Suffolk warning over coronavirus death windfall and TV licensing email scams
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Cynical scammers are sinking to new depths to take advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Consumer protection chiefs said they had received a number of reports from Suffolk residents targeted by fraudsters claiming to have unclaimed inheritance money from a victim of the virus.
Suffolk Trading Standards warned members of the public to beware of the latest scam designed to exploit the public health crisis.
The consumer protection department of Suffolk County Council warned: “We have received reports of Suffolk residents being targeted by scammers taking advantage of the current pandemic – sending emails stating you are entitled to inheritance.
“The scammers claim to represent a bank abroad, and contact you to inform you that a distant family member has died from Covid-19.
“They state you are the next of kin, and can claim large sums of money as inheritance. The money may be quoted in US dollars.
“This is a scam. No inheritance will be received. The scammers will attempt to dupe the recipient out of various sums of money, claiming tax and duty needs to be paid, as well as various administration fees.”
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Suffolk Trading Standards has advised anyone who receives a similar email not to interact with the fraudsters, but report the scam via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.
Authorities have also warned of criminals once again targeting people with TV licensing scam emails claiming their direct debit has failed and the details need updating.
Anyone who receives the phishing email should avoid clicking any links and forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fake TV licence email can be spotted by checking for spelling and grammar, and checking the sender’s email address is genuine and from email@example.com.
TV Licensing will always address customers by name, while scammers will often use a generic term like ‘customer’.
The genuine website address is www.tvlicensing.co.uk. While scammers try to replicate the link, there will always be one missing detail or an additional hyphen.
For the avoidance of doubt, contact TV Licensing directly and do not click on any suspicious links.