Monday, 9 September 2013

St Albans Citizens Advice Bureau

Elizabeth Crampton from St Albans Citizens Advice Bureau was our guest on Drivetime this evening, Elizabeth covered the following subjects;

Courier Scams

 This is a fraud that is mainly targeting the elderly and vulnerable in our communities. These scams are becoming increasingly prevalent across London and beyond.

    Elderly members of the public have been receiving unsolicited telephone calls from fraudsters purporting to be from the police or their bank.
    A fraudster will ring a member of the public, claiming to be from their bank (or in some cases claiming to be the police), stating that their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment on their card or that their card is due to expire and needs to be replaced.
    The person may be asked to ring the bank back using the phone number printed on the back of their bank card. This helps to convince the person that the call is genuine.
    However, the fraudster has kept the telephone line open so even though the person has called the bank, the call does not go through. Instead they are unknowingly connected straight back to the fraudster.
    The fraudster then gains the person’s trust by pretending to be from the bank and seeming to offer assistance. In many cases the person is asked to provide their full bank card details and key in their PIN so that their existing card can be “cancelled” and their new one "activated" or "authorised." The fraudster will then explain that the bank will need to collect the card.
    The fraudster will then attend the person’s address or send an innocent courier company driver to collect the card and sometimes provide them with a “replacement” card which is subsequently found to be fake.
    Therefore, the fraudster has obtained the person’s name, address, full bank details, the card itself and the PIN. The bank cards are then used fraudulently without the victim’s knowledge.


    Fraudsters pretending to be from the police cold calling members of the public claiming to be from the Economic Crime Department and that the person’s bank account has been compromised by criminals. The fraudster suggests that the person should transfer their bank balance into a “safe” police account.
    Fraudsters pretending to be from the police attending people’s addresses and retrieving the person’s card and PIN.
    Members of the public receiving letters on bank headed paper informing them that their account
    raudsters pretending to be from the police attending people’s addresses and retrieving the person’s card and PIN.
    Members of the public receiving letters on bank headed paper informing them that their account has been the subject of a fraud. The letter advises them to transfer their funds to a “safe” account and that an official will be in contact to provide them with a new card and PIN.
    Fraudsters contacting members of the public requesting them to cut their cards in half because their account has been compromised. They are then asked to post the cut card to an address where fraudsters simply tape the card together again and can use the details to commit fraud.

Prevention Advice

If you receive such a call end it immediately.
Please be aware of the following:

    Your bank will never attend your home
    Your bank and the police will never collect your bank card
    Your bank and the police will never ask for your PIN


At a glance – key points
Contact your airline or tour operator to find out if your flight is likely to depart. Try their website first.
If you are already at the airport and your flight is cancelled (and your airline says there will be no more flights that day) try to make your way home if you can.
When stuck at an airport in the UK and your flight is delayed or cancelled, you have the right to be looked after by your airline, whatever caused the delay or cancellation. If you choose to go home and return, the airline should cover reasonable costs of your journey.
When major disruption happens, it may take longer to get through to customer service telephone numbers, websites and customer helpdesks. Please be patient, reasonable costs of your call should be reimbursed by your airline.
Your right to another flight or a refund
If your flight has been cancelled, your airline must get you to your destination or offer you a full refund. If your flight is delayed by more than 5 hours and you no longer want to travel you are entitled to a full refund. If you are a transfer passenger you are also entitled to a flight back to your original departure point. Be aware, once you accept a refund your airline no longer has to look after you. If you are on a package holiday and you choose to cancel your outbound flight, you may lose your entire holiday.
If you decide you still want to fly, your airline should help get you to your final destination. Airline call centres and websites will be very busy but be patient and persistent. If you allow your airline to re-book you then you will have a better chance of getting on an earlier flight with no risk of extra cost or the hassle of seeking a refund.
If the disruption is severe, your airline may advise you to make your own travel arrangements and will reimburse reasonable costs. If this happens, make a note of the conversation (when, where, and with whom) and any guidance from your airline. Ask the airline to update your booking with the agreement. You shouldn’t assume your travel insurance will cover you if you choose to get yourself to your destination.
If you have contacted your airline but they refuse to organise alternative travel for you, you have the option to make your own arrangements and claim the costs back from your airline. Try to rebook with the same airline and travel in the same cabin class. It will be easier to get all your money back if you can keep the costs down.

Full details can be found at the website

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