Trading Standards eCrime

The BBC’s the One Show covered ‘free-trial’ scams, also known as subscription traps last Tuesday evening on 1 December at 7pm. The show featured an interview with Mike Andrews, the national coordinator for the National Trading Standards eCrime Team, who are co-ordinating the crack-down on free-trial scams along with Citizens Advice and other consumer protection partners.

‘Know Your New Rights’ is the theme of this year’s National Consumer Week campaign, running from 2-6 November.
The week long campaign is run by Citizens Advice and Trading Standards and aims to help consumers learn more about their new rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Inaugural National Trading Standards ‘Consumer Harm Report’ reveals annual data and predicts biggest threats for 2016 including energy, lottery and telephone preference scams
National Trading Standards (NTS) teams prevented £252m* worth of loss to consumers and businesses in the last year, prevented more than 2.5m unsafeor non-compliant goods from entering the supply chain through our borders and convicted 100 criminals who are now serving a total of 118 years of prison time.

One of the UK’s biggest online safety campaigns runs between 19 to 24 October 2015. The theme of this year’s Get Safe Online Week is “Online crime is always personal – Don’t be a target.”
The campaign is always a good time to think about what we do to keep ourselves, our finances and our devices safe online, but this year it encourages us to help others stay safe too.
We all know someone who’s vulnerable online. A family member, friend, neighbour or work colleague who could be encouraged to use social media or the internet more safely than they do right now.

Scammers have capitalised on Mark Zuckerberg’s recent announcement that Facebook have been working on a ‘dislike’ button. Not long after his announcement, links and apps offering the fake ‘dislike’ button began spreading across the world’s most popular social media platform.
Facebook does not have an official ‘dislike’ button, any app, profile or website offering one is a scam.
If you see posts saying you have been chosen by Facebook to test its ‘new’ button they are also scams. Don’t click any of these links.

Apple is expected to unveil a new iPhone this week and the National Trading Standards eCrime Team is urging consumers to be on the lookout for criminals trying to exploit the hype by flooding popular social media platforms with misleading adverts and bogus offers.

A criminal who ran an elaborate business grants scam online has been jailed for 18 months, suspended for two years. Ashton Kevin Saunders, aged 27, from Chesham, Buckinghamshire, deceived small businesses into paying hundreds and in some cases thousands of pounds for online advertising that was never carried out or of no commercial value. Saunders was also given 300 hours of unpaid work, ordered to pay £13,255 of compensation to victims, and has to pay costs of £8,776.

Advice issued to supporters buying remaining tickets
Fans planning to purchase the remaining tickets for Rugby World Cup 2015 are being urged to be vigilant and “buy official” to avoid being let down. With ticket demand higher than any previous rugby event, some unofficial sellers are expected to exploit the build-up to the event by offering unauthorised or counterfeit tickets to unsuspecting supporters.

Image supplied by Rebecca Pollard via Flickr
More than a third (37%) of parents feel as if they have no control over their children playing online games. In addition, more than half (51%) worry about their safety when it comes to gaming online.
For information and advice on safe online gaming for your children, click here

Citizens Advice estimates so-called ‘free trial’ slimming pill scams will cost UK consumers around £1 million in the financial year of 2014-15 alone. Free trial scams are spreading into many other product areas, so consumers are likely to lose more money to this scam in the long run.