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Police warn of TV discount scam

Staffordshire Police are warning of a scam involving false TV discounts that have been taking place in other parts of the country.

Fraudsters are cold-calling victims, claiming to be from a television provider and offering a discount on their monthly subscription, and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has noticed an increase in reports recently.

Common ruses used are that a subscription needs to be renewed; that part or all of the TV equipment has expired and customers are due an upgrade on the equipment. In order to falsely process the discount, the fraudster asks victims to confirm or provide their bank account details. The scammers may also request the victim’s identification documents, such as scanned copies of passports.

The fraudsters are using the following telephone numbers: 08447111444, 02035190197 and 08001514141. The fraudsters’ voices are reported to sound feminine and have an Asian accent. Later victims make enquiries and then discover that their TV service provider did not call them and that the fraudster has made transactions using the victim’s bank account details.

Since the beginning of this year there have been 300 Action Fraud reports relating to this scam. From the reports received, victims aged over 66 seem to be the most targeted. So far we are not aware of any such incidents in Staffordshire, but we want to warn people to be on their guard. If you receive or have received such a call, please call us on 101 and report it.

Police advise:

  • Don’t assume a phone call or email is authentic: Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and address or even your mother’s maiden name), it doesn’t mean they are genuine. Criminals can exploit the names of well-known companies in order to make their scams appear genuine.
  • Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision: a genuine company won’t force you to make a financial decisions on the spot. Always be wary if you’re pressured to purchase a product or service quickly, and don’t hesitate to question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam.
  • Stay in control: Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information. Always contact the company yourself using a known email or phone number, such as the one written on a bank statement or bill.
  • Visit Take Five (takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/) and Cyber Aware (cyberaware.gov.uk) for more information about how to protect yourself online.
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