, without permission to do so.
As a result a financial penalty has been applied to cover the unauthorised use of the photograph(s).
So please ask your webmaster to check your websites and if you are in any doubt whether you can use a particular photograph remove it.

Regards from,
Lin Jonas
Company Secretary.

Citizens Advice Report
Citizens Advice have just issued a report "Too good to be true" regarding the changes to the pension scheme and the associated scams. If it sounds TGTBT then it probably is..........

There are FOUR key findings:

*Consumers are receiving high levels of unsolicited calls. We calculate that 10.9 million consumers have received unsolicited contact about their pension since April 2015. This includes 2.4 million consumers aged 55-64, who are those most likely to be interested in pension freedoms (Based on ONS population estimates and polling by Populus for Citizens Advice)
*Many people are being offered pension reviews or advice. This represents a focus shift from financial returns to other services. We found that 8.4 million consumers have been offered unsolicited pension advice or reviews in the last year. This poses a genuine risk of reducing confidence in legitimate financial advisers.
*Most consumers are unable to spot scam warning signs. Our research reveals an alarming lack of knowledge amongst consumers. In an experiment in which research participants were shown mock advice adverts, almost nine in ten (88%) consumers selected a pension advice offer containing pension scam warning signs.
*Consumers are most likely to turn to informal sources to check for a scam. With consumers struggling to identify pension scams, it is increasingly important that they can find reliable information on offers. We found that the three top sources for checking pension offers are informal such as asking family or checking a company's website, but our experience suggests that these are not always reliable.

This research show that more action is needed to reduce consumer detriment through pension scams. Citizens Advice recommends:

1. Pension firms should work with Project Bloom members to continue promoting awareness of scam warning signs to consumers.

2. Extend the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) ScamSmart portal to include scam warnings for possible advice/review scams.

3. Bodies such as Action Fraud and the Information Commissioner’s Office should continue monitoring levels and types of pension contact and respond to emerging scams/trends.

4. Financial advisers should avoid using lead generators who make unsolicited calls or use high pressure tactics

If you think you have been a victim then you should contact the police IMMEDIATELY.

Further information from Iain Palot and/or Bob Bravington can be obtained using the message link on this page. Or you can talk to them at the Monthly Coffee mornings.

Sussex Elders Commission:
On Tuesday 8 March the Sussex Elders’ Commission, (SEC), presented the findings of their year-long consultation at a launch event in Portcullis House Westminster, hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Ageing and Elderly people, Chaired by Wealden MP Nus Ghani.

The keynote speaker was Paul Greenwood, Deputy District Attorney in San Diego, California, an experienced prosecutor and a leading authority on Elder Abuse. He was joined by Action on Elder Abuse, Age UK representatives, senior police officers and partners from voluntary and statutory agencies.

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, said: "I asked older people in Sussex to help me set up an Elders’ Commission to build on the successful model of our award-winning Sussex Youth Commission which engaged with 4000 young people to inform, support and challenge my work and local policing priorities.

"Over the last year, my Elders' Commission members aged 60-85, have talked to thousands of Sussex residents and captured nearly 6,200 concerns. Alarmingly they have highlighted concerns about the potential scale of Elder Abuse that is either hidden or under-reported, including scams, cyber crime and financial coercion."

Bob Bravington and Iain Palot are both members of the SEC and are anxious to hear from any Bognor Regis U3A members who feel that they wish to discuss any matters that might fall within the remit of the Commission. Please speak with them at any Bognor U3A Monthly Coffee morning, they will be pleased to hear from you. Or send an email using the message link on this page.

WARNING

Dear Group Leaders,
Below is a warning from the U3A received through the SUN reps. It reads:

It would seem that group leaders in Crowborough U3A have been targeted by emails listing companies who want to target our groups.

They all come to us via the National Office using the contact links on our groups pages on our website.

Can you advise your group leaders should they receive them just to delete them.

David Bird our Crowborough U3A Webmaster is in contact with the help desk for Site Builder and I will pass on any information he receives.

Lilian Richardson, Groups Co-ordinator