Honest John Vans is urging builders to be vigilant as criminals target van drivers in a new wave of scam emails, text messages and phone calls.
Have you received a text message or email from a government department, promising you a road tax refund? If so, you might be the target of a new criminal crime wave that’s sweeping parts of the UK. The Chartered Trading Standards Institute has reported a huge surge in scams, with the cost-of-living crisis prompting criminals to target people with fake text messages and emails.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has recorded a significant increase in criminal activity, with a new survey showing that half of all adults interviewed had received a “phishing” communication in the past month. Not to be confused with the popular water sport, ‘phishing’ occurs when criminals pretend to represent a Government department (like the DVLA or HMRC). Some scammers may claim to be someone from your bank or building society.
The scam usually involves a text message or email that will try to trick you into revealing personal information or banking details. In some cases, the scammer will call, claiming to be from your bank, saying you’ve been subject to attempted fraud and insisting that you transfer your money into a new account. More than 40 million people were targeted by scammers in 2021, according to Citizens Advice.
According to the report by the ONS, the telephone-operated Crime Survey of England and Wales discovered a nine-fold rise in “advance fee fraud” (where victims are asked to make an upfront payment for goods or services which don’t exist) and a 57% increase in consumer and retail fraud from pre-pandemic levels.